Ok, so I thought I was getting a jump on things by reading Christmas at Evergreen Inn this weekend. I mean, it's a Christmas book, it won't be out until this month at least, right? Nope. Came out October 13th. Whoops. Hey, it's still before Christmas, right?
Here's the summary, from NetGalley:
Welcome back to Jewell Cove, where this holiday season, there happens to be no room at the inn...
When a December Nor'easter roars up the eastern seaboard, Jewell Cove cop Todd Ricker spends his day off being a Good Samaritan to stranded holiday travelers. But when the roads close and Todd can't make his way home, he discovers that the Evergreen Inn is full up. Until another Good Samaritan opens her doors and offers him a place to stay...
Lainey Price is not looking forward to Christmas, but just because she's not filled with the holiday spirit doesn't mean she's going to turn Todd out into the stormy night. Even if it means offering the handsome police officer the couch in her tiny cottage. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the two are snowed in for a wintry evening by the fire. With Christmas only a few days away, can Todd convince Lainey to open her heart to the season...and love?
It is probably not a good sign that I just read this over the weekend, and already forgot the characters' names. So let's start with them. First, Todd. Todd has no personality. I don't mean he's a "loser"- I mean he has NO personality. I JUST read this, and all I can remember is that a) he's a cop and b) he has the hots for Lainey and c) he shoveled the snow. That's it. He really didn't do anything at all to stand out in my mind. Now granted, this is a novella and there isn't a lot of time for character development, but I expected more than "he's single, she thinks he's a player, but he just never got around to asking her out." Lainey has a bit more going for her. She has a little bit of a history, and some dread around the Christmas season. She has an interesting job (innkeeper) and a bit of family history. This doesn't mean I felt she was particularly well fleshed out either, but there were more facets to her than to Todd.
Then the romance. Guys, this book is basically one long makeout session. They make out, she resists because Reasons, they make out again. There was really no real conflict debate or outside anything. I know that I typically like the romance of a story more than the other details, but if nothing else this one has shown me how very necessary the other plot lines are to my enjoyment. Was this a bad book? No, not really, but it's very forgettable. Will I continue to read Alward? Yes, of course, I very much enjoy her full length novels.