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Book one in The Holloway Series
Carrie Anders officially broke up with Austin Thomas when she accepted a dream job in the city. Unofficially, she misses him and is tempted to sneak back to her West Virginia hometown to see him. That's why this year, she's not going home for the holidays. Her heart can't take any more mornings-after where nothing has changed?and Austin has made it clear he's not interested in relocating.
Austin's been waiting ...
Book one in The Holloway Series
Carrie Anders officially broke up with Austin Thomas when she accepted a dream job in the city. Unofficially, she misses him and is tempted to sneak back to her West Virginia hometown to see him. That's why this year, she's not going home for the holidays. Her heart can't take any more mornings-after where nothing has changed—and Austin has made it clear he's not interested in relocating.
Austin's been waiting for Carrie to realize she can't live without him. But when he hears she's not coming home for Christmas, he decides to take action. If Carrie won't come to the country, he's going to bring a piece of the country to Carrie—in the form of a Christmas tree lot just minutes from her apartment. He's certain daily meetings will entice her to come home with him, this time for good.
Their attraction is as hot as ever, but with such contrary Christmas wishes, can either of them get what they really want this year?
Carrie Anders loved Christmas. The lights, the cookies, the holiday spirit, the cookies, the carols...the cookies. She'd spent every holiday of the last twenty-six years in Holloway, West Virginia, the small town a few miles from the Maryland border where she grew up and her parents and brother still lived. She planned on breaking her streak by staying in Washington, D.C., this year.
No big family dinner. No week off. Just one day at home in her tiny apartment before heading back to her shift at the museum. Though she loved the job, the idea of working over the holidays made her grumpy to the point of sneering. But keeping busy meant keeping her mind off the man she missed more each day instead of less.
That whole absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder thing? Yeah, that wasn't her experience. Not if the constant dull ache in her chest was an indication. After months away from home, and him, she still felt the pull. She'd read all about eternal longing in books and thought it sounded dramatic. Now she lived it.
She'd be in a meeting or even brushing her teeth and her mind would wander back to the man who'd grabbed her heart when he was still a long-haired boy driving a muscle car. Good thing her mom had shipped two tins of sugar cookies for early holiday taste testing. They took her mind off everything else...for a second or two. Only broken edges remained, but Carrie kept eating. She may even have licked her finger then crunched it against the crumbs for a snack.
Rather than mope in a sea of cookie dust and dwell on that whole broken-heart thing, she buttoned her peacoat and went downstairs for some fresh Sunday air. Standing in the lobby of her apartment building, she stared at the empty lot across the street. Make that the formerly empty lot.
The corner at the end of the Whitehurst Freeway that separated the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C., from its wealthy neighbor Georgetown now housed what looked like a misplaced forest. Hundreds of soon-to-be Christmas trees lined the small strip of grass usually reserved for resident dog walking. Something about the combination of dog poo and Christmas trees fit with her feelings about the holiday this year.
A string of white lights clipped to beams outlined the space in a square. A building about the size of a shed sat at the end closest to the street. As she watched, a man grabbed the trees from the stacks one-by-one and staked them upright.
Despite the chill and last night's dusting of snow, he wore faded blue jeans and a half-tucked-in flannel shirt. His only nod to the weather was the combination of work boots and gloves, and those likely had more to do with the way he was throwing six-foot trees around than the icy air.
It was the first week of December. She'd been counting down the days until the lot opened because, by God, she'd have a tree even if she had to move her couch into the hallway to fit the tree in her five-hundred square foot apartment.
But it looked like she'd have to wait a few more hours until the lot was up and running. Maybe she'd grab a coffee and...
Her gaze went back to the guy and an unexpected heat rolled through her. Broad shoulders and a waist trim enough to make the hem of his shirt hang away from his body. The rip in his decade-old jeans right under his left butt cheek. The slight flap to the pocket where the thread lost its battle with time.
Oh, yeah. She knew that ass. Knew all of him, actually. Brown hair that brushed against his eyebrows, bright blue eyes and a stubborn streak to rival the obstinance of two eighty-year-old coal miners engaged in a political argument.
Posted December 5, 2011
This is a really powerful story for a novella. There is no doubt in this book that Austin and Carrie love each other, but Carrie also has big dreams for her career and she doesn't want to sacrifice that for her love for Austin. She watched her mom become embittered and angry because she gave up her career for her family. She loves Austin enough that she doesn't want that for either of them. The problem...she does still love him and denying him is killing her.
See, it's powerful. So much emotion in this book. Both for Carrie and Austin who are dealing with huge amounts of heartache. It all takes place on a Christmas tree lot which adds a certain air of Christmas magic to the book which I loved. I really liked the way that this novella was laid out. Both of these people have scars because of what happened with their mothers and that definitely affects their response to each other. It's a beautiful love story.
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Posted January 13, 2012
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Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim
IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU is a great introduction to HelenKay’s Holloway Series. The series centers around the men of Thomas Nurseries, in Holloway, Virginia. This story focuses on Carrie Anders and Austin Thomas.
Carrie and Austin were childhood sweethearts. After several attempts of breaking up to only end up getting back together again, Carrie Anders has decided to pack up and leave Holloway for her dream job of working at a museum in Washington D.C. . After going through some tough times with Carrie gone, Austin realizes that Carrie is the ONE for him and he will do whatever is necessary in order to make her realize that.
So, what better way to win back the love of your life than to follow her around? Austin convinces his older brother, Spence to pack up some Christmas trees from their nursery and open a Christmas tree lot across the street from Carrie’s apartment. He figures that if she sees him everyday, she will come to her senses and come back to him and Holloway, where she belongs.
Things don’t go according to Austin’s plans, naturally. He and Carrie have issues they each need to resolve and must make some compromises if their relationship is going to have a chance to work.
Source: Personal Purchase
Posted May 14, 2012
Posted April 30, 2012
Posted January 24, 2012
Posted January 20, 2012
This is the first book of Helenkay Dimon's that I read. Enjoyed the book very much and looking forward to more of her books. Kept you wanting to keep read to see if he was able to win her over.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2012
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Posted January 5, 2012
I’ll admit, I could have skipped this tale. It’s about a relationship that has been on hiatus for roughly 6 months. This is after dating for years: think high school, college, and beyond. Carrie has moved to D.C. because Austin won’t compromise. Austin can’t understand why Carrie would like to have her own hopes and dreams fulfilled working in a prestigious museum rather than a small tourist trap in West Virginia. Silly man, the answer is Duh. What girl doesn’t want all her dreams to come true…even those that don’t include a man.
What bothered me was that in the end, I don’t think Austin got it. He openly hated Carrie’s job and spent the majority of the novella waiting for her to come to her senses and come home. While the do eventually reconcile and “compromise” it’s not in any way I see working in the long run. I wondered if maybe Carrie should have given the big city boys a chance…because Austin’s not giving up anything for her dream.
Posted December 31, 2011
Posted December 27, 2011
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Posted December 22, 2011