Reviewed by Mandi
When Amanda graduated college, her father encouraged her to leave her hometown in Oregon and explore and prosper in a place that didn’t feature her family’s inn. Amanda left for California and never looked back. Her father told her that Cart, the man she was sweet on in Oregon, was married and had moved on with his life. Her father painted a bleak picture of the inn and the town, so Amanda never went home again.
Years later, her father has died and Amanda has decided it’s time to sell the inn. She goes home a few days before Christmas to get everything settled. At the inn she is reunited with Cart, a part-time handyman who can’t believe Amanda is back in town. Cart is very single, and the inn is very prosperous, and Amanda starts to question why her father had been lying to her.
A story of miscommunication, this novella felt very rushed. I like a second chance romance, and Cart and Amanda have that chance in this story. When Amanda left to make a career outside of Oregon, her father convinced her Cart had moved on immediately but that wasn’t true. Cart waited and waited but Amanda never called or came back home (why didn’t Cart call her?). He eventually moved on with another woman, but never married. They both thought the other was not interested.
In present day Amanda initally thinks she is going to sell the inn, but as Christmas approaches and she sees what the inn means to the town, she starts to second guess herself.
With just a few kisses between Cart and Amanda and a very abrupt declaration of love and marriage proposal, they felt more like friends reuniting than lovers. I didn’t feel any passion or romance between them. This one needed more pages to be believable.