Review: Shannon Stacey – Holiday with a Twist

Author: Shannon Stacey
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary/Holiday

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she’ll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh’s best friend broke Croy Dawson’s heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh’s fault. They’ve never liked each other, but Croy isn’t cruel: he’d never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn’t expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn’t expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can’t escape the truth: he can’t walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…


When Leigh Holloway arrives back in her small New Hampshire town for the holidays, she’s determined not to tell her family that she and her fiancé have broken up, she’s moved out, and she’s quit her job! She figures that’s too much for her mom to handle, and she doesn’t want it to affect her parent’s plans for moving to a new condo and selling the family homestead. What she wasn’t prepared for, however, was to run into her former friend, Croy Dawson, and to have his forgiveness for being involved with his breakup with her former BFF.

And, not only does she have his forgiveness, she has his attention. The thirty-year-old, still single man is even more gorgeous than he used to be, but though the attraction is mutual, his roots are firmly planted in New Hamphire while hers are in Houston.

Over the course of the next few weeks, as their attraction grows into a sexual relationship, Leigh’s faced with some hard truths. She can give up the man of her dreams to go back to Houston and pursue her career, or she can consider the online functions of her job, the town she’s always called home, and the man of her dreams.

I enjoyed this lighthearted story, and I especially appreciated the subtlety of the way the author wove a few of the symptoms of “middle child syndrome” into it. Leigh was most definitely my sister! And thankfully, her mom knew how to encourage her without smothering. In fact, the family dynamics were highly enjoyable—not only with Leigh’s family, but with Croy’s as well. And we definitely get to know his family since Leigh works with them at their family restaurant to help out when Croy’s sister-in-law goes into labor.

If you’re looking for a sweet romance set in small town New England during the Christmas holidays, by all means, this one is a definite for your shopping list.



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  1. Pingback: Holiday With A Twist by Shannon Stacey | Novella Review

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