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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Slow Burning Christmas Contemporary

Maybe This Christmas - Sarah Morgan

This a slow-burning, secret-crush, friends-to-lovers, contemporary romance with a holiday theme. I read the first in the series, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, last Christmas, and I didn't love it because I really didn't like the heroine. This book is better, and certainly works as a stand alone if you haven't read the previous books in the series (there's a second book that I haven't read). 


Brenna and Tyler have been best friends since childhood, but Brenna has always been in love with him, but kept her feelings to herself, believing Tyler would never love her back. Tyler is a commitment-phobe who keeps all of his relationships superficial after accidentally getting a high school classmate pregnant. He's attracted to Brenna, but would never act on it out of fear of jeopardizing their friendship. Both live and work at Snow Crystal Spa and Resort, a ski area in Vermont, but when the resort gets overbooked at the holidays, Brenna has to move in with Tyler, and their mutual attraction suddenly threatens their friendship the way they both always feared it would. 


I found the first half of this book kind of slow, but I know there are people who really enjoy slow-burning, tension-building romances, and this definitely fits that bill: the couple don't share their first kiss until page 269. The last third of the book moved a lot faster and I found it emotionally cathartic (it made me cry twice) without being too angsty. 


I had a few quibbles with some of the subplots -- Brenna's tense relationship with her parents resolves just too easily, for example, and Tyler's ex is just too shrewish to be believed -- but nothing that ruined the story for me.