Title: Christmas Mountain
Author: Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 236 Pages
Category: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Garrett Leigh writes pining and the hurt/comfort trope so well, and she serves them both up in such lovely portions after what can only be called a winter miracle reunites Rami and Fen. Warm, homey scenes; quiet, simple family moments; and an earnest attraction that progresses as carefully as Fen needs it to, are delivered so beautifully on Christmas Mountain.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: The probation officer caring for his dead brother’s baby. The wounded gentle giant with the biggest softest heart.
Rami: Sweet Fen Hawthorne is my favourite thing about working in the prison. His broad shoulders and sunny grin. His twinkly flirtation. And he likes me as much as I like him. More seems inevitable until life happens.
One day I’m there, then I’m not, and second chances don’t really happen when your car breaks down halfway up a snowy mountain, do they?
Besides, I don’t remember flirting with a bearded lumbersexual, only dreaming about one.
Fen: Do dreams come true?
Christmas Mountain is my home. But it’s the one place on earth I never imagined seeing Rami Stone again, and now I’m snowed in with him. Trapped, with only a roaring fire for company, and it’s a fantasy come true. The air is thick with more than snow and the eighteen months we’ve been apart fades away.
As the snow clears, though, so does the haze. Rami says he comes with baggage.
But so do I, and I’m here for the heavy lifting.
I’m here for forever.
Review: ‘Tis the season for holiday romance, which means having my heart hijacked by sweet gestures and warm feelings and people falling head over heels in love amongst snowy landscapes and twinkling lights and fires in the hearth. Garrett Leigh delivers all those things, and then some, in her seasonal offering Christmas Mountain, a love story made possible with more than a little serendipity and a some help from Old Man Winter.
Rami Stone and Fen Hawthorne are not coworkers in the strictest definition of the word, but they do see each other on the occasions that Rami visits the prison where Fen works, in Rami’s capacity as a probation officer. Their not-so-subtle flirtation finally extends to Fen mustering up the courage to ask Rami out, when he’s interrupted by circumstances well beyond his control. Their attraction to each other pops off the page, so the hook is effectively baited from chapter one and I was invested in where Leigh was leading her characters from there. But then, neither Rami nor Fen could have possibly foreseen that an ill-timed interruption at the prison would begin an eighteen-month-long separation, during which so much in their lives changed.
Garrett Leigh writes pining and the hurt/comfort trope so well, and she serves them both up in such lovely portions after what can only be called a winter miracle reunites Rami and Fen. Rami is frazzled and nearly at the end of his tether as the sole caregiver for his wee nephew, and comes to the misguided conclusion that little Charlie would be better off living with his aunt, her husband, and their children on Christmas Mountain. They are on their way to his sister’s cabin when Rami’s car becomes stranded in a snowstorm while driving up the mountain. Why and how Fen is there to rescue Rami and Charlie and gather them in from the storm is significant to who Fen is these days—still the man who Rami knew as charming and sweet and kind and sexy, but their lives have diverged considerably since they last saw each other.
The conflict in the story is not at all whether Rami and Fen still have that spark and simmering chemistry—they do—but whether they can find a way to have any sort of relationship when they’re on such different paths in life now. Leigh plays this out against a backdrop of warm, homey scenes; quiet, simple family moments; and an earnest attraction that progresses as carefully as Fen needs it to, which are delivered so beautifully. On the angst scale, this book rates on the low end, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some tense moments in the story. There are, but there was never a moment when I was worried these two characters were going to give up on getting their happily ever after.
Rami and Fen were first introduced in Leigh’s novel Salvation, and while it was somewhat evident I should have known them from somewhere, the fact I haven’t read that book was only significant in that I didn’t get to have an “Oh yay, more Rami and Fen!” moment when they showed up on the page. As a perfectly lovely standalone, Christmas Mountain offers up all the warmhearted feelings of watching two people fall in love.
You can buy Christmas Mountain here:
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