Holly Knight is the high-powered owner and CEO of Knight Enterprises. She hasn't taken any time for herself in years, except for occasional secret liaisons with men she meets in bars. She doesn't think she has time for a real relationship, so stranger hook-ups are just fine with her. Until a new stranger comes to town.
Ebenezer "Ben" Hall was sent by his company to negotiate a merger deal with one of Holly's companies. He has a flawless track record of being able to charm anyone into a business deal and into his bed. The chemistry between him and Holly is combustible from the start, so when he accidentally finds a bucket list Holly made that includes lots of sexy wishes, Ben is definitely up to fulfilling a few of them, especially if it will get him what he wants.
Adding Ben's friends and sometimes lovers, Kit and Justin, into the mix, only turns up the heat. But when Holly finds out that Ben is doing things straight off her wishlist, not only is the business deal off, but she doesn't want anything do with him again. By now, Ben has realized he's unexpectedly fallen in love with Holly, but can he make her believe him? With the help of a little holiday magic, anything is possible.
Getting Scrooged is a super-steamy Christmas novella about an over-worked corporate mogul with something to prove, who never takes time out for herself. She finally finds her match in the man who is sent to negotiate a corporate merger between one of her companies, a small publishing house, and the larger one that is his employer. Holly and Ben were decent characters, but I felt like they were a little too much alike. Both had crappy lives growing up and both have driven, type-A personalities, but each for their own reasons. Holly's dad always wished she was a boy to whom he could pass on his company, so she never quite felt like she measured up to his standards. Even though he passed away, she still feels like she has to prove to herself that she can be the kind of businessperson her father could have been proud of. As such, she drives herself into the ground, never taking time out except to occasionally have anonymous, no-strings sex with strangers she meets in bars. She turns forty on Christmas Eve and feels like life has passed her by and perhaps she's missing out on something by not having a relationship. Ben, on the other hand, seems to have a pretty good handle on having fun and is driven more by the thrill of the hunt, so to speak. However, much like Holly, he isn't excited about the upcoming holiday season. I guess I prefer for the hero and heroine to be more different - not polar opposites, but different enough that I feel like they're going to genuinely enrich each other's lives - and I didn't necessarily sense that with Holly and Ben. Also, their personalities were just a little too far removed from my own for me to be able to fully relate to them.
Where the author seems to excel is in her love scenes that, overall, are smokin' hot. Holly and Ben alone are steamy enough, but add in Ben's two friends and sometimes lovers, Kit and Justin, and their love scenes could start a four-alarm fire.;-) The menage is only a temporary one, though, to fulfill one of the wishes on Holly's bucket list, when I usually prefer them to be more permanent. However, I did enjoy that all three men are Brits, because it's somewhat rare to find foreigners in American-set contemporary romances.
As much as I enjoyed the hot sex scenes, though, I'm not usually one to allow my brain to turn to mush because of them. Even making allowances for the characterizations, which were admittedly pretty decent for a novella, there were still a few little things that kept it from being a five-star read for me. First, I thought the author could have done a better job with blocking during dialogue. Sometimes the conversation runs on for a while with little or no character actions in between lines. The love scenes, while hot, were just a tad too chatty for my taste as well. Lastly, the whole story takes place over about four weeks time, during which there are big jumps forward in the story and a nearly two-week span where Holly and Ben are apart, so having them fall in love and marry so quickly perhaps wasn't quite as believable as it could have been. However, I'll allow that a little bit of Dickensian magic on the side made it a little easier to swallow. So overall, despite a few minor issues, Getting Scrooged was still a pretty enjoyable read. It was my first story by Eden Bradley, but certainly good enough to make me curious what she can do with a longer story format.
Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations, including spicy M/F and M/M interactions, as well as a M/F/M/M menage, use of sex toys and anal play, which some readers may find offensive.
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