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4 Stars / Harlequin / Mills & Boon / Review

Christmas with the Marine by Candace Havens

Subject: Major Ben Hawthorne

Mission: To make one sexy civvy’s Christmas wish come true


Christmas is almost here, and guys are the last thing on personal shopper Ainsley Garrett’s list. But her icy resolution melts when she sees an incredibly hot Marine shopping for toys. A man in uniform with a hot bod and a heart of gold? Maybe a gal can believe in Santa after all…

Major Ben Hawthorne has his career to think about, but when it comes to Ainsley, he’s willing to break his own rules, at least for one night—provided they can get this insanely wicked attraction out of their systems. Only, once isn’t enough. Now Ainsley’s checking her list twice…before she falls for a Marine who’s naughty and nice

Title:Christmas with the Marine
Author:Candace Havens
Series:Blaze (Uniformly Hot)
Pages:224
Category / Genre(s):Harlequin / Mills & Boon
Trope(s):Christmas Romance
Military / Marine / Seal
Temporary Relationship
Point of View:
Location:US
HEA:✔️
Release Date:18th October, 2016
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Take him home for Christmas

Who doesn’t love a man in uniform? Especially at Christmas. That’s just what Ainsley gets in this story set at Christmas – a sort of opposites attract tale.

Ben is a big softie Marine from a poor background while Ainsley is a successful business woman from one of the richest families in America. But they mesh well together and I liked their chemistry, banter and interactions with each other. Both were likeable characters and Ainsley was written especially well since sometimes rich heroines have to work extra hard for me to like them. Jealousy, you ken!

Fun supporting characters, too. I suspect that some of the other Marines have either had their stories told previously or will do in the future. A word of warning about the “British” best friend – generally alright but there are a couple of instances of the author taking a “British” word and dropping it randomly into a sentence. A bit cringe if I’m honest.

“…a good story with good characters in a Christmas setting.”

The sex scenes were enjoyable, too. Not too many to overwhelm the story and warm rather than blazing hot. They bordered on sweet rather than down-and-dirty sexy. Again – nothing wrong with that.

While this was a pleasant read – good characters, interesting situations and well written – it didn’t quite dazzle me or keep me hooked so that I couldn’t bear to stop reading. It was quite clear from the outset what the source of conflict was going to be so you’re just really waiting for when it was going to happen rather than wondering what might happen. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it just gives a story that’s a little more sedate. Again, warm but not blazing hot.

With that said, this is still a good story with good characters in a Christmas setting. I would recommend it to fans of Blaze, Christmas and the Uniformly Hot! mini-series. 4 stars.

Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

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