Excerpt & Geri’s Review of Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer Snow

MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS
Series: Colorado Ice #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jennifer Snow
Release Date: September 26, 2017

All wrapped up . . .

One more game. That’s all that stands between NHL star Asher Westmore and a major career milestone.

But then his brother bashes him against the hockey boards, sidelining him for months. Over Christmas holidays, no less.

If staying off the ice doesn’t drive him crazy, staying with his family will. The only bright spot amidst the mistletoe and twinkle lights: His best friend, Emma, is a physical therapist. And working out with her improves his body and his spirit.

One last time. Emma Callaway was in trouble the minute she and Asher added benefits to their friendship.

How is she supposed to resist a funny, caring guy who makes her toes curl? Her heart was safe while he lived in a different state. Now that he’s back home recuperating, though, it’s only a matter of time before she blurts out her feelings.

Emma’s only hope is that with a little holiday magic, she’ll get the best Christmas gift of all.

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Asher climbed out of the car. “Nah. I’ll hang out with Em tonight. I’m her last patient of the day,” he said, suddenly feeling a little better and eager to get this appointment finished so they could go back to her place for the evening. Without the meds, he was suffering a little more, and she was the only thing that eased his pain.

“All right, man. Take it easy,” Jackson said as he closed the door.

Entering the clinic, he tugged the big, heavy old door closed behind him.

“Hey, Asher,” Jane said, standing as she saw him.

“Hi, Jane. How are you?” he asked, approaching the desk and leaning over it. If he sat again, getting up would be a struggle.

“I’m great. Um, actually, I wanted to ask you…if maybe you wanted to grab a drink at the Grumpy Stump tonight?”

Caught slightly off guard, he laughed. “You don’t hang out there, do you? You’re far too pretty to be slobbered on by all the local single men.”

She blushed. “Thanks. Actually, I don’t hang out anywhere. Single-mom life doesn’t lend itself it to many dates. Not that this would be a date…”

Oh, damn. He felt like an ass saying no to the woman who was obviously putting herself out there…but he wasn’t interested in dating. In fact, since his last semi-permanent situation ended a while ago, he’d been enjoying how things were going with Emma. Right now, she was certainly the only one he wanted to be with. “I…uh…”

Emma appeared in the reception area, an unreadable expression on her face as she glanced back and forth between the two of them.

“Well, the thing is…I promised Emma I’d do that…thing with her tonight,” he said, looking at her to save him.

Her expression softened slightly as she slowly nodded. “Right, you did promise me you would do that…thing tonight.”

He smiled. Saved. Now he could resume getting excited about a full evening with her, naked, with no pressure of a flight out the next day or having to be anywhere at all. The idea excited him beyond the sexy thoughts coming to mind. He looked forward to just being with her, holding her, kissing her, and talking. He’d been so caught up in his own problems the last few weeks, he had no idea what was going on with her.

“Ok, yeah, no problem,” Jane said, busying herself with the papers on her desk.

He felt like a jerk. He turned to Emma for help.

“Um…maybe Asher could get you and Aiden tickets for a game in Denver,” she said.

Perfect. Right there—that’s why he loved her so much. The thought made him pause. Love? Of course, love. She was his best friend.

“Right, Ash?” she said when he’d yet to confirm her suggestion.

“Oh, yeah…no problem.”

Jane smiled. “Aiden would love that. Thank you,” she said, sitting back down at her desk as the phone rang.

Emma’s eyes held a hint of amusement as he followed her into her therapy room.

“What?” he asked.

She closed the door behind them and grinned. “You just turned down a hot date to suffer through dinner at my sister’s house tonight.”

Oh shit.

**Excerpted from MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Snow. Copyright © 2017 by Jennifer Snow. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.  

This was another heartwarming, holiday read from Jennifer Snow about two best friends who found love with each other. You know me, I’m a sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story, and Maybe This Christmas delivered on the romance big time.

Asher Westmore and Emma Callaway have been best friends for years. Then they became best friends with benefits, which suited both of them just fine. Asher is a hockey placer for New Jersey while Emma is pursuing a snowboarding career. Then life comes at you fast.

For Emma, that change came when she took a serious tumble during a qualifying snowboarding competition for the Olympics, ending her career. These days, she’s a physical therapist in her small town of Glenwood Falls. Her friendship with benefits with Ash is going strong but lately, she had been feeling adrift. Not really sure whether she should get back into snowboarding or pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. There’s also her relationship with Asher. Emma’s feelings for her best friend is definitely deepening and she’s not quite sure if he feels the same.

Asher is about to hit a huge milestone of his career. He could almost taste it. But a knee injury and a hard hit from his own hockey-playing brother derailed that milestone for him. Now he’s back in Glenwood Falls to recuperate with Emma’s help, of course.

She was the one person in the world he always knew he could count on and the only one he wanted to be with.

While this book can be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend that you read the previous books in the series to get a background of Emma and Asher’s relationship. I don’t think it’s necessary but I think it would enhance your reading experience.

That said, I have not read any book in the series prior to this one but I didn’t feel lost and I was able to pick up the threads of the story very easily.

I enjoyed how Asher and Emma’s relationship transitioned from friends to so much more. It helped that the author already established that these two have an intimate physical connection. At the start of the book, they’ve been FWB for a long time. Years, I think. So it wasn’t a leap in any way.

Despite being friends and then lovers, they both had to deal with a lot of issues not just between them but also with their families and careers.

For Asher it’s dealing with his feelings of resentment for his brother Ben, Emma, and the thought of having to give up hockey. who always seem to achieve every accolade that Asher wants without struggle. Emma herself is dealing with a meddling sister and a father who is losing himself daily.

And speaking meddling…Emma’s sister Jess got on my last nerve.

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I mean, come on! She was positively heinous in her treatment towards Ash, turns up her nose at her sister’s accomplishment, and she makes decisions about Emma’s lovelife and career without consulting her. Sure, I believe that she’s doing it because she loves her sister but gah! It was still annoying. I had to resist the urge to throw my Kindle against the wall whenever she was in the scene because I just can’t deal with her meddling.

Fortunately for me, Jennifer Snow was able to write a really convincing romance between Asher and Emma. Despite some hiccups along the way, they were able to deal with their issues like adults. No unnecessary flouncing, drama or whatever. And Ash proved himself to be a really sweet and caring hero worthy of Emma and that one revelation in particular (which I won’t spoil here) sealed the deal for me.

So if you’re a fan of sports romance and the friends-to-lovers trope, I would recommend this book!

 

Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and son. She writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance stories set everywhere from small towns to big cities. After stating in her high school yearbook bio that she wanted to be an author, she set off on the winding, twisting road to make her dream a reality. She is a member of RWA, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Film and Visual Arts Association in Edmonton. She has published over ten novels and novellas with many more on the way.

 

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