This was an absolutely delightful book deserving of a spot on the Hallmark Channel's Christmas lineup! I enjoyed every moment, every cute Christmas tradition, every soft glance between the two main characters, and even the angst as they had to make tough decisions. The romance is beautifully intertwined with Christmas magic, and it made me wish December would come sooner. It also really sparked my interest in traveling to Norway to see the land, meet the people, and learn about their culture. I love when a book not only warms my heart but also makes me excited to get up and go somewhere.
Sasha Hansely is used to being alone at Christmas. With her mother having passed when she was young and her dad leaving her alone with a nanny to travel around the world, she wishes every year for her dad to come home to be with her. But at thirty-six years old, she's not likely to see her dad change his ways for her. When he calls out of the blue, she expects to get his usual speech about why he can't come home, but instead she hears a frail man on the other end of the phone telling her he's had a heart attack. Rather than come home, he wants her to come to him in Norway, where he has bought a reindeer sanctuary. Giving in to his demands, she packs up a suitcase and flies to him, with the caveat that he put the sanctuary up for sale after the holidays and return home with her to England. When she arrives, she doesn't just find a sanctuary - it's a Christmas-themed resort, complete with an elf workshop, letters from kids around the world, her father playing Santa, and a gruff yet gentle giant named Taavi Salvesen. Soon she's elbows deep in responding to letters and getting closer to Taavi, and it's not long before she realizes that the Christmas magic she has been waiting for may have finally arrived.
The chemistry between Sasha and Taavi was perfect. I loved the banter between them, how he had a difficult time not smiling at her banter and helping her in breathing life back into the resort. This romance was as slow a burn as they come, and I was in agony most of the book waiting with bated breath for them to finally kiss. If you want the steam to happen quickly, this is not the book for you! It's very much in line with Hallmark, very sweet and closed door, though they do actually sleep together a few times - just sleeping, don't get too excited. Their friendship was lovely to read, especially as she broke down Taavi's barriers, and he became more comfortable with her being near. Both of them have scars from past trauma, some internal and others external, and they needed each other to work through them. They grew from acquaintances to friends to lovers over the course of the book, and it felt very natural and genuine. Jaimie Admans did an amazing job also setting an incredibly romantic scene. The resort was one I think we'd all like to go see one day, and maybe we can find out own Norwegian hunk while we're there.
This was my first book by this author, but it certainly won't be my last! I loved their writing style and the way characters came alive on the pages. Excited to read more by this author in the future.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**