The Christmas Cottage / Ever After

The Christmas Cottage / Ever After

4.0 9
by Samantha Chase
     
 

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An exciting reissue of both books in the beloved Christmas Cottage series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase, just in time for the holidays .

Legend has it that any couple who spends the night in the Christmas Cottage shall have love everlasting...

THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE
Lacey Quinn does

Overview

An exciting reissue of both books in the beloved Christmas Cottage series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase, just in time for the holidays .

Legend has it that any couple who spends the night in the Christmas Cottage shall have love everlasting...

THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE
Lacey Quinn does not believe in happily-ever-after or the legend of the Christmas Cottage. But her best friend does, and she's the one getting married. It's Lacey's job to make sure everything at the cottage is perfect for the newlyweds. Instead, she finds herself snowed in with the best man, and she begins to wonder if fairy tales really can come true.

EVER AFTER
Ava Callahan wants desperately to believe in love everlasting. But when Brian McCabe walks back into her life and upsets her carefully organized world, her commitment to perfection makes it hard to accept the love that's right in front of her. Will it take a night in the Christmas Cottage for Ava and Brian to find their happy ending?

What readers are saying:
"Delightful Christmas romance with a twist ending."
"Loved the layered plot."
"Sweet holiday romance...love, love love!"
"An enchanting tale."
"A five star story!"
"Instant connection with the characters."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Altogether, this is a lovely duology about finding love. Be prepared for a stubborn heroine who believes in fairy tales. Fortunately, common sense prevails, leading to a delightful reconciliation. 4 Stars Review." - RT Book Reviews

"The ending is delightfully satisfying with at least one HEA and a Christmas to remember. I really enjoyed this story very much and am pleased it is being re-released for those romance readers who may have missed it the first time around.
" - USA Today Happily Ever After

"Who doesn't like a double dose of HEA? With The Christmas Cottage / Ever After by Samantha Chase you get two great stories and two amazing HEA all rolled up into one amazing book." - Harlequin Junkie

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492622598
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
10/06/2015
Series:
The Christmas Cottage
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
391,663
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Christmas Cottage/Ever After


By Samantha Chase

Sourcebooks, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Samantha Chase
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4926-2260-4



CHAPTER 1

"... And any couple that spends the night in the Christmas Cottage shall have love everlasting."

Lacey Quinn stifled a groan as she listened to her best friend and bride-to-be retell her family's fairy tale of a house that was the key to a successful and happy marriage. Lacey had been hearing the story her entire life; the Quinns and the Callahans had been friends long before Lacey and Ava were born. The story wasn't anything new. What was new was that Ava was the one getting married in seven short weeks and would get to experience the fairy tale for herself.

If Lacey didn't strangle her first.

"Yes, yes, love everlasting, blah, blah, blah." Lacey sighed as she reached for the last Chinese dumpling. "Honestly, don't you ever get tired of saying it?"

"Never," Ava replied adamantly. Standing, Ava took the clip out of her long blond hair and shook it out as she went to stand in front of the full-length mirror by her front door. "I'm thinking of wearing my hair up." Doing a quick twist, she turned and faced Lacey. "What do you think?"

A quick gulp of wine fortified Lacey for the conversation they'd had at least a dozen times before. "You know your hair looks fabulous in an up-sweep. Plus, with the tiara you picked out, it will look stunning. Positively princess-like," she added just to stroke Ava's bridal ego.

"Of course, if I wear it long and loose, I can have some fabulous curls done. Mason loves it when my hair is down."

There wasn't enough wine in the universe to make Lacey want to continue this conversation. "Then you should wear it down," she said as she stood and took the now-empty wine bottle to the kitchen and prepared to make an exit and head home.

"Well, which is it, Lacey? Up or down?" Lacey didn't have to see her friend to know Ava was pouting; it was there in the tone of her voice. Taking her time to rinse her glass and place it on the drain board, she silently counted to ten before heading back into the living room.

"You will look beautiful no matter how you wear your hair. Mason is going to be the luckiest man in the world, and it won't matter one bit about your hair. We'll see how you feel on your wedding day." There, that sounded comforting and diplomatic, didn't it?

"I know you're right," Ava said, sighing with relief as she released her hair and turned to face Lacey. "Before you go, there's one last bit of the wedding details I need to talk to you about."

So close, Lacey thought to herself as she looked longingly at the door. What more could there possibly be to discuss? The weddings in the Callahan family were traditional; no one strayed from the formula. They owned a massive ranch outside Asheville, North Carolina, where the family spent every Christmas. Lacey loved the old ranch and had spent many a Christmas there herself. The weddings were almost always done on Christmas Eve with the entire family in attendance. Then, the beaming bride and groom would head to the guest cottage, tucked a discreet distance farther up the mountain, for their wedding night.

The Callahans had been having wedding celebrations like this since the Depression. From the pictures Lacey'd seen, the cottage was a cross between a gingerbread house and a house you'd see on Christmas cards. Charming and inviting — those were the words that always came to mind when the pictures were brought out. But even charming old houses need to be renovated from time to time.

Ava had been distraught over the thought of the cottage being "wrecked" before it was her turn to stay in it. Luckily, most of the work seemed to have to do with bringing the wiring and plumbing up to date and some minor cosmetic changes. Everyone had assured Ava that none of the cottage's charm or "magic" had been tampered with.

Noticing that Ava was still standing there looking anxious, Lacey realized she'd let her mind wander for a moment. What were they talking about again? Oh yes, more wedding details.

Oh joy.

For the life of her, Lacey couldn't imagine what else in the world there was to cover. The wedding ceremony would be held in the Callahan home, the caterer had been booked, their dresses had been ordered, and all of the fittings were done. Invitations had been sent and all of the RSVPs had been received. Flowers had been ordered, bouquets designed, and the groom and his groomsmen had been taken care of as well. As far as Lacey could tell, all that was left was for the darn day to finally get here so she could get some peace.

"Right, details," Lacey said. "What's up?"

"Well, there is this one last little tradition that needs to be taken care of," Ava began, practically bouncing on the balls of her feet.

"Okay, shoot. What is it?"

"As my maid of honor, it is up to you and Mason's best man to take care of getting the cottage ready for us."

That was it? Score! Easy-peasy. "No problem," she responded, anxious to get home. "I'm sure we'll have time to slip out during the reception and light some candles, sprinkle some rose petals, and whatnot. No worries, Ava, I'm on it!"

"No!" Ava cried, despair written all over her face. "This is no ordinary honeymoon suite, Lace. You have to get the cottage ready for us, and not just with that silly, clichéd romantic stuff."

Of course not. Why had Lacey even thought for one second that this was going to be easy? "Okay then, what is it exactly that I'm supposed to do?"

With that, Ava grabbed both of Lacey's hands and dragged her back over to the couch. "Well, I have a bunch of ideas."

Of course she does. Before Lacey even had the opportunity to ask what they were, Ava reached down next to the sofa and pulled out a large three-ring binder and placed it in Lacey's lap with a big grin.

"All of this is about the cottage?"

"Yes."

What have I gotten myself into? "Am I re-siding the cottage? Putting on a new roof? I mean, look at the size of this binder, Ava!"

"I know it looks big, but if you would just open it, you'll see what I want to do."

Not trusting a single word Ava just said, Lacey sat back and opened the binder and hoped that her jaw hitting the floor was not noticeable. Re-siding the house and putting on a new roof would have been easier than what was detailed in this mammoth book.

There were notes, descriptions, pictures, drawings ... on and on it went for seventeen divided sections. "Seventeen sections, Ava? The cottage isn't all that big, how in the world do you expect to have all of this done?"

"You're focusing far too much on the number of pages in the book and not enough on what's on them." Taking the binder from Lacey, Ava began to describe the "perfect" setting for her wedding night.

"First of all, there needs to be the right lighting. I want to make sure the lighting is soft, and yes, I know I said it was clichéd, but I do want candles. Lots and lots of white candles. There's a fireplace as well, so there will need to be enough wood stocked to keep the fire burning all night."

"Didn't they just update ..."

"Yes, yes, they did, but a roaring fire would be so much more romantic." She sighed. "I'll want flowers — poinsettias — and greens, the kind that are particularly associated with Christmas — holly and mistletoe," she began, scanning the flower section of the binder. "There's a Christmas cactus that I would love to have here, and there's even a Christmas rose, or the snow rose I'm sure a florist can help you find."

"You're only going to be there for one or two nights, Ava. Don't you think ...?"

"I know we'll have eaten at my parents' place, but food will need to be stocked. Champagne, chocolates, strawberries, whipped cream — the real stuff, not the stuff in the tub — and then maybe some 'normal' stuff like a fruit and cheese platter, some oysters on the half shell, an assortment of cookies, and then something for breakfast." More flipping through the binder quickly followed.

"Why don't I have a chef hang out on the front porch just waiting to take your order?" Lacey said dryly.

Ava shot her a sharp glance. "A girl only gets married once," she said emphatically before adding, "Hopefully." At Lacey's arched brow, Ava quickly rambled on. "There is nothing wrong with wanting my wedding night to be perfect. It has to be perfect, Lacey!" she cried as she reached over and grabbed her friend's hand.

"What has gotten into you?" Lacey asked cautiously. "I have known you my whole life, and you have never been like this. I understand that it's your wedding, but honestly, you're about to enter the bridezilla zone and it's starting to worry me."

Lacey had been friends with Ava her whole life, and she knew something wasn't right. Looking at Ava now, Lacey was concerned that something was clearly wrong. "What's going on, Ava? Are you having second thoughts?"

Gently closing the binder, Ava placed it on the coffee table and turned to face Lacey, her big blue eyes filling with tears. "Not exactly. It's just that, as the time gets closer and Mason and I start talking about the future, well, we're just not ... you know, on the same page on some things."

"Like what?"

"Well, he wants to have kids right away. He's hoping for me to get pregnant on our honeymoon! I want kids, Lace, you know I do, but I just don't want them right away. I want to settle into being married and have the time to adjust to living together before we have kids. Is that so wrong?"

"No, no, sweetie, of course it's not. What did Mason say when you told him?"

Ava pulled her hands away and looked at them as she clasped them in her lap. "I kind of mentioned it and he said I was just nervous and it was all going to be okay."

"That's it? That's all he said? So basically he thinks the issue is settled, but it's not?"

Ava nodded.

"You have to tell him the truth. This isn't a disagreement over something trivial, this is a major life-changing situation."

"Don't you think I know that? But that's why it's so important that everything at the cottage be perfect. If it is, then everything's going to be okay."

"I know you drank just as much wine as I did and I have to tell you that you are making no sense whatsoever. How is the way the cottage is decorated going to fix the fact that Mason wants to have a baby right away and you don't?"

"Don't you see? Sheesh, you've been complaining about me rambling on and on about the legend of the cottage and yet you still don't get it? Any couple who spends the night in the cottage ..."

"... will have love everlasting. Um, yeah, got it. I hear it in my sleep. That still doesn't answer my question."

Ava gave a long-suffering sigh before looking at Lacey as if she were a child. "Once we spend the night in the most perfect cottage ever, we'll be guaranteed to have love everlasting. We'll agree on the right time to have a baby ... and some other things ..."

The last few words were added in a mumble, but Lacey caught them just the same. "You mean there's more? What else are you not in agreement about?"

"Well, the baby is the main issue, but then there's my job."

"What about it?"

"Mason thinks it's a ridiculous job and that maybe I should quit and focus on helping him build his business."

"But you love working at the bookstore! Plus you get a discount on your tuition! How else are you supposed to finish school?"

Ava stared at her hopelessly.

Now Lacey was mad. "So let me get this straight. Mason wants you to quit school, quit your job, and help him with his business until you have a baby."

Ava merely nodded.

"That's ridiculous! Why is this all just coming up now?"

"To be honest, we moved up the wedding because I wanted the whole Christmas Cottage thing. Our original plan had been to wait until late summer or next fall, but the thought of finally having my turn at the cottage was too tempting to miss!"

"Then wait until next Christmas and take this next year to get to know one another better and iron out all of these issues."

"Mason doesn't want to wait. He's thirty-two, and apparently his biological clock is ticking. His law firm is starting to grow, and he feels that, at this point in his life, he needs to be married and having children to cement his image."

"You're joking, right?"

Ava didn't answer. Reaching over, she picked up the binder and handed it to Lacey. "Please, Lace. I really need your help with this. I know it's a little hard for you to understand the fairy tale, but I've seen it happen for generations and now it's my turn. I know that if Mason and I stay there, all of this other stuff is going to work out. It has to!"

"You're putting an awful lot of hope in a fairy tale, Ava."

"I know, but you know I've always been a dreamer. I believe in happily ever after. I wish you did."

"I haven't had a whole lot of reason to believe in it."

It sounded more dramatic than the reality, but Lacey was just more practical than Ava. Always had been. Where love was concerned, Ava led with her heart. Lacey lost count of all the great loves of Ava's life and had initially thought Mason was just one in a line of many. Something about him stuck, however, and it left Lacey scratching her head because the two were as opposite as could be. Sure, she knew the old adage "opposites attract," but this was more than opposites; it was like Mason didn't even know Ava, and that was a shame because Ava would give him the world and he wouldn't appreciate it.

"You have plenty of reasons to believe in it," Ava interrupted her thoughts. "Your parents have been married for over thirty years! Your grandparents have been married for fifty-five years! I know your family well enough to know they are not simply tolerating one another — they are still in love. That, my friend, is happily ever after."

"Oh please! Do you hear yourself? My parents fight plenty. They've struggled and yelled and screamed, and my grandparents are no different. It's not a matter of happily ever after. After a while, you settle into something comfortable and that's your life."

"You make me sad."

Lacey glared at her. "I'm not sad, Ava. I'm practical. There's a difference."

"Not really."

"Look, can we just agree to disagree and move on?" She took the blasted binder from Ava's hands and began to scan through it again. It all seemed ridiculous. "I can follow every instruction, re-create every diagram in this book, Ava, but until you and Mason talk, nothing is going to change. A magical cottage in the woods of North Carolina is not suddenly going to make Mason not want kids right away or make you be okay with quitting school. It's not possible!"

"Well, I think it is! I have to believe it!" Ava fell to the couch sobbing, and Lacey felt like crap for pushing her. She eased down beside her and pulled her into an embrace.

"Why can't you just believe?"

"I want to believe, for your sake, but I also don't want you to settle for someone who doesn't get how amazing you are," Lacey said. "I don't want you to make a mistake."

Ava straightened. "You think marrying Mason is a mistake?"

Open mouth, insert foot. Lacey thought for a moment and chose her words very carefully. "I wouldn't say that. I just think you need to be more honest with him about how you feel. If he loves you, then he will see that this relationship is not only about him and his feelings."

Ava seemed to consider the words. "I'm sure it's going to all be okay. The cottage has never let anyone down. It has a one hundred percent success rate!" Straightening, she wiped her stray tears and once again looked at her friend. "You mean the world to me, Lace. I wish you would find someone amazing who loves you and treats you like a princess, too. I don't understand why you don't date more! You're beautiful! How could men not be asking you out?"

"They do." Just not the one I want. "But this isn't about me, this is about your cottage and getting it ready. I have a little more than a month to plan and prepare." She gave another hesitant glance at the giant binder. "This is an awful lot for one person, you know."

"No, it's not just your, or rather the maid of honor's, job. The best man helps, too!"

Lacey wracked her brain for a moment to remember who Mason had chosen for his best man. Bill? Ben? Brian? Brian! "That's, um, Brian, right? His best friend from college?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Christmas Cottage/Ever After by Samantha Chase. Copyright © 2015 Samantha Chase. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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The Christmas Cottage / Ever After 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
3 - "I'm not ready to let you go." Stars. This is definitely a book of two halves for me, and if I am honest I sort of knew it would be from pretty much the beginning of The Christmas Cottage. We are essentially looking at two stories; the first between Lacey and Ean takes place pre-Ava's wedding, and the second; Ever After post the wedding. Of all the people to be trapped in a snowstorm with. I wasn't a fan of Ava in the first novella, as the blushing bride she came across as desperate and a little shallow, and she lived up to those expectations in Ever After. "If I didn't know any better, I'd swear you were trying to get rid of me." However, the writing and storytelling is sound. My issues are purely with characterization and although this is the first work I have read from Samantha Chase, I would happily read more in the future. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
debwill74 More than 1 year ago
I adored The Christmas Cottage/Ever After by Samantha Chase. These are two enchanting Christmas tales. According to family legend. A couple who spends the night in The Christmas Cottage has love everlasting. Ava has heard the legend her entire life and was trying to make everything about her first night of her marriage perfect. But. sometimes perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be. And your perfect man is the one who has been right in front of you the whole time. Ava's best friend Lacey had heard the legend practically her entire life as well, but she doesn't believe in magic. But maybe she should believe, because it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. I received this copy of The Christmas Cottage/Ever After from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
gaele More than 1 year ago
I’ve been craving some easy low angst contemporary romance of late, and Samantha Chase delivers both in these novella length stories. The Callahan family cottage in Asheville has been a magical place, and is the setting for both of the stories. What better way to regroup and reconnect than a favored place, cozy and warm? In The Christmas Cottage, we are treated to Lacy and Ean’s story, although we do have secondary characters that play important roles. Ean believed that his family cottage had been burgled, and has arrived to sort things out. Imagine his surprise coming face to face with Lacey, who has held a torch for him for years. This story uses the ‘see the kid in a whole new light’ to perfection, the two are adorable together and their rush to marriage really didn’t feel too presumptuous considering the length of the book and their long acquaintance. In Ever After, Ava is regrouping after a failed engagement, but she’s not all that broken up if truth be told. A bit of a control freak with a heavy dose of OCD and an obsession with the “perfect” setting, outcome, moment, Ava needs some maturation. Brian is the best friend of Ava’s ex Mason, but he’s always had a thing for her. But, being an honorable guy, he never made a move. Heavily populated with moments from Ean and Lacey, poor Brian is the picture in the cliché book for “you can’t help who you love”. A very down to earth guy, the high maintenance treadmill that Ava is on needs to stop, and slowly but surely she starts to show glimpses of understanding that. With the award for most patient hero ever being awarded to Brian, the story does wrap nicely, and while the changes in Ava were microscopic, he is a good counterpoint for her. A light and fun set of stories, although I did enjoy the first more than the last. There is room to expand on both of these couple’s stories, whether they pop in and visit or are given time to explore their relationships in full length form. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Cottage is the story of how Lacey and Ean got together while preparing his family's cottage for his sister's wedding. Lacy is Ean's Little sister best friend, and she has always had a crush on him. When they are trapped by a blizzard in a remote cottage, the setting is perfect for romance. I enjoyed this story and liked how characters evolved. Ever After is the Story of Eva, who was introduced in the first novella. She called off her wedding and is re-evaluating her life. She is a bridezilla in the first story, and she grows some in this story. She sees Brian, her former fiancee best man, 6 months after the wedding and confronts him on his feelings for her. They of course end up together and have a happy ending. I was given a free copy for an honest review by netgalley.com
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE This one lead you on a bit of a goose chase for you main characters at first. I didn't know if I was supposed to be rooting for the bride-to-be to work things out with the groom, or if the maid of honor was going to find someone special with the bride's brother. Well, I got a little bit of both before the end. Now this isn't two romances - this is definitely the story of Lacey and Ean. Their romance is very sweet and seeing it next to the bride's "romance" makes it seem even better. The Christmas Cottage is a place of legend - everyone that spends the night there has a happy marriage. Well, when Lacey and Ean are forced to stay there because of a snow storm things start to happen - but this causes trouble with the bride-to-be, Ava. There are a lot of dynamics in this story, and it was by far my favorite of the two. EVER AFTER Yay! Here we go with Ava's story - the bride from The Christmas Cottage. She doesn't take well to starting over, and turns into a bit of a whiner. She's a little resentful that Lacey "stole" her magic in The Christmas Cottage, and at times her mood swings and fantastical beliefs got a little grating. I was very excited to see her find her true love though. They made a great match - balancing each other out in a beautiful way. These two stories are best read together. They are a great pair to read for Christmas. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
This was my first experience with Ms. Chase's work and I have to say that I really enjoyed it, so much so, that I plan to read more of her books in the very near future. Both of these stories were very well written, highly engaging and held my interest the whole way through. It is said that the Callahan's Family Cottage is magical, and that when couples spend a night in the cabin together they are destined to be married happily for life. While Ean Callahan is home for a extended stay at his family's cabin he discovers that someone has left the lights on in the families little cottage down the road, so he sets out on foot in a snow storm to check on the cottage, and get a better look. But when he gets there he discovers that someone staying in the cabin, knowing it isn't any of his family members he decides to peek in the windows to see he has taken residence in the tiny cabin. Lacey Quinn is the last person he expects to see in the cabin, for she is the girl that got away so long ago... Ave Callahan ended her engagement and is now desperately seeking another chance at finding true love, but after failing to find it the first go around she is apprehensive about letting anyone back into her heart. When her ex - fiancés best friend strolls back into her life he brings up painful memories she's not wanting to think about, and it makes her question everything in her life. She begins to think true love isn't in the cards for her, question is can Brian McCabe convince her otherwise... I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these short, but oh so sweet love stories and highly recommend you add them to your reading list! They highly satisfying and will leave you with a smile on your face and a warm heart! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Sourcebooks Publishing in exchange for a honest review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars-- THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE is the first installment in Samantha Chase’s contemporary adult The Christmas Cottage romance series. This is Lacey Quinn and Ean Callahan’s storyline Originally released in November 2012, THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE is a storyline of second chances for Lacey and Ean. Ten years earlier, a then fourteen year old Lacey had fallen in love with her best friend’s eighteen year old brother but Ean was about to head off to college leaving a dejected Lacey behind. Fast forward to present day where Lacey and Ean find themselves the best man and maid of honor in Ean’s sister Ava’s wedding. What ensues is a rekindling of a friendship; the pursuit of a relationship; and a winter storm that traps our leading couple in the Callahan cottage-a cottage some family members believe is magical and will predict the success of any future marriage. THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE is a romantic storyline: there is no foul language; no graphic adult imagery; and no sexual situations. All of the $ex scenes are implied or fade to black. The characters are colourful and animated although Ava Callahan is the bridezilla from H*ll; the premise is interesting; the romance is predictable and fun. •••••• EVER AFTER is the second installment in Samantha Chase’s The Christmas Cottage contemporary, adult romance series. This is Ava Callahan and Brian McCabe’s storyline. Originally released in February 2013, EVER AFTER follows Ava Callahan eight months after her wedding was called off when she and her then fiancé Mason realized they had fallen out of love and had nothing in common. Enter Brian McCabe, Mason’s one time best friend, and the man who had fallen in love with Ava months before. As Brian pursues Ava in the hopes of a romantic relationship, Ava begins to fantasize about the family Cottage and its’ ‘magical’ powers of love. Like THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE, EVER AFTER is a story of romance without the use of graphic language, sexual imagery or sexual situations. All of the $ex scenes fade to black or are implied. The character of Ava continues to be a point of contention for this reader, as well as several of the storyline characters. Ava is a self-centred heroine who is blinded to suggestions; and in this her continued belief in the magic of the family cottage is an issue that has carried over between the first and second storyline. All of the previous storyline characters and couples play secondary and supporting roles adding familiarity and cohesion to the story. ••••••••• THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE / EVER AFTER is an anthology of two connected storylines in Samantha Chase’s THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE romance series. Each installment is longer than a novella but not quite a full-length story that focuses on the Callahan’s and their family cottage. The romance is light; the conflicts are self prescribed-there are no outside issues or demons from the past. If you are a reader who prefers a romance story without the graphic sexual content, then Samantha Chase’s THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE series (as well as most of Samantha’s series and books) are the perfect read for light-hearted romance and happily ever afters.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading books that connect a series, like it even better when the stories can be purchased as a set. That is what drew me to this anthology. The Christmas Cottage/Ever After set has a great deal to entice a reader. First off it has well written characters. Second both stories are delightful holiday reads that leave you feeling good. Third, an air of mystical intervention for each pair of our young lovers. Lastly but certain not least Samantha Chase. Her stories have a way of wrapping around the heart that in my case leaves me anticipating the next story. Family, friendship and life lessons always play abundant roles in her stories. I usually fall for one character in each and ever story that I have read by her more than any other. To me these two stories warm the heart, touch the soul and will entertain any true romantic.
Jarina More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Cottage/Ever After by Samantha Chase, is a reissue of two short novels in The Christmas Cottage series which transition one into the other as a complete story. Best friends Ava Callahan and Lacey Quinn have known each other their entire lives. Lacey is to be Ava's maid of honor in her wedding to be held at the Callahan's mountain ranch outside of Asheville, N.C. on Christmas Eve. Ava's wedding night will be at the charming Christmas cottage, which legend says any couple spending their wedding night in the cottage will have love ever after. Ava's quest for perfection, the perfect wedding, the perfect wedding night, is driving Lacey and the best man, Ava's brother Ean, to distraction, but an unseasonably early snowstorm may result in driving something else which is totally unexpected. When perfection does not come to be for Ava, she retreats, and focuses to finish her education by doubling up on classes so as to graduate early. But when graduation day approaches she crosses paths with two fellows from her past, one who has moved on, the other who wants to move in. With her past disappointments haunting her and her continued search for perfection taunting her, Ava almost looses what is most important to her before she realizes happiness is often found in imperfection. With several surprising twists, beautiful mountain scenery, and a rich story of deep friendship, Ms. Chase gives us a lovely Christmas story whose message transcends seasons. I recommend this delightful tale.