About the Book:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author SHERRYL WOODS takes the O’Briens to Ireland for a family Christmas they’ll never forget!
Dating Matthew O’Brien—a playboy and a younger man—cost Laila Riley her career and her parents’ respect. A high price, even for love—and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off , despite Matthew’s objections.
But the O’Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It’s a
great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew’s bound to be there, and she’s far from immune. What if she can’t resist temptation?
Meanwhile, the O’Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell’s unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime
I enjoyed this heartwarming almost clean Christmas romance. Though one of many Sherryl Woods books about the large O'Brien clan of Chesapeake Shores, it reads well as a stand-alone (though it does seem a little busy at times with practically useless characters). Laila is a controlled person, the steady reliable responsible accountant whose life has been turned upside down by a younger man. She gave up so much for him, and then bolted away from him. In the tradition of large loving meddling Irish families, his family members plot to bring them back together.
One thing I liked about the story is that they realized that their early relationship had been spent mostly in bed, and when they got back together, chose to abstain from that activity for a while so they could work on other aspects of their relationship. Alas, they didn't manage to remain chaste until marriage, but it was nice to read a romance that crackled with sexual energy even though the couple wasn't going to bed. However, when they did go to bed, we didn't get to watch.
I also liked the fact that Laila and Matthew were, in some ways, opposites. She needed to learn to relax, to be spontaneous, to have fun without counting the cost ahead of time. He needed to take life a little more seriously. Watching them grow together was fun.
One small complaint--they were in Ireland, going to a church where "services" were presided over by a priest. I assume they went to Mass, so why not call it Mass?
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade: B+