About the Book:
Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man any time soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.
Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.
Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever.
While I do not expect excessive realism in romance novels, particularly Christmas romance novels, for all that I enjoyed this book, I didn't believe it. I read a review I wrote of another of Novak's books and I said the same thing--I like the characters, I liked the setting, I liked the overall story, but I found the climax scene to be completely unbelievable.
Another thing this book shares with others is the theme of forgiveness -- though the main forgiveness necessary in this book was forgiveness of self--not for what he did but for what someone did for him. Dallas needed to accept the sacrifice someone made for him before he could open himself to love and be loved.
While the main problem in the book is caused by Emery's ex's inability to forgive and move on, when it is all said and done Emery shows the difference between forgiving, and being a doormat. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean that things go back the way they were--that's not always a good place. She just chooses not to let the hurt rule her life anymore. Dallas also refuses to forgive, and probably for for good reason. Should he have? Probably. How should it have looked if he had? Probably not that much different than the way things turned out.
I liked Dallas, I like Emery and I loved Dallas' family and enjoyed spending the afternoon with them. I thought the whole sex video subplot, from the fact that it was posted in the first place to what happened thereafter and how it was resolved to be very unrealistic.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade: B-