Review: Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase

Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase
Series:  The Shaughnessy Brothers (# 6)
Release Date:  October 3, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 354
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review
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Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding — and deliciously handsome — artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.

There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.

With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?

 

Review:  This is book six and the last book in The Shaughnessy Brothers series and it’s really their only sister, Darcy’s,  story.  While all the Shaughnessys, their spouses and children along with their dad and his girlfriend are in and out of the story it only adds another level to the book.  There is such a depth to the characters and their feelings and interactions for and with each other.  I loved that a lot of the story was played out around the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and even New Year’s!  The prologue really set the stage for what’s to come.

Ben and Darcy don’t meet under the best of circumstances at his home in the mountains of Washington state.  They start off on the wrong foot even though there’s an immediate attraction that neither is ready to acknowledge.  She misinterprets of lot of what he says even though her sister-in-law, Savannah, vouched for him as a nice guy since they’re good friends.  The misunderstandings put Darcy and Ben in several difficult situations since she’s working with him to get his book on his artwork ready for publication.  The weather plays a factor too – good and bad – since she’s from North Carolina and is definitely not used to the snow and ice that’s outside his window.  He’s an artist who’s starting to make a name for himself – he sculpts from wood – while she’s still trying to forge a career path and get a job.  She relies on her family a lot probably because they lost their mom when she was very young and is the youngest of six.  Ben has two younger brothers that he became responsible for after their parents died and doesn’t like to be around them or crowds a lot.  They are polar opposites on several issues – family, socializing, where they live and how they love the holidays or not!  The tension between Darcy and Ben turns into lots of loving but they’re not always on the same page even when they realize what they feel is love for each other.  They each tend to react differently to stressful, unhappy and happy situations which causes issues and miscommunications. But they seem to get each other when others don’t even knowing each other for such a short time.

There are family and friends, Ben’s art, Darcy’s organizational skills, her unrealistic view of her life and her childhood, her protective brothers and sister-in-laws, his amazing house, misunderstandings, arguments, anger, sadness, tears, injuries, baking, happiness, laughter, the holidays, romance, lots of loving and love.  The interactions between the characters had a reality to them and the descriptions of the art, Ben’s home and the mountains made me feel that I was there.  There was wonderful closure with the epilogue and the happily-ever-after I was hoping for that panned out differently than I expected.  I would love to revisit the Shaughnessy family again next Christmas just to be able to catch up on their lives (hint, hint)!

Chase has always been one of my favorite authors.  I love the ways she portrays families and love.  I’ve read all six books in The Montgomery Brothers series, the two in The Christmas Cottage  series, three of the four books in the Life, Love and Babies series, but have many more to catch up on.  Somehow I’ve only read the first book in this series, Made for Us, and now the last one.  I can’t wait to read Love Walks In,  Always My Girl, This Is Our Song and A Sky Full of Stars, books two to four respectively, and all have been added to my always growing TBR pile!

Favorite Quote:  ...She had beamed under his praise, and he had to admit, making her smile was one of his new favorite things, and it made him feel lighter as well.


joanne