I read the first four Pine Mountain novels, so All Wrapped Up was a no brainer.
Here's the summary from Amazon:
Talk about a hot lead…
Christmas is coming to Pine Mountain—and it has a way of stirring up memories, good and bad. Nick Brennan may manage the Double Shot bar smooth as good whiskey, but his past is a hot mess. When he runs into a burning building to save a little boy, some people start thinking there’s more to his heroism than holiday spirit. And then the local reporter assigned to the story turns out to be gorgeous Ava Mancuso, the girl who got away.
Ava knows what it’s like to have a past. But the changes she’s seen in Nick since she knew him do more than set off her natural curiosity—his warm eyes and gruff charm have her instincts fired up. Still, all the chemistry in the world doesn’t erase history, even when Nick invites her to his little sister’s mistletoe wedding. Does he have a heart under all those secrets? Or is this going to be just another Christmas past?
I've been waiting for quite a while as Brennan was one of my favorites from the other novels, so I started reading this one pretty much the day I got it. Which probably makes you wonder why I'm just writing this review 6 weeks after it was released, huh? Well, it got tense for me. See, Brennan is trying hard to keep his life quiet. He has a tragedy in his past that he desperately wants to keep hidden. He suffers from it both physically and emotionally, but Ava's job is pretty much requiring her to figure it out and reveal it, or she loses her job. I spent much of the book wondering how the job could possibly mean that much to her, and why didn't she just grow a backbone and stand up for herself already? It was a sucky job, and the potential she sees (that I don't) would be miserable too. So I dragged and dragged and dragged through the major parts of that. I just couldn't bear to see her hurt him for this crappy job. Fortunately, that was eventually resolved in a way I could live with, and the ultimate coming together was satisfying. Did I end up loving Brennan/Nick as much as I thought I would? Yeah, pretty much. As it often happens, the hero carries the story for me far more often than the heroine. Would I continue to read Kincaid? Yes- in fact, even more now that she got me through this potentially awful situation.