Wilde’s latest Twilight, Texas contemporary (after I’ll Be Home for Christmas) shows that even the most confirmed loner can change his ways because of love. Katie Cheek is glad that Gabi Preston agreed to swap houses during the days before Christmas so that Katie could experience life in L.A. while Gabi stayed in Katie’s small hometown of Twilight. But Katie is shocked when she is tackled by security guard Ryder Southerland at a charity event after he mistakes her for the woman stalking the country star he has been hired to protect. Katie hasn’t seen Ryder in 12 years and is still embarrassed by the high school crush she had on him. After Ryder notices that Katie is no longer a gawky teenager, they spend one fabulous night together. One year later when they are both back in Twilight, a relationship begins to develop out of that night of passion. This mix of classic setups—tough guy/good gal and reunited childhood sweethearts—is made complete by Wilde’s skill with character development, sizzling sex scenes, and plenty of romantic angst. (Oct.)
When bodyguard Ryder sees his best friend’s sister, Katie, at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other . . . at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all. . . Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling"—or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding—or surrender to Christmas magic.
Two lonely people find each other again in this classic small-town contemporary romance with a holiday theme.The 10th installment of the Twilight, Texas series opens in Los Angeles, where Katie Cheek is spending the Christmas holidays after trading homes with Gabi Preston, an online friend whose romance with Katie’s brother was the subject of I’ll Be Home For Christmas (2015). The holiday house-swap is explicitly inspired by the film The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. At a star-studded charity event, Katie runs into her old high school crush, bad boy (and Iraq War vet) Ryder Southerland. Ryder notices immediately that gorgeous Katie is no longer the shy, nerdy girl he once knew, and they enjoy a very hot one-night stand. Their paths cross again the following Christmas when Ryder returns to Twilight to take care of his ailing father, from whom he is estranged. Katie is tired of being a good girl, “moving through life without really planning anything, allowing the wants and desires of other people to push her this way and that,” so she initiates a no-strings-attached sexual relationship with Ryder. For unclear reasons, she rules out love even though their sexual escapades rock her world. Ryder sees himself as independent and proud but has commitment issues stemming from childhood trauma. His character arc is sensitively and compellingly portrayed. Though Twilight is one of those quaint and quirky American small towns that celebrates Christmas with a bewildering array of community events (including “Dickens on the Square”), the holiday theme is surprisingly subtle. Characters from prior installments pop up to offer support and friendly nudging, and a host of other small-town archetypes populate the novel, but the focus remains squarely on Katie and Ryder. A solid Christmas romance that fans of the series will love, in which the sappy, sweet setting is balanced by the realistically depicted emotional challenges of the hero and heroine.