The Christmas Keeper by Jenn McKinlay

5 STARS!

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

SYNOPSIS

All he wants for Christmas…

The second Joaquin Solis saw Savannah Wilson, he knew she was destined to be his wife. Unfortunately, Savannah’s sights are set on a happily-ever-after of another kind: skewering the boss who got her fired. Until then, she won’t act on the scorching sexual chemistry that is brewing between them, leaving Joaquin scrambling to find a way to capture her heart.

When the opportunity arises to use his ranch to boost Savannah’s publicity career, Joaquin doesn’t hesitate to invite her into his world at Shadow Pines and woo her with all of his Christmas loving mojo. It’s a gamble since the holidays aren’t really Savannah’s thing and helping her might also mean losing her as she plans to shake the dust off of their quaint town in North Carolina and head back to New York City the first chance she gets.

But Joaquin believes in the magic of Christmas and he knows with a little help from his friends at the Happily Ever After Bookstore, he can convince the woman of his dreams that he’s a keeper… 

REVIEW

Okay, I LOVED The Good Ones, which is the first book in this series. I was so excited for this one! I kind of wanted to smack Savannah, but the tension was good at times. A lot happens in this book and I am here for it! I also love that the romance bookstore is a big part of this one, just like the first book. Weaving in romance writers is just so genius, and really makes me feel connected to the entire story. PLUS, this one takes place at Christmas, which just adds more warm and fuzzy feelings to Savannah and Joaquin’s journey to each other. Ineed all my fellow romance readers to go read this series!

Add it on Goodreads here!

Order it here!

Check out my review for book 1 in the Happily Ever After Series here!


The Christmas Keeper Excerpt

Savannah slipped into the elf costume and was surprised and delighted to find that the dress actually had pockets. So that was something. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror. It was not good. 

The striped stockings were not flattering, and the length of the dress on her tall frame made it a mini-dress. She cinched the wide black belt in a desperate attempt to show she had a waistline but the Peter Pan collar still made her look like a doofus. To top it all off, her pointy hat had a jingle bell on the end of it and it rang with every step she took. Ridiculous. 

She stomped out of the bathroom and through the office. Whose idea was this Santa-and-elf thing? Shouldn’t they have run it by her? 

She found Maisy and “Santa” on the front porch. He was leaning over the railing and waving at cars that drove by and calling, “Ho ho ho.” 

Savannah glowered at Maisy. 

“Oh, you look so cute,” Maisy cried. Joaquin turned around and took in the sight of Savannah. The grin beneath his bushy white beard was wide. 

“Don’t!” She pointed at him. “If anyone is laughing at anyone, I’m laughing at you because you’re wearing a fake beard and a belly pillow.” 

“Better than fake ears,” he said. He lifted a white-gloved finger and poked the pointy ear sewn into her hat. She smacked his hand away. 

“Stop that,” she said. She turned to Maisy. “You owe me so huge for this.” 

“No doubt,” Maisy said. “This is definitely above and beyond, especially for someone as ambivalent about the holidays as you. I really appreciate your digging deep and taking one for the team.” 

“Come on,” Joaquin said. “Let’s go out to the street and see if we can wave people in.” 

Maisy handed Savy a cloth sack full of candy canes. “Have fun!” 

“What? No!” Savannah protested. It was bad enough people coming to the shop might see her but if they stood on the street everyone would see her in this ridiculous getup. 

“What’s your elf name?” Joaquin asked as he walked 

“I don’t have an elf name,” she snapped. 

“Then let’s make one,” he said. “How about Snickerdoodle Jingle Bells?” 

“No.”

“Ginger McSnowball.”

“No.” She gave him a grumpy look to mask the laugh that almost escaped.

“I know.” He snapped his gloved fingers but no sound came out. “Mistletoe Merrybottom.”

“Shut up.” This time a snort escaped and he grinned at her. She ignored him. “You can call me Elf. It’s a nice gender-neutral name that’s easy to remember.” 

“Boring.” He rolled his eyes but he didn’t argue. He continued down the walkway then  began to walk toward the center of town. Savy hurried to catch up to him. 

“What are you doing?” she asked. 

“Going where there’s more foot traffic,” he said. “We need to be on the corner to direct shoppers toward the bookstore.” 

Savy was not having it. She stopped walking. It took Joaquin a couple of paces to realize she wasn’t behind him. He paused and looked back at her. 

“Problem?” 

“I am not going to stand in the center of town dressed like an elf,” she said. “Public humiliation was not a part of the bargain when I came to help Maisy out.” 

He studied her for a moment. He looked as if he was undecided as to what to say. Savy almost told him not to bother since there was nothing he could say that would change her mind. 

Finally, he just sighed and continued walking. “Suit yourself,” he said. “But since it’s going to take a Christmas miracle to save Maisy’s bookstore, I, for one, am willing to make an ass of myself if it helps her keep her shop.” 

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