Cookbook author Marley Chambers can’t think of a more festive way to spend Christmas than at a friend’s holiday wedding in her hometown of Magnolia Bay. If only her soon-to-be ex-husband, all-star pitcher, Beckett “Beck” Chambers wasn’t bringing his new girlfriend—and if only he wasn’t still the sexiest man to ever walk out onto the mound…
Beck never wanted the chaotic life of a sport star—especially not at the cost of his marriage to the only woman he’s ever truly loved. But his career is a runaway train—and he’s afraid it’s too late to hit the brakes.
But when a mix-up leaves Beck and Marley stranded together for Christmas Eve on the barrier island where Beck proposed years before, old memories burn bright—and sparks fly hotter than a bonfire on the beach.
Could the magic of the season bring the gift of a second chance, just in time for Christmas?
Source: ARC from NetGalley
I love second chance romances. There’s just something deeply compelling about two people who share a history falling back in love again. Of course it helps if both characters are deserving of that chance.
Marley definitely is. She’s a nice woman who loved and supported her husband for ten years, until her sudden chance at success meant she wanted to do something for herself for a change. Beck didn’t like that, and so things went sour between them. Now they’re getting divorced and Marley isn’t sure, but likewise she won’t take Beck back if he hasn’t changed.
Beck is a jerk. I didn’t warm to him at all in this story. He seems quite happy to have moved on with his new girlfriend, except she too has a career and isn’t willing to devote all her time to him – shock horror! Then he realises how wonderful Marley was. Urgh. For me his behaviour didn’t make me believe he’d changed enough, or still cared enough, to make him deserving of a second chance. Not yet, anyway.
Then again this is only a novella, taking place over a Christmas weekend, so I guess I shouldn’t expect miracles. But the guy did take his new girlfriend to a wedding where his not-quite-ex-wife would be, so he didn’t exactly start off well in my mind, and did little to save himself from there. Maybe if he was contrite and truly missing Marley from the start I might have been sympathetic, but nope.
So although I usually like this sort of storyline, and I did like Marley, my feelings towards Beck made me a little ambivalent towards the end. It’s a nice enough story, not too heavy on the Christmas cheer, but with enough warmth to suit the season. I’m starting to like Magnolia Bay.
A Very Married Christmas is Out Now!
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