Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan


Title: Sleigh Bells in the Snow (O'Neil Brothers #1)
Author: Sarah Morgan
Date of publication: 29 Oct 2013
Genre: Romance / Holidays

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads blurb

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year. 

Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus. 

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

My Review

If your are looking for the perfect Christmas romance read, look no further, this is the right book for you. I haven't read any holiday romances before but after reading lowing praise for this one on Dear Author and Smexy Books, I decided to try it. And it was so worth it. I really enjoyed this feel-good heart-warming fantasy romance of gorgeous characters celebrating the true magic of Christmas.

The story is rather typical - PR city girl who hates Christmas has to work with a nature-loving guy who desperately tries to save his family-run ski resort. The setting is nothing new but the execution is really good and it makes it an enjoyable holiday read. It is fun and heart-warming, setting the right Christmas mood of family togetherness filled with shared love and the unavoidable bickering.

The small town romance is shaping as a favourite of mine and this worked really well for me. I liked all the characters - the main and supporting ones - they fitted well together creating an engaging romantic story.

The heroine, Kayla, was a wonderfully complex character and she was the focus of the story.  I was worried how authentically her hatred of Christmas could be justified but her family history provided a viable explanation of her character and actions as a whole. At the beginning of the book she was your typical workaholic city girl who avoided personal relationship. Her stay at Snow Crystal and her interactions with the O'Neils family gradually brought out another side of her character - she discovered her love of the outdoor and appreciation of nature, she found herself in immersed in this crazy family life full of warmth and care for one another and she slowly embraced it, overcoming her fears and letting people close and ultimately letting herself love and be loved.

Jackson was the perfect guy - strong and sexy, smart and determined, yet gentle and understanding, supportive and honest. I admit I have a weakness of nature-loving hunks, who enjoy life outdoors. His love for his family and his care and respect for his friends and employees just made him even more attractive.

The love story developed at the traditional Christmas backgrounds - cooking, baking and decorating. I loved how the winter sports and entertainment offered in ski resort like skiing and skating, going on dog-sleighs and snowmobiles, were used to highlight the quickly-developing relationship between Kayla and Jackson.

The secondary characters, the O'Neils' family and friends were essential to the story. Each of them was unique and had a background story of his/her own. Jackson's brothers, Tyler and Sean will be getting their told in separate books some time next year and I can't wait to read them as well.

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