Type: Contemporary Romance (46 pages)
My Copy: Sent
Waitress Tess Branson has earned a bad reputation, and the nickname “Fast Tessie,” as result of her poor judgement where men are concerned. She learned from a young age that men – of all ages – were only interested in one thing, which has made Tess distrustful even though she yearns for love. Lucas Flynn, the short order cook at the restaurant where Tess works, has just been released on parole. After committing a terrible crime and losing someone he loved, he’s trying to get his life back on track. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a kind, pretty waitress who has problems of her own. Tess makes a wish on a star one wintry night, but it’s going to take a heap of Christmas magic to help it come true!
I can tell I’m going to be a fan of Katy Regnery’s books. I truly enjoyed the first book in this series, By Proxy, and this little holiday novella had the same warm-hearted feeling as that book. Tess and Lucas are not your typical lead characters in a romance. Tess has a questionable past – she has been fast and loose with her body where men are concerned and hasn’t always made the best decisions. The people in her town treat her like a harlot and she begins to expect that from everyone. As a result, she is slow to trust, while at the same time longs for something real and true in her life.
The one person she doesn’t get that treatment from is her coworker Lucas Flynn. He treats her like she is someone special. Lucas isn’t your typical hero material either. He spent three years in prison for beating up a man who was abusing his sister. He’s done his time and is starting anew, but has nothing to offer someone like Tess except his heart. He rents a basement room and can’t even afford a car, but he plans to work hard to make a better life for himself. And he’d like nothing better than to include Tess in that life.
Tess and Lucas were both so vulnerable and careful with their hearts, and yet they both showed such courage in putting themselves out there. Lucas melted Tess’s heart with the careful and respectful way he treated her. She found it hard to believe that anyone could want her for more than what her sleazy reputation promised. Lucas was steadfast and honest with her from the beginning, vowing to her that he wanted to get to know her, not use her.
One of the most touching quotes in the book was when Lucas tells Tess, “I’m not going anywhere unless you’re going with me, because you’re my destination.”
I read this novella three days before Christmas and it truly epitomized the magic of the holidays. Lucas and Tess were each able to break through the other’s doubts and insecurities to allow their romance to shine through. The magic of Christmas is alive and well in Lucas and Tess as they manage to join their hearts in this quick, heartwarming holiday romance.
I give The Christmas Wish by Katy Regnery 4 stars!