The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek Series #7)

The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek Series #7)

by Brenda Novak

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778316398
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Series: Whiskey Creek Series , #7
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 278,057
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Read an Excerpt

There was a naked man in her bed.

Eve Harmon's stomach tensed, and her heart skipped a beat—but she was pretty sure she'd invited him. From the way their clothes were strewn carelessly around the room, it was obvious that, not long ago, she'd been happy to have him with her.

She nearly groaned as her eyes swept over him. What had she done? She didn't have a boyfriend and she never slept around. She hadn't been with anyone since Ted Dixon—an old friend who had briefly turned into more a year ago. And before him, it had been much longer. Most people, at least those younger than her parents, would consider her extended periods of celibacy rather pathetic for a woman her age. But she lived in a small town, cared about her reputation and had been holding out for the kind of love that came with a white picket fence.

She just hadn't found the right guy, and she was beginning to think maybe she never would. The odds weren't in her favor. Now that most of her friends were married, she didn't get out all that often.

But she had a lot to be grateful for in spite of her dismal love life, she quickly reminded herself. Although she'd never been the type who wanted work to become her sole focus in life, she liked her job. She ran Little Mary's, a B and B in a converted Victorian owned by her retired parents. They lived in the house a hundred yards in front of her own small bungalow—when they weren't traveling in their RV like they were at the moment. Thanks to them, and the quaint, bucolic area where she'd been raised, her life had always been pleasant and safe—and predictable. Absolutely predictable. Until now.

God, she hadn't even slept with someone she knew. And since there were only about two thousand people in Whiskey Creek, it was hard to find someone she didn't.

Shifting carefully so she wouldn't wake the man lying next to her—she needed to regain her bearings before confronting him—she tried to get a look at his face, but a thunderous headache made it difficult to sit up. That headache also explained how she'd ended up in this predicament. Last night she'd made the mistake of going out to celebrate her thirty-fifth birthday even though her friends weren't available until tonight, and she'd drunk too much. She'd been determined to do something wild and fun and completely out of character before reaching such a significant age, the age at which some doctors advised against getting pregnant.

Now she was paying the price for her out-of-control evening.

Had they even used birth control?

Briefly squeezing her eyes shut, she sent up a silent prayer that she'd had the presence of mind for that at least. It would be entirely too ironic for someone like her—someone so cautious—to get pregnant because of a one-night stand.

What have you done? And what should she do now? Should she wake him? What would she say when he was looking back at her? She'd never been in this situation before. But she couldn't let him sleep much longer. She needed to get rid of him so she could shower for work.

Thank goodness her parents had had engine trouble and hadn't made it home from her brother's house yet. She'd lamented that yesterday, when she'd been bored and lonely while setting up her little Christmas tree. Today she was glad.

Moving slowly to compensate for her hangover, she managed to prop herself against the headboard and, once there, frowned at her bedmate.

Who the heck was he?

She had no idea, but she was relieved to see that he was no bum off the street. He wasn't even one of those "he looked a lot more attractive last night" kind of pickups everyone joked about. This guy was so far above average that she began to wonder why he wasn't already taken. Heaven forbid that was the case! She didn't see a ring on his left hand, which rested on the pillow above his head. But he had to have some story. If he looked this good sleep-tousled, she could only imagine what he'd be like once he had a chance to clean up.

It was his bone structure, she decided. Those pronounced cheekbones. The narrow bridge across his nicely shaped nose. The distinct ridge of his upper eye sockets. He also had a strong chin and a manly jaw, which certainly didn't detract.

So maybe she couldn't point to just one or two features. With his long, sandy-colored hair spread across his pillow, he resembled a fallen angel—and his body further enhanced that image. Although bedding covered his lower half—thank goodness—she could see his torso. He was built like a greyhound or panther, lean and sinewy and ideally proportioned with very little body hair.

What body hair he did have was golden and downy, as appealing as his tanned skin.

He'd make a nice subject for a painter, she mused, someone looking for refined masculine beauty—a man who could even be called elegant.

But not everything about him was elegant. When she looked closer, she could see that he had some very unusual scars….

What types of injuries could've caused those? she wondered. It seemed to her that he'd been shot, and more than once. Several round, bullet-size marks dotted his chest. Then there was a long, jagged scar on his side that must've come from something else….

Out of nowhere—he didn't open his eyes first, so she had no warning—he grabbed her wrists in a crushing grip and slammed her onto her back.

Eve gasped as she stared up at him. Gone was the image of an angel, fallen or otherwise. Shocked at being so easily and unexpectedly overpowered, she couldn't even scream. His fierce expression, as if he was intent on causing her bodily harm, made it worse.

Had she brought home a homicidal maniac? Was he about to kill her?

The terror that surged up must've shown on her face because he suddenly came to his senses. He gave his head a shake. His expression cleared and, letting go, he eased off her and slid back onto his side of the bed.

"Sorry about that. I thought. " His words trailed off, and he covered his eyes with one arm as if he needed a moment to pull himself together.

Her heart was now pounding in unison with her head. But once she could speak somewhat normally, she prompted him to finish his sentence. "Thought what?"

His lips turned down. "Never mind. I was dreaming."

She pressed a hand to her chest as though she could slow her galloping pulse. "It couldn't have been a pleasant dream."

"They never are," he muttered.

He dropped his arm and looked over at her, and—intriguing as that statement was—she was too concerned about her nudity to pursue more of an explanation. She drew up the blankets, but he didn't seem interested in ogling her. His gaze circled the room, taking in the gauzy fabric that wound around the top of her canopy bed, the Christmas gifts she'd already wrapped and stacked in the corner, the many photographs of friends and family scattered across her dresser and the plantation shutters she'd recently had installed. He seemed to be taking stock of everything, weighing it, evaluating it—especially the closet and the door leading into the hall—as if he might encounter some threat.

"Where am I?" His voice, although more commanding than before, hadn't quite lost the rasp that came from having just awakened.

"Whiskey Creek."

He held three fingers to his forehead. She guessed he had a headache, too, although, suddenly, she could scarcely feel hers, thanks to that recent burst of adrenaline.

"I can remember the town," he said wryly. "It's not like I think I'm in China."

Fortunately, he sounded as normal as he looked. "Really? Whiskey Creek is where you're supposed to be? Because I've lived here my whole my life, and I don't ever remember seeing you."

"You say that like you know everyone."

"I do. Or just about."

As he proceeded to rub his face, she wished he'd cover up. The bedding had fallen away when he rolled on top of her. She could see far more of him than she wanted to—at least now that she was sober. But he didn't seem to notice or care about his state of undress.

"I'm new here," he said.

"When did you move in?" she asked.

"I didn't. I should've said I'm visiting."

A lot of tourists came through. The quaint shops beyond the graveyard next door to her B and B catered to them, particularly in the summer. So an unfamiliar face in town, even in the first part of winter, wasn't remarkable enough for anyone to make a fuss.

"Where are you staying?"

He hesitated. "I don't remember the name of the place," he muttered. He had to be at her competitor's or one of the small inns or B and Bs out in the country. She hadn't seen him at her place. "How long will you be in town?"

"A short time."

His answers were clipped, terse and noticeably skimpy on the details. She might've asked what had brought him here. But he was being so evasive she didn't see the point. Was he putting her on notice not to expect any follow-up to their night together?

Eve told herself she didn't care that the first romantic encounter she'd had since her big mistake with Ted Dixon wasn't shaping up to be any more promising than the false starts she'd experienced before. She just wanted to make sure that her "no way am I going to stay home and watch TV on my birthday" mutiny hadn't left her with an STD. As soon as she felt reasonably assured that she hadn't ruined her life, they could part ways—and she'd try to forget that she'd felt desperate enough to sleep with a stranger.

"I don't see anything in here that belongs to a man," he said.

She gave him a curious look. "A man?"

"I'm safe to assume you're not married? You aren't wearing a ring, but not everyone does."

Particularly a woman hoping to pick up a guy in a bar. Now she understood. She'd been too busy berating herself to clue in, or his meaning would've been clear from the beginning. "Do you make a habit of sleeping with married women?"

"Not when I can think straight. But last night I wasn't using a great deal of discretion. I don't even remember how I got here." He lifted a hand. "Wait, yes, I do. There was some waitress from that hole-in-the-wall honky-tonk who—"

"Sexy Sadie's."

"What?"

When his eyes flicked to her, she noticed that they were a startling shade of green, far lighter than the more common hazel. His eyelashes and eyebrows matched the darker streaks in his hair.

"That's the name of the bar," she clarified.

He shrugged. Apparently he found that information irrelevant—as though a bar was a bar and he'd frequented many. "Anyway, I have this vision of some waitress driving us over here and dumping us on what appeared to be a very long driveway, and that's about it."

When Eve's mind conjured up the same memory, she barely managed to stifle a groan. "Noelle Arnold." That Noelle, of all people, would know what they'd done made it so much worse….

"You don't like her?"

Her tone had revealed more than she'd intended. "Not a great deal. Not since she seduced her sister's boyfriend, then claimed she was pregnant so he'd marry her."

"Small towns…"

She didn't like the way he said that. It seemed to imply that they were too backward to behave with as much sophistication as city folk. "I happen to be close friends with Kyle, the man she duped. Of course I'd feel defensive."

"You can feel defensive all you want, but this Noelle person did us a favor. She could easily have left us to our own devices. I certainly deserved it. I haven't gotten that wasted in—" without bothering to ask, he rummaged on the nightstand and helped himself to one of her elastic ties so he could pull back his hair "—a couple of years."

She could've pointed out that if Noelle had really been looking out for her, she would've seen to it that she got home safe and alone. But then she remembered making out with this man in the backseat of Noelle's car. No wonder Noelle had dropped them off together. Now she was probably running around, telling everyone she could think of that Eve Harmon, of all people, had picked up a stranger and taken him home to bed.

His eyes narrowed. Something about her had caught his interest. "What's wrong?" he asked.

She combed her fingers through her hair in an attempt to untangle it. While she had far bigger concerns than her appearance, she couldn't entirely resist her female vanity. Because her hair was jet black and her eyes blue, people often told her that she reminded them of the Disney version of Snow White. Some red lipstick added to the effect; she'd often capitalized on that when she needed a costume.

But maybe he didn't find Snow White all that appealing. He didn't seem too impressed.

"Nothing. Why?"

"You're blushing."

"No, I'm not."

"You absolutely are," he said. "Did I say something to embarrass you?"

She stopped trying to act as if discovering him in her bed was no big deal. "This whole situation embarrasses me," she admitted. "I've never taken anyone home from a bar before and, unlike you, I won't be leaving this town any time soon. That means I'll have to face all the people who witnessed my licentious behavior."

He raised one eyebrow. "Licentious? "

"Promiscuous, debauched. Whatever you want to call it. Waking up with a total stranger isn't something that's normal for me."

He studied her, his gaze…thoughtful. "Last night you told me it was your birthday."

"And?"

"Quit being so hard on yourself. From what I could gather, it was a rough one. And with the holidays coming up, and knowing you're going to spend another year alone, you said it wasn't likely to get any easier."

Damn. She'd shared that? Hadn't she revealed enough when she took off her clothes? "My birthday was fine. Spending another Christmas as a single woman is fine. Everything's fine." How could she complain when she'd always had it so good?

She could hear the scrape of his beard growth as he ran a hand over his chin. "What's that saying about protesting too much?"

"I'm not protesting."

"If you say so."

Holding the sheet in place, she slid a few more inches away from him, but she couldn't go far. She was about to fall out of bed. He wasn't bulky, but he had wide shoulders and he didn't seem to be concerned about giving her space. "If you know it was my birthday, you remember more than getting dropped off here," she said. "It's coming back to me."

Bits and pieces were coming back to her, too. How she'd noticed him watching her from where he sat alone at the bar. How she'd danced for him in such a seductive manner, reveling in the appreciation she kindled in his eyes. How he'd eventually gotten up and walked over to join her. How he'd danced with her, so cautiously and respectfully even though the sparks between them felt like they were about to burn the place down.

How she'd slipped through the crush of bodies on the dance floor to catch her breath outside and he'd followed….

There were still things she couldn't recall, however, and his name was one of them. Had he ever told her what it was?

"Who are you?" she asked.

Without even a stretch or a concluding peck on the cheek, he climbed out of bed and started to dress.

Customer Reviews

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The Heart of Christmas 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
heathercm2001 More than 1 year ago
Amazing times one trillion! That is the only way I can think of to describe how awesome this book is. The Whiskey Creek series is, by far, one of my favorite series. Rex is, by far, one of my favorite characters from a different series. Brenda Novak decided to bring the two together, and the result was a massive explosion of magnificence! It was perfect! It is so easy to forget how long we have been getting to know the people of Whiskey Creek, but it has been long enough that most of them are married now, and the ones that are still single are the minority. Each and every story has been great, but we've seen poor Eve suffer quite a bit as so many others found their happily ever after. She lets loose in this book, which was fantastic to see, but what made it even better was the guy she let loose with. Rex is from Novak's Bulletproof books, and he has suffered a lot too, granted, in ways totally different from Eve. However,the two are perfect for each other.  Brenda Novak always seems to throw these very interesting situations into the books. They are awkward and complicated, and it is a fantastic experience seeing how they get handled in the story. I am never disappointed. This book has many, which means there is never a dull moment. I'm so glad that I read the other books before this one, including the first two Bulletproof books. It is not necessary, but why miss the chance to fully experience how amazing these characters are. A lot of stuff has brought them to where they are now, and you'll be glad you experienced all of it before being sucked into this one. I received this book in exchange for an honest review, but I'm definitely buying it when it is released too!
KNIngram More than 1 year ago
Whiskey Creek, the afternoon soap you read. Whiskey Creek seems to draw the worst kind of love interests, but it never offers your run-of-the-mill romance. The women in this town seem to drawn into making bad decisions especially when it comes to handsome men. Eve Harmon is no exception. She's lived a life staid and true and is ready to break out of that rut. If she can't have love, she reasons, at least she can have fun. Enter the mysterious stranger who is filled with secrets and obviously all wrong for her. Eve starts acting recklessly and the drama follows.
GwenL More than 1 year ago
More surprises from author Brenda Novak Just when I think I’ve figured out author Brenda Novak’s tricks, she completely throws me for a loop. Half the fun of reading THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is seeing how Novak will create a happy ending for Eve and her mystery man. Certainly wasn’t how I expected it to resolve, but WOW — it makes perfect sense! Eve is one of the original from Whiskey Creek’s Friday morning coffee group. These now adults went through high school together and we’ve come to know them through the Whiskey Creek series. It’s OK if you haven’t read the earlier books first, but I guarantee you’ll want to after finishing THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS. As THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS opens, Eve is celebrating her birthday. Because her single friends in the coffee group have been paired off in the earlier books, Eve’s birthday celebration isn’t the big party she’d like. But her life takes an interesting turn when she meets a sexy stranger. This stranger, however, is only in Whiskey Creek to hide out for a bit. Even though he comes to care for Eve, he has solid reasons why he can’t get involved. As always, Eve’s friends are there for her — some supporting her decisions, others worried and trying to protect her. Those lasting friendships are the key to the success of the Whiskey Creek series. Novak has always written strong, interesting characters that are the backbone for all the plot twists. I’ve loved all the Whiskey Creek books (as well as the first book in which we see Eve’s stranger — make sure you look up that book after reading this one). THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is Novak’s most complex Whiskey Creek title to date. Don’t miss it!
Wendylu4 More than 1 year ago
I was given an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have to say I have mixed feelings about this book. I am happy Eve got her story, but the ending left me with too many questions. While it appears to be an HEA the way it was ended left the possibility that things could change at some point. (Not by the characters choice but by the situation the hero was in to begin with) I am also unclear on how things will be explained to the friends. It is not your typical ending for Whiskey Creek but it was a good book and I did fall in love with Brent/Rex. My other issue is Cheyenne's continued story with her pregnancy. Not only is she still keeping the secret from Dylan but is forcing others too as well. Keeping Dylan in the dark about "his baby" really being Aaron's biologically (no matter how conceived) is wrong and will destroy Dylan as well as many relationships when the truth comes out. It is unforgivable. This is my personal opinion and makes the story less enjoyable reading for me. Overall I enjoyed the story and give it 4 stars for the couple of issues I had with the book.
MaryJoMI More than 1 year ago
Eve is feeling lost. All of her friends are getting married and having kids and as she approaches her 35 birthday, she is beginning to think this will never happen for her. One night at the local bar and several shots later, she finds herself tangled up with Rex the next morning. Yikes, a one-night stand, so not Eve's style. Rex has his own issues and being attracted to Eve is not allowed to be on this list. Of course, Eve and Rex seem to keep crossing paths and are unable to deny their attraction to each … what a fun ride it is for us when they cave in! Can Rex let Eve in? or will he lose the best thing he has found? 
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
OMG I LOVED this story! The Heart of Christmas is Eve's story. After Ted broke her heart by walking away so he could be with Sophia, his first love, Eve is finally getting her chance at true love. The story starts off with Eve waking up in her bed with a naked man lying next her. She starts remembering the previous night and remembers bringing him home. This is so unlike Eve but she was feeling down since it was her 35th birthday and her friends weren't taking her out until the next day to celebrate, so Eve went to Sexy Sadie's and ended up getting drunk. Now Eve is freaking out because "what will people think", "did they use protection", "does he have STD's"? Eve asks him who he is because she has never seen him before and he says he is visiting Whiskey Creek and it doesn't matter his name. Now Eve is really worried. What neither of them understands is the pull they have towards each other. They just can't get each other out of their minds. Eve knows something is off about "Jared" but doesn't have a clue as to what it is. Eve goes into work that morning and takes breakfast up to one of the rooms. Guess whose room it is! Brent "Jared" Taylor's! Oh, boy! I just loved how these two couldn't help finding their way back to each other after everything that happens between them. As Eve starts to find out more and more about Brent, her friends are getting worried. They don't want her with some dangerous person who keeps telling lies and hiding things. Eve knows deep down Brent is a good guy. As more of Brent's background starts to get exposed, Eve is starting to fall in love with him and he is developing strong feelings for her. These two just can't stay away from each and decide for the few weeks Brent is in town, they will be together. I loved how Eve's friends all rallied around her to help with the Brent situation. I just adored Mrs. Higgins! Everyone needs a Mrs. Higgins in their life. I love the happy ending, with all the happy surprises! I cannot believe the epilogue ended how it did! You are killing me here Brenda Novak! I want, no I need to know what happens next! Another great Whiskey Creek story. I loved the love story but I also really enjoyed the suspenseful parts with Brent and the ghost Mary. I laughed, cried and swooned and just could not put this book down. Thanks!
lhill82125 8 months ago
I wished I could give this book more stars! I love all of Brenda’s books and this one is no exception. Her books make you feel so many emotions when you are reading them and you just don’t want to put them down! Thanks Brenda for another great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't stand eve. And so much of this book is boring and pointless. Worst book in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at the store a few weeks before Christmas thinking it sounded like a good "Christmas Read", and I absolutely loved it! After reading it I automatically decided that I needed to know more about the other characters in the Whiskey Creek series...which then prompted me to purchase the entire series! It was a very moving and passionate storyline with VERY likeable and relatable characters. I highly recommend this book!
christalvp More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by The Heart of Christmas as soon as I realized that this Whiskey Creek book was going to have Rex, a character from a previous trilogy. I was glad to see that Rex had cleaned his life up and headed in a positive direction, but it was sad to see that he still couldn't outrun his past. I have enjoyed Eve's role in the previous books of the series, and was glad to finally read her book. I thought that Rex and Eve were great characters. I enjoyed the chemistry between them, and liked seeing their relationship develop. I enjoyed the storyline, and thought it played out in a creative and interesting way. This was a great addition to the Whiskey Creek Series.
jef71 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book very much. The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak. Eve Harmon is feeling bad because all of her friends are married. She wanted a husband and kids. she was the manage of a B and B in Whiskey Creek. She has lived there all of her life. A stranger came to town and she was attracted to him and him to her. He had a mysterious past and could ruin Eve's happily ever after.
rvingmillers More than 1 year ago
I enjoy each book from Whiskey Creek.  Looking forward to Riley's story next.
GHott More than 1 year ago
Eve seems to have lost the heart of Christmas this year. She’s going through the motions but her heart isn’t in it. To prove her point – she does something she’s never done before. She got plastered and went home with a complete stranger! She wasn’t even discrete about it! Now, now, he’s everywhere and she doesn’t even know his name! He gave her one, but then he registered under a different one at the B&B, and a completely different one on his luggage. Rex is running, again. He’s tired of starting over. He just wants a life. He’d also like to spend some more time with that B&B owner who makes him want things he knows he can’t have. Run, Rex, Run…. Hott Review: The Heart of Christmas was a cute book. It wasn’t enthralling or very Christmassy but it was fun and had a bit of suspense thrown in. What I liked: I really enjoyed Rex. His personality really made this book for me. I just wanted to hug him and take him home. He reminded me of a hurt teen. I also liked that although there was a lot of intimacy mentioned there were few details or graphic scenes. What I didn’t like: I didn’t love the culmination of the intrigue. It was just missing something & didn’t feel real enough. More… Author: Brenda Novak Source: Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley Grade: B Ages: 16+ Steam: YA — unless you prefer there to be nada ;) Setting: Whiskey Creek, CA Series: Whiskey Creek, 7
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
The Heart of Christmas is the seventh book in Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek series and it arrives in time for Christmas. This is a great story of love and the Christmas Spirit. Novak has a knack for writing her stories with a bit of an edge to them and this one certainly has that. Reader's who are fans of the series, won't want to miss it. If it's your first in the series, don't worry, you'll be dropping by your favorite bookstore for the rest in short order. What I liked: I love a good Christmas romance and The Heart of Christmas provided that for me. I have to admit this one of the first Brenda Novak books I have read. But after this one, I am most definitely a fan. Novak's Whiskey Creek series has been very popular and when I was looking for good Christmas reads I couldn't resist it even though I hadn't read the other books in the series. Something I shall be fixing very soon. I didn't have a huge amount of trouble coming in late, but I did find myself wanting to know more about the different characters that showed up in this one. I know that several of them have already had their stories and I can't wait to see how it all goes into this one. Eve is the manager of Little Mary's Bed and Breakfast in Whiskey Creek and she's having a bit of a hard time with her 35th birthday. Too much sadness and too much alcohol ends up with Eve in bed with an unknown man. But this one night stand is anything but. Eve and her mystery man have some real attraction. But there are tons of secrets standing in their way. I loved the way that Novak gives this story a good edge. The mysterious man turns out to be someone reader's might remember from some of Novak's previous writing. It was great to see Rex here and I think it gave the direction of this series some punch to it. I look forward to seeing where Novak takes it. Jared, Brent, Rex... this guy has a ton of names and a ton of secrets. He made some bad choices and now he's in a real mess. His attraction to Eve is forceful, and intense and I loved the way Novak makes it seem like they just can't stay away from each other. That's the kind of attraction reader's wish they could have in their own lives. That raw, passionate experience we all crave. It's a shame that doesn't happen too often in real life, but Novak makes you believe it can. I liked all of the secondary characters that I got to meet in this book as well. Ted seems like a bit of a stinker she trifled with Eve's feelings in the past, but he does come through and helps her and Rex out when they really need him in this one. There are plenty of other characters who are keeping secrets of their own, like Cheyenne. Not sure where that's going but it's bound to be a great addition to the series, when it all comes out. Whiskey Creek just has all kinds of interesting avenues to pursue. I really thought Novak had it all together with these characters. Rex and Eve were amazing, but there's a lot more going on in this little town than meets the eye. Bottom Line: I can't wait to go out and read the rest of these books. Whiskey Creek reads like a perfect little town but there is a bit of mystery in just about everyone's relationships and pasts. I liked the angle of finding out who killed Little Mary as well as the mysteriousness surrounding Rex and what he was really trying to protect Eve from. The steamy parts were very enjoyable and that intense connection between the hero and heroine made for some serious tension. I loved this one
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars--THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is the seventh installment in Brenda Novak’s adult, contemporary Whiskey Creek romance series focusing on the men and women of Whiskey Creek-a small gold mining town in California. This is Little Mary’s B&B proprietor Eve Harmon and Rex (Brent) Taylor’s storyline. Although THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is the seventh installment in the Whiskey Creek series it can be read as a stand alone with a little difficulty. There are several continuing plot points from previous stories that will overlap in The Heart of Christmas. Told from two close third person points of view, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS focuses on Whiskey Creek resident Eve Harmon. Eve has been a regular throughout the series and has an established friendship and history with most of the storyline characters. Waking up to a stranger in her bed, on the morning of her thirty fifth birthday Eve is desperate to remember what happened the night before. But the handsome man isn’t talking; he is apparently a guest at Little Mary’s B&B; and he keeps his secrets and history to himself. As Eve struggles with the embarrassment of her one-night stand, her friends begin to gather some background information about the man whose secretive history becomes more mysterious and darker as the storyline builds.  Rex (Brent) Taylor is a stranger to Whiskey Creek. He is a man with a secreted past-a past that will bring some major trouble to the small, sleepy Gold Country town in California. He knows his time with Eve is limited to the Christmas holidays and he places an expiration date on their friendship and sex. The sex between Brent and Eve is passionate, addictive and arousing, and Brent is having a difficult time letting go. THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is an ensemble storyline where many of the previous storyline couples and characters play a supporting and secondary role including Cheyenne and Dylan (Whiskey Creek #2) and Eve’s ex boyfriend Ted Dixon and Sophia DeBussi (Whiskey Creek #5).  There are two additional side stories that detract somewhat from the main premise—Eve’s ex boyfriend Ted is a writer who continues to investigate the decades old murder of Little Mary (one of the original residents of the house)  and the subsequent haunting at the B&B.  He is also determined to uncover the truth behind Brent’s hidden past because almost everything Brent has revealed to Eve has been a lie. Eve is desperate to find love, start a family and live life with a happily ever after.   Then there is Cheyenne and Dylan’s continuing story-one whose family will grow with the addition of a new baby-one whose inception and conception are questionable and fuel for a future, storyline heartbreak. Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series is an intimate look at friendships, family, falling in love and letting go. The characters are passionate, emotional and intense; their unwavering support for one another adds moments of anguish, heartbreak, color and acceptance. THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS concludes with a happily ever after for now but there is nothing immediately permanent about the relationship between Eve and Brent-one based upon a lie and a drunken one-night stand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Brenda Novak's The Heart of Christmas Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series just keeps mellowing like an aging wine… Better stories, each time she writes!!! The Heart of Christmas is the seventh book in the Whiskey Creek series but can be read as a stand alone. The author is able to weave the past and present of the Whiskey Creek characters effortlessly into the story. Her ability to do this keeps the series readers attention plus introduces new readers to the regulars adequately. This story has intrigue, murder, suspense, the delving into Little Mary’s murder, the mystery man,, deceit, betrayal, viciousness, birth, fire, plus humor. All of this mixed in with romance, friendship and trust. What more could you want in one book? How about Eve Harmon’s story beginning with her celebrating her 35th birthday by going out for a drink. Waking up the next day she has one huge headache plus finds herself in her bed with a mystery man in the flesh!! Wow!!! Who is this man, does this stranger have any transmitted disease, did they practice safe sex??? Then Eve discovers that the mystery man is staying at Little Mary’s B&B which she runs. The dynamics between Eve and the mystery man are filled with undeniable chemistry. Where will this lead? The mystery man is none other than Rex McCreedy. Rex is a character from Novak’s Bulletproof series. It was so good to see him come to Whiskey Creek even though he is hiding from bad, vicious characters who want to eliminate him. Rex has overcome a long, hard past and hopefully thanks to Eve’s friends rallying around him will solve his problems. So come along and spend Christmas time in Whiskey Creek , you will feel like you are part of their family!! Thanks to the author for the eBook. My opinion is my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eve could've done so much better! This book made no sense with all this undercover garbage going on. A better story for Eve would've been fixing her up with Joe who let her down in the first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book ... not my favorite story in the series - but very enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Now to buisness. Your quarters will be here now, seperated from the members. You will be tested soon. Advertise as much as you can, and god things will come."
AmyHiggs More than 1 year ago
I love the Whiskey Creek series, and when I get to read a new book it feels like visiting old friends! I have to say that before reading this book Eve was my least favorite from the series. This novel showed me the loving, caring side of her and made me love her! Rex was amazing and really had to overcome a lot in his life. I really love Eve and Rex together and am looking forward to hearing more about them in future books! Another great read by Brenda Novak!