Sunday, December 20, 2015

Jacqueline's holiday review of All Wrapped Up by Kimberly Kincaid

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of -- All Wrapped Up by Kimberly Kincaid

Overall star rating --- 2 stars

About the book:
Talk about a hot lead…
Christmas is coming to Pine Mountain—and it has a way of stirring up memories, good and bad. Nick Brennan may manage the Double Shot bar smooth as good whiskey, but his past is a hot mess. When he runs into a burning building to save a little boy, some people start thinking there’s more to his heroism than holiday spirit. And then the local reporter assigned to the story turns out to be gorgeous Ava Mancuso, the girl who got away.

Ava knows what it’s like to have a past. But the changes she’s seen in Nick since she knew him do more than set off her natural curiosity—his warm eyes and gruff charm have her instincts fired up. Still, all the chemistry in the world doesn’t erase history, even when Nick invites her to his little sister’s mistletoe wedding. Does he have a heart under all those secrets? Or is this going to be just another Christmas past?

Book creation ratings:
* Max. total of 30 possible *
Overall total, out of 30 -- 19
-- Story & characters -- 5
-- Cover & title -- 7
-- Editing & formatting -- 7
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
Let me start my review by saying that I had a hard time getting into this book, and never really did connect with it. I thought this book was a Christmas romance book, but it's not really. It begins with with the main male character, Brennan, rushing into a raging fire to rescue a kid. You won't find out the real significance of this till the end of the book. Then, the first one-third of the book is about the rescue, and reporters wanting to interview him, and him dodging them. Not particularly gripping.

One of the reporters is an old love of his who took a powder on him and suddenly disappeared, Ava. So the middle of the book pretty much centers around him and Ava, and them getting reacquainted, and them thinking lustful thoughts about each other. And yes, there are a couple of rather steamy sex scenes in the middle part of the book.

The last 1/3 of the book is Brennan reconciling with a tragic incident from his firefighter past, and him and Ava working things out. The only Christmas connection is that Brennan's sister's wedding is on Christmas, and that has only a brief appearance in the end of the book. Set the wedding on any other day or time of year, and no Christmas connection at all. I've read lots of Christmas romance novels, and sorry, but this one doesn't measure up in that department.

Another thing that I didn't care for about the book is that the author seems to overdo it some in describing surroundings and what the character is thinking. Sometimes, between dialogue, I lost track of what was being talked about due to the lengthy 'in their head' passages; and had to backtrack to remind myself of what was going on.

If you label this book as fiction, and a book about firefighter trauma, then it's a decently written book. But I just don't think it fits in the Christmas romance department.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- firefighter fiction
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- a lot, sex scenes, lots of lustful thoughts
Violence rating -- mild

** The author's links **

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