Title: Holidays Are Where Your Heart Is
Series: Warmest Wishes: Advent Calendar 2018
Author: Bru Baker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 42 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: This uplifting story left me with a smile on my face and the knowledge that the holidays are truly where your heart is, and I definitely recommend it!
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Jared’s been all over the world as a traveling manny with Holiday Helpers, and the itch to put down roots is is starting to eclipse his wanderlust—especially since his current family is a handful.
After culinary school, Wes did some wandering of his own, exploring Central America before settling as a resort chef in his mother’s homeland of Costa Rica, a place he loves and plans to stay. If he’s learned one thing, it’s to be wary of flings with vacationers. Still, he can’t stand to watch two little Swiss kids lose their belief in Saint Nicholas, so he’ll lend a hand to the manny assisting the family. It won’t be easy to recreate a traditional European Christmas in a tropical paradise.
Between a snowball fight on a sunny beach and sledding down an active volcano, Jared and Wes discover some renewed holiday magic of their own. Can they make it last a lifetime?
Review: Jared has been a traveling manny for quite a few years. He loves his job, he loves his charges, and taking care of children is really where his vocation lies. He has seen the world, stayed in some amazing places and has the satisfaction of knowing that he’s touched the hearts of some really great kids all over the world. Only thing, he now is starting to ponder getting older and wondering if he should be putting down some roots. Wouldn’t it be great to find a warm, wonderful guy and have a family of his own?
It’s Christmas and Jared’s been charged with taking care of two impish Swedish children at a resort in Costa Rica for the holidays. He’s been put on notice, especially by the boy, Lukas, and his growing anxiety that they don’t think that St. Nicholas will be able to find them so far from their home. The children’s parents, while staying at the same resort, are absent, and Jared knows that if St. Nicholas is going to happen, it will be entirely up to him to make it work. But how?
Wes has already done his wandering and has decided to make the exclusive resort in Costa Rica his home for the foreseeable future. His hard-and-fast rule of not getting involved with vacationers is being sorely tested by some cute Swedish kids named Lukas and Lia, and the even cuter manny taking care of them. Not even the force can keep him away from the trio, and suddenly he finds himself making Swedish Christmas cookies and having picnics and playing in fake snow in the shadow of the palm trees. Jared is determined to bring Christmas to the tropics, and heaven help him, Wes is along for the ride. Being a chef and taking care of people is innate in Wes, and he finds in Jared someone as much in need of care as the children Jared so desperately wants to help.
These two guys are great together, and the word heartwarming just doesn’t even come close to describing this story. My only niggle was that I would have liked more influence on the main characters and their romance, more alone time between the characters. Jared and Wes’ relationship seemed a bit insta-love since it didn’t have the same groundwork and foundation that Jared’s relationship with the children had. I loved Jared and how he bonded with the children, took care of them and really nurtured them as if they were his own, but ultimately his relationship with the children seemed to skew the focus of the book, and the romance came in second place. But this was only a niggle and for the most part, Holidays Are Where Your Heart Is is a fantastic addition to the Warmest Wishes Advent Calendar of stories. We get a very satisfying HFN with the promise of a lovely future between Jared and Wes.
This uplifting story left me with a smile on my face and the knowledge that the holidays are truly where your heart is, and I definitely recommend it!
You can buy Holidays Are Where Your Heart Is here:
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