From the blurb:
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .
For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .
Annabeth Albert brought the goods with a heart-melting holiday story in her awesome Portland Heat series! Wrapped Together really delivered, and it even made my little Jewish heart yearn for mistletoe and Christmas trees. Oy vey!
I adore holiday stories, but they can be tricky to pull off in novella format. There is a lot of expectation there because a holiday romance has a double whammy of having to make you crave specific holiday nostalgia and also pull off a believable romance. But have no fear, Annabeth Albert, did me proud!
Wrapped Together is a combo of a friends-to-lovers story and an enemies-to-lovers story. Hollis and Sawyer have been family friends for years, and their twin siblings are happily married to each other. There is also a spark between Hollis and Sawyer, something that Hollis has been trying to resist for a long, long time.
There is tension between Sawyer and Hollis, but also something bigger building, and the story is all about how that tension plays out. Hollis and Sawyer are an opposites attract couple, with Sawyer being an extrovert and Hollis an introvert. I loved watching their dynamic and how the contrasts between them complemented each other. They felt like a good match, and I adored their chemistry together.
Hollis also resists getting put under Sawyer's spell, and he resists pretty freakin' hard! Hollis is the grumpy, somewhat stuffy risk-avoider character, and I found myself drawn to him immediately. I love a Grinch-y type of Christmas story character, and I LOVED watching Hollis feel happiness and joy again.
Also, Hollis is a little bit of a kinky minx. I wasn't expecting that, so yowza! There isn't any hard-core BDSM stuff here, but the sex scenes were hot and very well done. I also appreciated Sawyer's, ahem, oral enthusiasm. Yeah, baby!
If you are looking for a sweet, easy read to put you into the Christmas spirit, you've found your story.
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Catch ya later!