Published by Avon on October 25th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
“Go to Destiny. There’s something waiting there for you.”
Shane Dalton’s new life is waiting in Miami, complete with fast cars and faster women. But first, he’s heeding his father’s dying words and stopping off in Destiny, Ohio. The detour wasn’t supposed to include a busted pickup and a blizzard. But Candice Sheridan, the cute redhead who reluctantly offers shelter, could prove a pleasant diversion. Trouble is, she thinks Shane’s bad news. And he’s pretty sure she’s right . . .
Candice had her trust broken once before. Yet something about Shane won’t let her stay away. By Christmas, he’ll be gone. Until then, she’s itching to stop playing nice and safe . . . and try being a little naughty for once.
As their holiday romance heats up, Shane uncovers a shattering secret and Candice is preparing to face heartache once again. But there’s no better place than Destiny—especially at Christmastime—for two lost souls to find the gift of sweet, surprising love . . .
¬¬Reviewed by Monique¬¬
Shane Dalton is heading for Miami for a job offer and begin a new life, but he will make that pit stop in Destiny, Ohio to comply with his father’s last wish, but he has no idea what awaits him. However, a violent snow storm hits the small town, even this early in December, and Shane’s truck is damaged; frozen stiff, he knocks at the first door he sees.
Candice Sheridan is brutally awakened in the middle of the night by a hot stranger, but he frightens her nonetheless. She lives alone, she won’t let Shane use her phone, and while they’re arguing, Candice’s cat Frosty escapes. Trying to find a white cat in a snowstorm is no easy task, but Shane succeeds, which doesn’t leave Candice much choice but to let him use the phone. Shane thinks Candice is cute, but they are extremely uncomfortable around each other, but Frosty, the traitor, likes Shane. While waiting for his truck to be repaired, Shane is offered a place to live in exchange for menial jobs; it’s only temporary until he makes it to his destination. But will it be Miami? And thus begins a wonderful Christmas story…
Every chapter of CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY begins with a line from the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, which is Candice’s favourite Holiday movie, and while CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY is in some ways reminiscent of the Christmas classic, it is in no way a retelling.
Candice has had her heart seriously broken, and she hasn’t really thought about doing anything about her semi-reclusive state. Shane, while being a total cynic and not really gregarious, goes with the flow as the kindness of the Destiny residents leaves him nonplussed; he has never been around people who were so accepting. Without saying any more, both Candice and Shane slowly come around, and what a marvellous story it is! While everybody expects the romance to happen, it is anything but predictable, and there are quite a few twists and turns. There are a few very pleasant surprises, one of which is a second romance, which is just fabulous as well. CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY is light and fun, but also quite intense and profound, but never coma-inducing; Ms. Blake knows precisely the dose of sweetness required to make the whole confection perfectly delectable. Ms. Blake captures the real meaning of Christmas while Shane and Candice let go of their fears and accept that they might have been wrong in choosing their respective paths.
CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY is superbly written, the characters are all very well defined, and long-time readers of the series will catch up with old favourites, while newcomers will make endearing new friends; who could resist Grampy! While CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY is a real Christmas story, it is so wonderful that it would be a treat any time of the year! And don’t forget your cup of hot chocolate before you let Toni Blake take you away!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.