The 12 Dares of Christmas

Leigh W. Stuart. City Owl, $12.99 trade paper (225p) ISBN 978-1-944728-10-6
Stuart’s debut, a cheerful, lighthearted romp set in small-town Sycamore Cove, Va., during the Christmas holidays, starts with an entertaining mix-up. When Gabe Nicholson, who’s angling for a job working for Virginia’s very conservative governor, agreed to help Cooper Hall’s sister with a charity event, he wasn’t aware she needed someone to jump out of a cake and do a striptease for a local knitting society. Lauren Hall has Gabe out of his clothes and slicked down with massage oil before he fully understands what’s going on, and then he can’t resist her pleading eyes and takes the gig. The night is such a success that they continue to work together and eventually give in to their attraction to each other, keeping the affair a secret from overprotective Cooper, who’s conveniently invited them both to stay with him over the holidays. Stuart cleverly mixes in a seductive game of alternating dares that morphs into more than just a holiday hookup, putting their future plans at war with their desires. Trust is at the heart of this joyous tale. The ending nicely wraps up the characters’ development and leaves readers wishing for a sequel. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next