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Book CoverVeena’s review of Holiday Spice (Shaughnessy Brothers, Book 6) by Samantha Chase
Contemporary Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 03 Oct 17

Darcy’s mother died when she was a babe. While she has little or no recollection of her mother and misses her every single day, she’s built her life around her family. One small thing, another mainstay, is Christmas and Ms. Chase pairs her up with the perfect scrooge just in time for the holidays.

Like a butterfly, Darcy finds it hard to settle on a career choice. During this stage she offers to help her sister-in-law Savannah and travels out to Washington state to assist wood carving artist Benjamin Tanner compile a coffee table book of his art. Considering Ben is a solitary creature who hates Christmas and keeps his distance from his two siblings, this is very much an oil-and-water combination.  Be prepared for tears and laughter as Ben and Darcy come together for a spectacular finish to the series. I was already in love with Darcy’s brothers and their gorgeous wives, but my heart was a goner when young Darcy is the nicest little girl all dressed up for Christmas and looking for that special secret present she’s asked for from Santa.  It did surprise me how well Darcy weathered her disappointment and made Christmas the happiest time of her life.  Then comes the introduction to Ben Tanner, who lost his parents close to Christmas and has closed off his heart and emotions. Christmas and any reminders of the holiday are a total anathema to him.

The two are floored at first sight. It is so hilarious how Ben turns off Darcy, because in his desire to make conversation with her, he raves on about her sister-in-law Savannah, leading her to believe he’s in love with Savannah, which is oh so inappropriate! Plus, it makes her feel even more inadequate and second choice that she’s always felt in her life.  Poor Ben, trying to figure out why Darcy continues to distance herself from him.

Then comes a big snowstorm and Darcy is stranded at the airport, from where Ben rescues her and takes her to his home.  Will they finally manage to clear the air between them and make some headway on the off-the-charts sexual chemistry between them?  Of course, that’s a foregone conclusion since this is a romance and it’s far past time for a sexual encounter.  Fireworks erupt in more than the bedroom, while Darcy takes it upon herself to also organize the very disorganized Ben’s life.  He’s such a jerk when, instead of thanking her for handling all the chores, he hates he blames her for interfering in his life. Really?

Once they make it to bed they’re insatiable.  Ben quickly follows her home and gets an introduction to her family and then feels left out with Darcy’s close involvement with her kin.  Then Darcy goes beyond the girlfriend boundaries and tries to cultivate the same closeness with his brothers.  Ben is like a small child who feels Darcy should feel privileged that he has opened his once lonely life to include her in it, instead of trying to bring other people into their relationship.  Clearly he’s got a lot to learn.

This book made me feel a gamut of emotions, which, of course, is a great testament to the author’s writing.  As a reader I can attest that this is a terrific series with spectacular characters and heartwarming stories. Can’t wait to see what the author will treat us to next.

Grade: A


As soon as the mistletoe goes up, that’s when life gets really interesting

Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.

There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.

With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?

No excerpt available.