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Unwrapping the Best Man by Rachael Stewart

Unwrapping the Best Man by Rachael Stewart

On the first night of Christmas, her sexy crush finally gave to her—an unbelievably hot night! Now she’s ready for nights two, three and four…

I’ve lusted after brawny, gorgeously rough Jackson Black for six lust-fueled, unrequited years. But Jackson has rules, and the big one is “no getting involved with clients” of his elite London sex club. Including me. But our best friends are getting married, and for one deliciously hot night, the maid of honor and best man agree…what happens in the Scottish Highlands, stays in the Scottish Highlands.

It was everything I wanted and more…until the complete jerk disappears during the night.

Now it’s Christmas, and I have a plan to prove to Jackson Black just how much I don’t care, that he doesn’t turn me on like a Christmas tree. Only Operation: Naughty Elf is backfiring big-time. That aching need for his touch is stronger than ever. It’s painfully clear that I want more than just a fling from the untouchable Jackson Black.

I have one chance to unwrap the best man. But is this sexy, guarded grinch about to steal my heart…or break it?

Title:Unwrapping the Best Man
Author:Rachael Stewart
Series:Dare
Pages:168
Category / Genre(s):Harlequin / Mills & Boon
Trope(s):Christmas Romance
One Night Stand
Point of View:
Location:Scottish Highlands & London, UK
HEA:✔️
Release Date:26th November, 2020
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Love and Christmas shenanigans

I have read and enjoyed Rachael Stewart’s stories before but not, as it happens, the book that precedes this one, Getting Dirty. With that said, this one stands completely alone and follows a completely different couple to the first book so no need to have read that one first. But, like me, you’re going to want to read it after!

In fact, this story takes place during the wedding of the couple from Getting Dirty – Ash and Coco. Our couple for this story – Caitlin and Jackson – are the best man and maid of honour at that wedding. And they’re also harbouring a not so secret crush on each other. Well, “crush” is probably too tame a word for what our pair feel.

Too much drink, a festive atmosphere and the freedom of wearing a kilt, lead to an explosion of pent up lust in the Highlands. I’m not sure if it’s because these characters were introduced in a previous novel – or just the style of the tale – but I liked the way we get right into the story and right into the action. With that said, the story, for me, really hit high gear once we’re back from in London and the fallout from the weekend begins.

After waiting for years to have a chance with Jackson, Cait is at first delighted by their encounter and then hurt by his behaviour afterwards. Jackson is appalled by the whole incident. Him losing control, his behaviour afterwards and the fact that he can’t stop wanting Cait. I half expected Jackson to be your usual “I’m not good enough for her”, character who was grumpy and emotionally cold. While he did exhibit grumpiness and coldness, he also had a lot of layers – which made me happy. He was good natured, kind, liked a laugh – and genuinely liked to be around Cait. Although I didn’t agree with his perception of the circumstances (and we’re not supposed to, I assume!), I very much liked him as a character.

“I used to complain that Dare novels were a little bit tepid compared to its predecessor, Blaze. This book blew that complaint clear out the water.”

Cait was also a good character. She was youthful and independent – but not in a negative way. She was carefree and sometimes acted first and thought afterwards. Yet she always came across as real and highly relatable, owning her mistakes when she needed to. Although personally, I didn’t think the elf costume was a bad move. Neither did Jackson, it would seem!

I really felt a connection between our pair and the chemistry was electric. But as I mentioned, they also had a good friendship which I sometimes think is lacking in some stories. Of course I want our couple to lust after each other – but I also want them to like each other. Cait and Jackson fit that bill.

I used to complain that Dare novels were a little bit tepid compared to its predecessor, Blaze. This book blew that complaint clear out the water. Our first sex scene is an anal scene which is definitely a first for me in a Mills & Boon novel. It’s not my thing but there’s no shame here…and it was quite subtly done in any case. To be fair, I actually flicked back, trying to figure out if I was reading too much into things. Then I realised I was acting like my granny, scanning books to find the sex scenes so I could be scandalised – so I moved on! Jackson is the owner of a sex club in London yet we see little to nothing of this world, or at least the acts that presumably transpire in it – instead focussing more on the relationship between Cait and Jackson. Which is definitely not a complaint, by the way.

This was an enjoyable and fun story that had nice Christmassy touch to it. Rachael Stewart has a fantastic writing style that’s friendly and easy to read, with a wit and humour that I really relate to. The Dare tagline is ‘take control, feel the rush and explore fantasies’ – and for me, this book hit that descriptor and then some. Recommended.

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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