Title: Wrapped Together (Portland Heat #5)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Page Count: 1,869 Kindle locations
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .
For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .
My first holiday read of 2016, and it was a fair start. In this installment of the Portland Heat series, Hollis and Sawyer are the featured couple.
Wrapped Together gives us Hollis’s POV, and he was the “Scrooge” of the story, if you will. He suffered a great tragedy in being present for the death of his parents just a couple years prior, around the holiday season. This clouded his mood, his thoughts, and his actions still. I got a little tired of Hollis, if I’m being honest. He was such a downer, hermit, etc. that I had a hard time understanding Sawyer’s interest at times.
Now, follow me here. Hollis and his sister, Char, are twins. Sawyer and Tucker are twins. The foursome grew up together and have been in each others lives since tween years. Char and Tucker fell in love and are now married.
Hollis and Sawyer have actually been dancing around each other for years and have a lot of unfinished business by the time this story rolls around. That was really the most intriguing part of the story for me – their back story. It was done well for the novella-length of this book, and I would’ve loved more about this.
Hollis and Sawyer make a bet that Sawyer will be able to get Hollis to get in a cheerful, holiday mood. There may have been some smexyness involved – no complaints!
What started off as just Hollis boring me and really bumming me out, if I’m honest, turned into me being quite invested of the outcome.
I didn’t understand Hollis’s epiphany; it seemed a bit abrupt. But all in all, this was a sweet holiday read, and I enjoyed it overall.