Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s never too late for a second chance at love… or is it?
Rayne Sadler left the tiny town of Holiday Pines and his childhood sweetheart, Emilio Rives, to make a name for himself in the world of interior design. For twelve years, he never looked back. Now he has the successful career he wanted, but no one to share his life.
Emilio isn’t happy when Rayne returns to Holiday Pines to renovate the local playhouse. The town wants to stimulate the failing tourist industry, but Emilio has no interest in reviving the ashes of his relationship with Rayne.
Yet shared memories and experiences are powerful things. As the playhouse is restored to its former glory, the friendship between Rayne and Emilio slowly returns as well, and their chemistry is as powerful as ever. Rayne has designs on Emilio’s heart, and he sets out to prove it. Will the magic of Christmas thaw Emilio’s heart, or will it remain as cold as mountain snow?
What a perfect time for a lovers reunited and second chance at love story than at Christmas? Designer Holiday by Ari McKay is a sweet, contemporary romance that brings two high school sweethearts back together after a long separation. While one has seemingly moved on, the other clearly hasn’t emotionally, the pain of the breakup deep even after all these years.
It’s hard since the breakup was as teenagers to imagine why Emilio carries such an enormous burden after all these years but McKay (and a lovely character, Emilio’s mother) go a long way to reasonably explaining such a deeply held grudge towards Rayne. And Rayne’s take on it all, which honestly seems to normal for a teenage boy.
The way in which the town comes together for the playhouse, the various members of the community, and the place itself has it’s own magic. I would definitely love to visit there myself would it appear on a map. The authors have a way of making a walk down the street turn into an intimate stroll that pulls the readers into the scene, glancing here and there about the location while eavesdropping onto the conversation taking place. It’s real, lovely, and in the moment.
The same goes for the romance. At first hard and a bit tortured, it becomes a slow path back to trust and love and the way home at Christmas time. Sweet, heartwarming, and believable. I loved it.
Want to add a holiday story to your Christmas reading? Pick up Designer Holiday by Ari McKay. I recommend it to add sweetness and joy to your holiday reading.
Cover art is suitably Christmassy and bright, I like the models but wish for a little more of the playhouse that drew them both back together.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published December 8th 2018