The Holidays just got even better with this heart warming, opposites attract Christmas romance. Christmas in Rose Bend is the second installment in the Rose Bend series by Naima Simone, and she doesn’t hold back with her scrooge of a ER nurse, Nessa, and the literally delectable and charming Inn Keeper’s son, Wolf. Grab your snow shoes and some popcorn, because once you get a taste of Rose Bend–you’ll never wanna leave!
Publisher: HQN Books
Publication Date: October 26th, 2021
Source: Scribd / ARC
Format: Audiobook / e-ARC
The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store…
Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison.
Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?
ARC provided by Publisher & Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review
“I can catch you if you fall, but, baby, you have to be willing to take the leap. You’ll never know if you don’t try me. I’m begging you to try me.”
I’d like to think that Naima Simone watched a Hallmark Christmas movie one day and said “hold my hot chocolate” and then went on to shatter the norm with the beautiful and spellbinding story of finding family, healing, and love during the Christmas season. Christmas in Rose Bend is a feel-good romance about a ER Nurse, Nessa, and her little sister as they take a month long vacation to the small town of Rose Bend. Forced to fulfill the dying wish of her estranged father, Nessa leans into her mantra of “get in and get out”. However, what her and her mantra weren’t banking on was the smoldering carpenter, Wolf, and his loud and loving family to flip her on her head and show her what its like to take a risk and love again.
I probably did not do this book justice with that synopsis but oh my goodness, this book was everything and more I wanted in a Christmas romance. Nessa and Wolf were dynamic, both caring the weight of such heavy burdens and both being people enough to own up to them and their actions. I loved watching them both peel back the layers of each other as they grew closer and each giving each other the respect to do so at the others pace and time. The communication between them was what chef kisses were made of! I constantly found myself mumbling “this is what a healthy relationship looks like” which brought a whole other level of sexy to the story as a whole. The chemistry between Wolf and Nessa was sizzling form the moment these two met on page and the fire only seemed to burn hotter and bigger with each chapter.
I absolutely adored the entire cast of characters in the story and how you can see each of them leading their own life with each interaction. The story felt so natural and authentic that I never realized I was reading a story instead of living it first hand with these people. Simone does a spectacular job reeling you in and keeping you with her lyrical storytelling and hooking in-depth characters. The only thing I had an issue with (and this is literally just because I wish there was more) was that the ending felt a bit rushed; I wanted more time to see the resolution between certain characters and wishing for more in terms of Nessa and her father. Again though, this is literally me just wanting more because I absolutely fell in love with these characters.
If you are looking for a beautifully written and heart warming story this Christmas season–I highly recommend going and grabbing this one! Honestly, Naima Simone knocked this out of the park, and I’m so excited to dive into her backlist and see what else she has written!
About The Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. She is wife to Superman–or his non-Kryptonian equivalent–and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.
Huge thank you to Netgalley and the author for sending me an ARC for my honest review! Quotations taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication.