Reviewed by May
Blurb: With her hair perfectly coiffed, nails freshly manicured and a heavy trail of perfume wafting behind her, local news reporter Dallas Dubois is sure she’s about to kick her career—and maybe her love life—into high gear. The director of the Tuscaloosa children’s Christmas play has fallen ill, and Dallas is ordered by her station manager to take the reins. Everyone is shocked—especially Cal Hollingsworth, who still remembers her as the Ice Queen from high school.
If nothing else, Dallas has never met a challenge that a little lip gloss and a Chanel knockoff couldn’t fix. But she has no idea how to relate to these kids, and their brutal honesty is giving her pause. Things are made even more complicated by the butterflies she gets whenever Cal is near….
But when long-lost family members reenter her life, Dallas’s icy veneer begins to melt. And with Cal by her side, she soon realizes that it’s what’s under all the hair spray that counts.
Dallas is an incredibly beautiful woman who knows it, and who uses that beauty to get whatever she wants. She’s been married multiple times, she only thinks of herself, and nobody likes her much. There are few heroines I could possibly like least, and yet somehow this author brought her to life and made her work.
Something about Cal made Dallas want to hit him. He was so cocky, for one thing, but mostly it was because he ignored her when what she really wanted was to fall into his arms. That wasn’t going to happen, so she clung to the idea of hitting him.
Unfortunately she never really grew on me, though I could understand how she came to be so icy cold and I could see how her childhood formed her. Believe it or not, the ultimate problem I have with this heroine isn’t that she’s mean, keeps people at a distance, or hates children. No, my biggest problem is that this is the story of how she grows, changes, has to do all kinds of personal development and maturing while everyone else gets to be just as they are.
Part of her wanted to appear perfect to him, to prove to him that she was something special. Make him see just what he was missing. The same part of her wanted to prove something to her mother, to everyone, to show them that she was something, and weren’t they just sorry that they weren’t in her circle? But the trouble was, she had been pushing everyone away for so long that no one was even in her immediate circle to care. She had locked everyone out.
It makes me nuts, especially in a romance, when someone has to do all the change. When one person is clearly lacking and the other is perfect just as they are. So while my initial eye-roll was at our primping beauty queen of a heroine, ultimately she worked for me and what didn’t work was that she was given Mr. Perfect hero who simply has to wait for the heroine to be the woman she ought to be instead of the much hated beauty she is now.
If that won’t be a problem for you or isn’t a hot button issue, then you may really enjoy this book. There is a lot of snow, holiday spirit, and festive gatherings that really set a Christmas mood to the story. We watch as the heroine follows some local holiday news stories, directs a children’s Christmas play, and more.
My recommendation is that if you’re looking for a holiday read with very beautiful people who have been attracted to each other (but denied it) for years finally getting together – than you may really enjoy this one. Dallas is kind of a lady Scrooge who figures out what matters and how she needs to change in order to finally find a happy life.