Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 3rd 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding -- and deliciously handsome -- artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.
There's only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.
With Ben's need for privacy and Darcy's love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?
The Shaughnessy Brothers Series: Made for Us (Book 1)Love Walks In (Book 2)Always My Girl (Book 3)This Is Our Song (Book 4)A Sky Full of Stars (Book 5)Holiday Spice (Book 6)
This was not what he had planned.
Maybe it was what he had fantasized about, but this was not what he had planned.
But the instant Darcy’s lips touched his, Ben was lost. From the first time he’d laid eyes on her, he’d wondered how she’d feel in his arms.
Now he knew. Amazing.
From the first time he watched her move, he wanted to know how she’d feel moving against him.
Now he knew. Incredible.
From the first time he’d seen her smile, he wanted to know what her lips would feel like as he kissed her.
Now he knew. Sexy as hell.
His arms banded around her waist until he made sure there wasn’t even room for a breath between them. She went up on tiptoes to press even more intimately against him—which he totally appreciated—and it allowed his hands to linger and cup her denim-clad bottom.
And what a denim-clad bottom it was.
Gently, he squeezed it and even considered grabbing it harder and lifting her onto the counter, but he wasn’t ready to let go of the full-body contact just yet.
It was insanity. One minute, she was frustrating the hell out of him in a nonsexual way, and the next, he was so consumed with need for her that he almost didn’t recognize himself. This wasn’t the man he normally was. He didn’t pounce; he didn’t even think of initiating anything physical in a situation that was so mundane.
And breakfast was pretty mundane.
When Ben chose to sleep with a woman, there was, well, there was a certain protocol to it for him. There were the required three dates. There was the kiss good night that would build in heat over the course of the dates, and then it was normally at her house. Never here. Never in his bed. His home was just that—his. It was his sanctuary, and he was possessive of it. But right now, all he wanted—almost more than his next breath—was to have Darcy in his bed.
Another growl escaped before he could stop it.
For a moment, he allowed his lips to leave hers, because he was desperate to taste her in other places. His mouth trailed along the delicate line of her jaw, her throat, and up to nip at her ear, a spot he quickly learned made her knees buckle and had her gasping.
Good to know.
But she wasn’t having any of it for long. With her hand firmly anchored in his hair, she let him know the instant she wanted to kiss him again, and he went willingly. Over and over, his mouth slanted over hers until he thought he’d simply consume her. Tongue tangled with tongue. Breath mingled with breath. Never had the act of kissing seemed so carnal. So indecent and so damn erotic.
And that’s when he knew standing at the kitchen sink was no longer cutting it. He needed her. Wanted her. And from the sounds she was making and the way she was moving against him, Darcy felt it too.
This time when he reached down and cupped her ass, he lifted her up onto the counter. Stepping in close until he was firmly pressed against the juncture of her thighs, he cursed their clothes. Cursed the fact that the nearest soft surface was so damn far away. And cursed the fact that she tugged at his hair as she pulled away from him.
“Ben, wait,” she panted.
A little dazed, he forced himself to open his eyes and focus on her. Her lips were wet and red and a little swollen, and her skin was flushed.
So. Damn. Sexy.
Resting his forehead against hers, he took a minute to catch his breath.
Was he supposed to apologize? Step away and start shoveling? Hell if he knew, but he was going to stay quiet and let Darcy say whatever it was she was thinking. So he didn’t move, and once his breathing was back to normal, he almost felt as if he was holding it.
“What are we doing?” she asked quietly.
Was she serious? Those were some fairly obvious moves going on, on both their parts! How could she be questioning it? And on top of that, she was the one who had initiated it! Lifting his head, he looked at her.
“I thought we were kissing,” he said simply.
She blushed, and it was sexy as hell to see. His fingers twitched with the need to touch her cheeks and feel the heat there.
“I…I know, but…I guess I’m just a little confused as to where that all came from.”
She was confused? Because now he was a little beyond that himself. Taking a step away, he frowned. “Why don’t you tell me?” he began levelly. “Since you were the one who reached up and pulled me into the kiss in the first place.”
The blush was instantly replaced by a look of mild annoyance. Darcy jumped from the counter, placing her hands on her hips. “I guess I got caught up in what I thought was a moment. I mean you came over and crowded me into the cabinets and then started touching me—out of the blue, might I add—so I guess I thought you were into it too.”
Oh yeah. He had forgotten about that part. Once she had reached up and kissed him, Ben had pretty much forgotten about his own actions leading up to it. “Fine. Yes. I came over here and—” He stopped and cursed, raking a hand through his hair. “I don’t know. I wanted to do that since you first showed up here.”
~~Reviewed by Evelyn~~
HOLIDAY SPICE, the sixth and final novel in the Shaughnessy Brothers series by Samantha Chase, is the book that fans of the series have been looking forward to. Not only is it a delightful holiday romance, but it is finally Darcy’s story. We’ve enjoyed seeing each of her older brothers get their Happily Ever After while she watched from the sidelines wondering if it was ever going to happen for her. We also watched her over-protective brothers chase away any guy that showed any interest in her. Can handsome woodcarver Benjamin Tanner finally be the one that can hold her brothers at bay?
At first glance, Darcy and Ben couldn’t seem more opposite. Darcy is out-going, bubbly, and very connected to her family. Ben is introverted, driven, and prefers the solitude of his workshop to even the company of his brothers. They do have one thing in common, however. They are both haunted by family situations that they can neither change or come to terms with. Darcy’s mother died when she was a baby and she has always felt cheated out of that very special relationship. Ben’s parents were killed in an accident right before Christmas just a few years earlier and now he wants nothing to do with his family or Christmas because the memories are too painful.
Ben and Darcy are instantly attracted to each other when they come together at the suggestion of Darcy’s sister-in-law to work on a book project. It seems like a perfect match, both professionally and personally, until they are faced with possibly the worst obstacle yet: Darcy’s life is on the east coast and Ben loves his life in the mountains of the northwest. Neither seems willing to compromise. Given all the forces fighting their relationship, can they somehow make it work? Do they really want to?
Like the other books in the series, HOLIDAY SPICE is a character driven, emotional rollercoaster. It is easy to love both the main characters, and I found myself in tears more than once as I wanted them to work out their issues and find a way to be together. I was especially tied to Darcy because, after five previous novels, I felt like one of the family. Like a big sister or a loving aunt, I really wanted her to find happiness.
While there were no big surprises along the way, the story was interesting and compelling. I like that Ms. Chase can write a sexy novel without having to be extremely explicit. Most of what happens behind closed doors is left up to the imagination of the reader, and while my imagination can be as colorful as anyone else’s, everything remains within my comfort zone.
I loved this one last chance to check in with all the members of the Shaughnessy family. We’ve seen romances, marriages, and babies, and it’s hard to say good-bye. On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what wonderful new characters Ms. Chase has in store for future novels. She is truly a master storyteller!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.