Saturday, November 23, 2013

4 stars for Holiday Games by Jaci Burton

A Holiday Novella

A Riley wedding is in the works, a Riley Christmas means a house full of family, and baby making is on Liz Riley's mind. Chasing Gavin around and meeting in dark closets can be fun, but Liz is more than a little determined. Even with family in every corner of the house, Gavin is more than ready to do whatever Liz wants—especially when sex is involved. It's a Riley family Christmas.

 First off, let me say I love the early books in this series and the entire sports-minded Riley family. I was so excited for this novella because my favorite couple of the series, Jenna and Tyler, are getting married!

But as much as some of the activity in this book centers around wedding and holiday preparations, this is really Gavin and Liz's story. Liz wants a baby in the worse way and thinks she can manage it just like she does her job. The story opens with a negative pregnancy test and an even more determined Liz.

Most of the Riley's make an appearance in this novella, but unfortunately their interactions are used mostly to present backstory for new readers to the series. I did find that left me wanting more. The football game with Cole and Mick matching up was awesome and while I missed some real dialogue between these characters, it was still nice to have them in the story.

A good bit of the story revolves around Jenna's wedding preparations, and I have to say that the girls bacholorette party was fun, with Jenna kissing bald heads and getting loaded. On the other hand, the guys bachelor party is ho-hum. I would have thought those men could have put together a much better send-off for Tyler.

But this is really Gavin and Liz’s christmas miracle. The absolute best moments of this book are between Gavin and Liz, and I gotta say, I don’t remember Gavin being quite as hot as he is in this book. The scenes between them are steamin’. But Gavin really won my heart when he called his mom to help when they needed it. It’s the little moments in this book that have the impact.

Overall, this is what I’d expect in a Christmas novella. It was great to visit with the Rileys.

Hard one to rate. There were some definitel pluses and minuses. But I wasn’t disappointed to pay for this one. So I'm rounding my 3.5 stars up to 4 on this.

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