Lane Freeman supposed there were worse places to be dumped than a place named Christmas Valley. After being ejected from the foster care system, he spent the past five years hitchhiking and moving around. But six months of a steady job at Tal’s Bar and Grill, an apartment, and even a three-legged cat have him almost ready to risk putting down a few roots when Tal’s brother comes home for the holidays.
Dallas firefighter Trey Jenkins reluctantly accepts that Lane isn’t like the other drifters who’ve come through his brother’s place. A fragile attraction begins to bloom between them in spite of the many reasons they each have to fight it. Trey wants to give Lane a family, but experience has taught Lane to depend on no one but himself. Will winter love burn hot in the town called Christmas Valley or will Lane return to his wandering ways?
I really enjoyed this one, J R Loveless is a new author to me and I wasn’t disappointed.
Lane is extremely shy, almost painfully so. His parents died when he was 15 and he bounced around from foster home to foster home until he was 18. Then he roamed from place to place never allowing anyone close, until he lands in Christmas Valley.
Lane starts working at a restaurant as a bus boy and slowly the owner, Tal earns his trust. Then Lane finds a cat and before you know it, he’s put down some roots. He’s still extremely quiet and uncomfortable around strangers, but he’s taking care of himself.
Then Lane meets Trey, Tal’s brother who can only be described as rude. Trey is so used to Tal being taken in by a sad story and then being hurt when someone steals from him that he assumes Lane is doing the same thing. Without giving Lane a chance, Trey warns him about hurting Tal. Lane is so upset by the confrontation that he begins planning his escape from Christmas Valley and Trey.
Tal finally corners Trey and explains just how bad a life Lane had before coming to Christmas Valley. The story has Trey looking at Lane in a new light and he knows he has to do everything he can to repair the tenuous relationship he has with the skittish man.
As the two work together in the restaurant, Lane becomes more comfortable in Trey’s presence. A huge snowstorm leaves Lane and Trey snowed in together and Lane realizes that he’s fighting a losing battle trying to keep him feelings for Trey at bay. Trey only has until the snow melts to prove to Lane that he’s worth the gamble.
Great holiday read. I love stories with strong characters that don’t realize how strong they are. Lane is as strong as they come, but he didn’t realize it about himself. Trey may be physically stronger, but Lane is an emotional fortress.
If ever there was someone that deserved a happily ever after its Lane. I. So glad he got it.
J R Loveless is a new author to me, but I am definitely going to read a few more. Very enjoyable story, great scenery and characters.
4 pieces of eye candy