Could the festive road trip from hell actually lead to love?
Catherine Birch is a lonely workaholic who hates Christmas. This year, she is being forced to celebrate with her best friend’s family in the Highlands of Scotland. Having missed her flight, Catherine reluctantly ventures on a road trip with beautiful stranger Holly Daniels.
Although polar opposites, the intense attraction between them is unmistakable. Just as Catherine begins to think spending Christmas with Holly might not be so bad, a raging snowstorm leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Huddled together, with little chance of rescue, they forge a pact: if they escape, they’ll make this a Christmas to remember. But will it be remembered for the right reasons?
The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year, so I was really excited to dive into Season’s Meetings, a story about two women falling in love during this time of snow, Santa Claus and gingerbread. Upon reading the description of the book, I was expecting something light and whimsical and charming…and it definitely had whimsy and was absolutely charming. But it also had a lot more to it than I’d expected for a holiday romance!
The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the main character, Catherine. Catherine was incredibly well thought out–she’s flawed and, like most people, makes mistakes, but her anxiety is a product of the fact that she hates the holidays because of a terrible tragedy that happened during the holiday season… That story line made her incredibly likable, even though she says and does some harsh things.
Then we meet Holly, who’s offering to drive Catherine up to their friends’ house for Christmas. I loved Holly–she’s vivacious, charming, outgoing, but–like Catherine–she’s flawed, too. I loved how Miss Dunne handled that–it’s so difficult to create a real, likable, but still human character, and both Catherine and Holly were so real that they popped off the page. You loved them fiercely and still wanted to shake them when they were being foolhardy–the mark of an excellent storyteller.
Once Holly and Catherine meet, sparks begin to fly. They’re very different people, but their chemistry is off the charts. There are some tantalizing moments that lead up to miscommunications and delicious, painful “will-they, won’t-they?” tension, but problems are arising. They have a lot to overcome to be together, including their own pride, stubbornness and plain bullheadedness, and the build up was slow, teasing and wonderful. This means that when the romance finally does happen, you’re warm from the inside out, and just as happy as they are that they got together.
There’s so much wonderful about this book, but two major things that stood out to me were the incredible holiday atmosphere of the book, and one of the most adorable and endearing canines to ever appear in literature, Kimmy. I DIED at the descriptions of that cute little pup and all of her antics. As an extreme animal lover, I couldn’t get enough of that sweet dog’s personality, the mischievous pranks she pulled, and how charming she was. I found out that the dog we see on the front cover is none other than the author’s own pup, which added so much to the story. It’s so obvious that Miss Dunne owns and loves a dog with her whole heart, and it was such a joy to read that love radiating off of the page. As to the holiday atmosphere, the book is steeped in it. You can almost smell the Christmas pudding and cookies, the delicious cake and the scent of fresh pine. There’s so much warm and cozy about the story (once they’re out of the danger of freezing to death!), that it was like being wrapped up in a soft blanket–the story is incredibly charming, inviting and soul-soothing.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you’re looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit, infused with romance, love, adorable-puppy-antics and enough Christmas cheer to fill up your heart, you will absolutely love Season’s Meetings by Amy Dunne!
Full disclosure: I was provided with a free copy via NetGalley for an honest review.