Hunk for the Holidays by Katie Lane
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Since her father’s heart attack, Cassie McPherson has been working harder than ever for her family’s construction business. Being a workaholic, she doesn’t exactly have time to scare up a date for her family’s holiday party. Rather than showing up to the party alone and being subjected to countless matchmaking attempts, Cassie hires an escort. But James isn’t like any escort Cassie’s hired before. James is charming, sexy, and puts Cassie’s libido into overdrive. There’s just one problem…
James isn’t an escort — he’s her family’s biggest competitor! A case of mistaken identity lands him as Cassie’s date for an evening, but by the time he falls into bed with the raven-haired beauty, James is already tumbling headlong into love. James knows he needs to tell Cassie who he really is, but will he be able to convince her to give their burgeoning relationship a chance once she learns the truth?
Sex, secrets, and holiday cheer are at the heart of Hunk for the Holidays. Author Katie Lane delivers a fast-paced, sprightly romance that’s ideal for anyone looking for a sensual, fun Christmastime read.
James is a hardworking contractor who is pretty much the perfect hero. Yes, he doesn’t tell Cassie the truth immediately upon figuring out she’s mistaken him for an escort, but to be fair to him, she doesn’t seem to want to listen when he does try to explain. James is handsome, patient, and a bit lonely, making it easy for me to want him to find love. Cassie, in turn, is a bit harder to root for. I wanted to adore her. In the beginning of Hunk for the Holidays, Cassie’s presented as a smart, capable woman who’s not ashamed of being a tomboy, and I liked her for it. But as the story goes on, she (1) has no interest in listening to James when he’s trying to tell her important information and (2) has so many “TSTL” moments (example: dragging a half-dead tree across luminarias [candles in paper bags] and then acting surprised when the tree catches on fire) I grew irritated with her. Cassie’s increasingly frustrating behavior and the multiple big misunderstandings in Hunk for the Holidays dragged down what otherwise would have been an utterly delightful romance.
I can’t write about Hunk for the Holidays without talking about Cassie’s family. Where Ms. Lane truly made me smile was in scenes involving the McPherson clan. Cassie’s brothers all charmed me in their own way and her aunt Wheezie was a pip. The McPherson family brings humor and warmth to Hunk for the Holidays, keeping me invested in the story when I might have otherwise put the book down. Out of all the McPhersons, I was most enraptured with Rory. Ms. Lane has a subplot involving Rory and the woman he’s loved for years, Cassie’s best friend, Amy. Rory and Amy’s romance just might be my favorite plotline of Hunk for the Holidays; it’s simple, heartwarming, and truly lovely.
Hunk for the Holidays has some ups and downs, but overall it's an entertaining story. I enjoyed the McPhersons enough that I’m hoping Ms. Lane has plans to write a sequel to Hunk for the Holidays, for Cassie’s two unmarried brothers have all the makings of excellent heroes.