Blurb: Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.
Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover—the twin brother of the man she married—fate intervened.
As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. Needing a Christmas miracle to save his family, Jarrett needed the love of a good woman to save his battered heart. His second chance with Marissa meant the world to him and nothing, no one, would stand in his way of cherishing her for all time.
Sky's Thoughts: I adored this story so much! Here's a quick(ish) review! (I did go on a bit more than had planned, it was such a nice story!)
Ten years after leaving his life behind, lost amidst the troubles of crime and drugs, a new and sober Jarrett Brandt has returned to his hometown to see his twin brother laid to rest at his grave, and to lay his peace. Unexpected emotions stagger him as he is greeted by his first, real love, the one he left behind so many years ago along with the rest of his family. She had married Jarrett’s twin brother and much to Jarrett’s surprise, had a child together.
The pang of jealousy struck him with guilt and regret for leaving Marissa behind, especially in her time of family troubles while her mother let in a slew of horrible boyfriends, but he quietly accepts that he can't change his dark past. I could only imagine how much of a kick in the gut it was to hear his childhood love’s child call him Uncle, when in his mind, Marissa was always and always will be his, that it should have been his child with her, that he should have never left and gave into the mess he created so long ago.
His ex-girlfriend was his dead brother’s wife, he didn’t know what to make of it...
“He wanted her back—that much he knew---but his life was a damn mess. He couldn’t afford the distraction. He’d f***ed with the wrong people and the price on his head was steep.”
After an invite to stay for Christmas by his nephew, his family is reluctant to agree, not even his own father, ex cop, who is severely disappointed by Jarrett and very unforgiving, refuses to let him stay in his own childhood home. So he stays with Marissa. This is where things begin to really heat up. Naughty, naughty Christmas LOL
The end will have you applauding after a spiral of mystery and thrills that reveal a new hero, but that’s about all I will say to avoid any error in spoiling the fun for YOU! I can only safely advise that there are quite a few heroes that prove themselves by the end of this book. A whirl of emotions and twists arise, and will have your heart melting just about every other page! Splendid!
Some of my other thoughts:
The little boy is so adorable, as he cuddles up with Jarrett after dinner with the family and pours his little heart out about how the other kids at school call him a mama’s boy and say his dad is gone because he doesn’t love him, Jarrett despite his manly self, gushes with affection and great advice. Melted my heart away, and Marissa’s, who was standing beside the door listening in, d’awww.
Between the small Nephew and Jarret: “Let’s eat. Knowing your grandma, she’ll refuse to let us have dessert until we finish what’s already on our plates,”
“She does that. It’s so frustrating.”
I had to giggle at that! Typical kiddo remark haha
I'm ready for the movie version of this book, like...NOW!
After being MIA for 10 years, the hero of the book, Jarrett finally returns to his hometown. Only he doesn't receive a heart-warming welcome-home party from anyone...especially his father. Quite the opposite, in fact, and from what you read about Jarrett’s past, you can't blame them. He was on a self-destructive path led by drugs, who ran away from home like a coward. But the Jarrett we come to learn about now, in the present, is no drugged-up-coward at all!!! * Fans Self * After Jarrett finds out a week ago that his twin brother has been dead for 5 years, he returns home to pay his respects at the cemetery on the 5th anniversary, without thinking that his family would be there paying their respects as well. As well as his old flame, Marissa, who married and had a son with Jarrett's twin brother Joel. Oops!
All I could think was, awkward!!! Poor Jarrett! You could tell that he still had feelings for Marissa, and she for him as well. Sooo, after she simply asks him to stay, have lunch and talk with her, he quickly accepts her offer. Then that offer turns into her son Jason – his nephew – inviting him to stay over at their house during the Christmas holiday, since Jason doesn't want his new favorite uncle to be alone on Christmas morning!
And what a Merry Christmas Marissa and Jarrett had!! * Snickers *
Without giving away too much from the book, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and really loved what Jarrett ended up doing with his life, instead of continuing down the drugged-up path that would have eventually killed him. I liked the way that the characters meshed with each other, and that Marissa wasn't a “girly-girl” if you will, but a strong-minded woman. I liked her character a lot. Jason was adorable as well.
Some lines that I loved from the book -
“Who said I was good?” He stepped back and fired the gun at Bill's leg. – That.Was.Awesome. LOL!
“Make love to me Jarrett, before I wake from this dream.” – Marissa to Jarrett.
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