Patrick Barnes, a professional hockey player, finds himself at his four-year-old daughter’s Christmas ballet recital. It’s mother/daughter dance day (now, Parents’ Day thanks to him). He’s wearing a tutu, even though none of the moms are, and covered in glitter…all for the love of the little girl.
Patrick’s daughter, Jordan, absolutely loves Ash, her ballet teacher. She’s even brought him a gift for the holidays. As Patrick is sitting there, waiting for the show to start, he sets eyes on Ash. It turns out “Ash” is a man he knew in high school. Only he knew him as “Lee” (short for Ashley). They’d always exchanged longing looks, but they were never single at the same time. Now, as adults, the pull toward one another is very powerful, even though Ash/Lee thinks Patrick is married.
When the recital is over, Patrick and Lee talk, and Patrick tells Lee he’s most definitely not married, and he’d love to see him tonight. Their first date is, shall we say…ahem…successful, and even though it’s fast, they know they’re made for each other. Patrick and Lee finally get to see their Christmas wish come true.
I. Loved. This! It was a short, terribly sweet, and to the point story about two men who’d been able to come together after 17 years. It made my heart happy and put me right into the Christmas spirit.
Because it’s not a long story, there wasn’t really a lot of chance for character development, but it’s written well enough that I felt like I knew Patrick and Lee as soon as they appeared. Their chemistry is off the charts from the moment they see each other again, and wow, are they sexy! The one sex scene in the story was incredibly hot, and they fit together perfectly.
The book takes place within a ten-day period, and that’s plenty of time. We go from seeing each other, to an amazing first date, to Lee’s first hockey game, to Christmas eight days later. Just enough to give a taste. In fact, I would more than happily read a longer book focusing on them should the author choose to write one. (Hint. Hint.)
There are a few background characters here, including Patrick’s ex wife Lydia and his parents. The only one to play a major role in the story is Jordan, Patrick’s daughter. She was outright adorable! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s a fine line with children in books. They can sometimes be too precious, or too precocious. Jordan was just right with her excitement and love for “Ash,” and the drive to and arrival at the dance studio was charming and hilarious, exactly like a four year old.
The ending was sweet and perfect. It tied up neatly, and I was completely satisfied with it. The whole story was satisfying, and it’s exactly what you need if you’re looking for a something to keep you company as you enjoy a cup of eggnog next to the tree. I definitely recommend this one.