Pub Date: September 25, 2018
Length: 384 pages
POV: 3rd Past
FTC: Purchased myself
Disclosure: I pretty much enjoy everything Jill writes
I'm a character-centric mood reader. Which means that I quite often pick up books that I know I'd enjoy if I were in a different mood, only to set them down after 20 pages. I never do that with Jill's books, because even if I'm in a shitty mood (more often now given the state of things nationally and the fact that I'm raising teens) Jill's books comfort me, make me smile, make me laugh, and in general give me the book equivalent of a cookie. Or three.
I truly don't know how she does it, but her books have the right blend of emotion (without ripping out your heart) humor (without turning the book into a comedy) and heat (without making me skim the sex scenes). They're my comfort reads.
That's not to say this book was perfect. I had some issues with one section in particular, either because of my poor reading comprehension skills these days or because of continuity errors. I literally could not figure out whether the power was off or on during one pivotal scene where it truly mattered.
Lucas and Molly are both great characters, and I really enjoyed their reluctant romance. I also loved that Lucas is 100% supportive of Molly's attempt to become a more active part of the investigation team. It's internal emotional scars, rather than asshat sexism that provides the conflict.
Although the blurb reads like a holiday novel, the holiday aspects are confined almost exclusively to a Christmas village fraud case that Molly and Lucas end up working on. There are a few references, here and there, but this didn't feel like a book you'd only want to read during the winter holiday season.
I'm bummed I read this book in two days, mostly sitting in the car waiting on kids, because the next one isn't out until February.
Who needs mistletoe?
Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once . . .
Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.