Over Christmas, my husband and I got snowed in at a relative's house. Christine Rimmer's Scrooge and the Single Girl was a good choice to read in that situation. While the Dicken's reference didn't work very well, the tale of two very different people snowed in over Christmas did.
Jilly Diamond writes a lifestyle column and decides to spend a special Christmas holiday all by herself so that she can write about her experience and let her readers know that it is possible to be alone and still enjoy the holiday. She heads to a remote mountain home owned by Caitlin Bravo, mother of Aaron, Cade, and Will Bravo and mother-in-law to Jilly's two best friends. She has her cat, Missy, and the makings for an elegant Christmas dinner with her. It even starts to snow on the way up the mountain. By the time she arrives at the house, it is snowing furiously. Jilly is surprised to see another car in the drive.
Will Bravo prefers to spend the Christmas holidays alone. For the last several years, he has retreated to the house that was his grandmother's and avoided everyone during the season. When Jilly arrives, he realizes that his mother has set up both of them. He would love to send Jilly away immediately, but the snow makes it impossible for her to leave that night. When Jilly discovers Will is there, she also wants to leave because she knows that Will does not think much of her. The only reason she stays is because it is too dangerous to drive.
Jilly is an upbeat, take-charge woman. She knows that she is strong and capable and that even when she has a setback, she will survive and be fine. Will is a total opposite. He has been hurt a number of times and tries to protect himself by pushing everyone away. The fireworks between them are immediate. Both of them fight their attraction and only the fact that they are stranded together gives them time to develop a relationship.
The author gives Will a number of good reasons to want to keep people at a distance, especially around the holidays. It doesn't take Jilly long to see that he uses the gruffness to protect himself and to keep others away so that he won't jinx them as well. I particularly liked the way she stood up to him and told him how useless it was to blame himself for everything.
Because of the "Scrooge" reference, visits by ghosts are also part of the story. It is an interesting touch, but the information from the visits didn't really do much to further the story. It seemed more of an intrusion than anything else.
Jilly and Will's story is the third book in Christine Rimmer's "The Sons of Caitlin Bravo" trilogy. The interactions with characters from the previous book are few because the two of them are stranded in the mountains for much of the story, but anyone who has followed the series will be able to catch up with the previous two brothers and their wives.
--B. Kathy Leitle