Music teacher Holly Jones is in a festive predicament. Her boyfriend just dumped her the week before Christmas, so why is she only depressed he made off with the mince pies? When the charming science teacher next door overhears the dreaded call and suggests she accompany him on his Scottish holiday retreat, she accepts, eager to spend a quiet week rediscovering herself.
Noel Coward’s wife died on Christmas Eve three years ago. To bury the memories of that day, he spends the holidays getting drunk and watching action movies—which makes him perfect company for a fellow teacher in need of solitude. Except, instead of wallowing in his grief, Noel finds himself comforted by Holly’s presence, fascinated by her mind, and after one innocent kiss, on fire for her touch. As the snow piles up outside, the temperature inside soars, while together, they discover the human heart’s amazing capacity to heal…and love.
Review: Let me start off by saying that it took me about halfway through to realize that the name of this short story is very tongue in cheek. Think about that for a second.
It’s always so hard to write reviews for short stories as you don’t want to give too much away, especially when it’s under sixty pages! I will do my best not to include any spoilers.
Holly, no matter how soft she seems in the beginning, is actually a quite lovely woman who has a steel core. I think the loss of her relationship with “Jackass” wasn’t as sad for her as not knowing what to do with herself around the holidays was; it was obvious that they’d become too comfortable in a relationship that neither particularly cared for. I found her funny, but sometimes just a wee bit…dumbed down.
Noel…I just wanted to cuddle that man! He’d been through a lot in such a short time. For someone who seemed so stuffy, he sure was a lot of fun, except around the winter holidays.
I so wanted to be traipsing through Scotland in the middle of winter to a place that is so out of the way that the nearest town is an hour’s walk away. Of course I could have done without the thought of “Nessie”, but it was an interesting tidbit that was referenced to several times.
Overall, I really enjoyed this short story and hope to read more of Holly and Noel in the future.
There are several steamy sex scenes and coarse language.