Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl. Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south. They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.
One Snowy Night is part of Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series. It’s a novella, which means it’s a (very) short story. It’s wonderful, but I wish it had been longer. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting one hundred pages of Jill Shalvis goodness. The book actually ends two-thirds of the way in, and the rest is an excerpt from another book. I was more than slightly disappointed about that, but only because this author always leaves me wanting more, more, more.
Rory Andrews has not had an easy life. A disappointment to her family and with no real friends, she left home before graduating high school, desperate to get away. Unfortunately she learned quickly that life on her own could be even worse…until she was lucky enough to be “rescued” by Willa (from The Trouble with Mistletoe). Willa gives Rory a job, a place to stay and becomes someone she can count on. Now that she’s back on her feet, having earned her GED and adoring her job at Willa’s pet grooming shop, Rory decides to go home for the holidays. She is determined to show her family that she is not the screw-up who repeatedly let everyone down.
Unfortunately, getting home to her family means spending hours in the close confines of Max Stanton’s truck. Rory and Max share the same circle of friends, and Willa had arranged for Max to get Rory safely home. They also share a history from their hometown. In high school, Rory had a serious crush on Max, even though he was the popular jock who could have any girl he wanted, and Rory knew she wasn’t even on his radar. She’s not sure how they ended up in the same town, the same neighborhood, with the same friends years later, but she does her best to ignore the fact that her crush has evolved into an attraction for the all grown up Max.
Max remembers Rory from high school as the lonely troublemaker who ruined his chances at a basketball scholarship. Now, years later, she is on his radar for an entirely different reason: he wants her. He doesn’t want to want her, but he’s finding it more and more difficult to pretend he doesn’t feel the sexual pull between them.
Sharing a ride to Lake Tahoe with Rory isn’t on his top ten list of fun things to do, but as the snowy night closes in on them and they delve into not only their present lives, but their pasts, Max learns that everything he believed about high school Rory was wrong. And that gives him the push he needs to finally do something about the pesky attraction he feels for her.
I really liked both of these characters and wish this had been more than a novella. Jill Shalvis did a good job packing a full story into basically one night and giving Max and Rory their romantic journey to a happy ending.
I give One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis 4 stars!