WHEN DARIUS BRAVO WANTS SOMETHING…
…he usually gets it. And the powerhouse CEO has wanted Ava Malloy since he was a Justice Creek High senior. Darius is already adored by one Malloy: Ava's spirited daughter. Helping Sylvie and her local Blueberry troop build dollhouses for needy kids is a worthy cause that's bringing him closer to the widowed single mom. Imagine his surprise when the usually unapproachable Ava starts flirting and making her romantic intentions crystal clear!
With one condition.
A holiday fling with the man Ava has always found irresistibly attractive is a thrilling way to ring in the New Year. She can't promise Darius the future—one devastating heartbreak in a lifetime is enough. But Ava underestimates his staying power. And what about her own secret heart's desire? A Bravo under the mistletoe and in her arms forever!
This story got to my heart with the chance Ava finally dared to take with Darius and love, with the absolutely adorable connection Darius and Sylvie had, and with the help of Darius gave to the Blueberries. Oh, he is a swoon worthy hero, indeed.
If you follow my reviews you know I am a fan of Christmas stories, especially if there's a message in them. Ava's journey from her childhood battles to the hard times with the family, to not daring to take a chance with Darius when they were in high school, and then later losing her husband, it was so much tragedy to put on one woman's shoulders. But she carried it with tremendous courage and style, never giving up for a minute. And yes, that came off as little stiff and unflexible, maybe even controlling at times, but with good reason when looking at her past.
Darius didn't let all his charm get to him, he was generous, kind, caring man, making time to the kids in the community, and being adored by them was a testimony to his character no matter what anyone else said.
Taking that one step over from a fun fling, and getting the feelings involved, letting the emotions to grow root was where the wall came up with Ava. The battle she had was palpable, the fears tangible and real. Sylvie's reaction to Ava's battle was heartbreaking, her love for Darius so fierce and loyal. There was just enough drama and angst to make the point, yet not to wallow in it. The story acknowledges the difficulties some might face and respects the roadblocks during the journey of life, yet encourages to be brave and take the chances in life, love, and living to the fullest whenever you get the chance.
Lots of extended families, the joy of children at the Christmas time, living, loving, losing loved ones, facing the life head... this was truly a story that put a smile on my face and got my emotions involved, made me want to decorate my Christmas tree, and celebrate the jubilant yuletide with loved ones
~ Four Spoon with a teaspoon on the side
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