Adrian Blackstone built a million-dollar business with hard work and determination—and by remaining professional at all times. Denying his longtime attraction to his beautiful executive assistant hasn’t been easy but it’s necessary. She’s indispensable, and he can’t stand the thought of losing her if things didn’t work out.
For more than a year, Rachel Carter has been quietly dreaming of all the ways she’ll never seduce her sexy, buttoned-up boss. She’s worked too hard to get where she is to cross that line, no matter how badly she’d like to act on her fantasies. But then a wicked snowstorm leaves them stranded in a romantic winter wonderland…
What begins as a single kiss and a few bad Santa jokes turns into a weekend full of breathless passion and hopes for something more. But with Monday comes a return to their complicated reality—and Adrian must prove that promises made are promises kept, especially at Christmastime.
This review was original posted
One thing you need to know about me. I am an absolute SUCKER for holiday stories. Holiday novellas, especially. They’re usually short enough to be quick reads between family holiday…excitement…and yet long enough to be satisfying romances. They’re sentimental and sappy and I love them like you would not believe.
Back in 2010 when I was just beginning to figure out this whole Twitter thing, I was following Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and she was raving about a short story titled Holiday Sparks by an author I’d never heard of: Shannon Stacey. I took a chance, (and, hey, Holiday story!) and bought the novella. I remember I sat at my dining room table while my mom was getting ready for us to go to a New Year’s Eve party at my aunt’s house and read the entire thing. I. Loved. It. The next day I went to Amazon and bought her entire backlist.
In 2011, Shannon Stacey published Mistletoe & Margaritas. Another holiday story! Yay! I continued the tradition and read it on New Year’s Eve. Loved it even MORE than the last one.
So imagine my disappointment when I found out there would be no holiday story from Ms. Stacey in 2012! But…but…but…WHY?!?! Turns out she wrote a summer short story. Well, okay, at least I got a story, but it just wasn’t the same. Rumors of pouting, whining, and throwing myself on the ground kicking and sobbing are
absolutely true greatly exaggerated.
This year Ms. Stacey is OBVIOUSLY making it up to me, because I get not one, but TWO stories this holiday season. YAY! I haven’t read Snow Day (yet), so I’m not sure if its actually a holiday story or not (I don’t really care. Snow. Novella. Shannon Stacey. I’m in), but Snowbound with the CEO most definitely IS and it’s a fantastic way to kick off what I like to call “Holiday Novella Season.” It may be too early for Christmas lights (Staring at you, neighbor down the street) or Holiday displays in stores, but as soon as Halloween is over, I start hoarding ALL THE HOLIDAY STORIES. I store them like a squirrel stores nuts, keeping them to help me through the bleary winter days with too much food and WAAAAY too much family togetherness. LOL.
In Snowbound with the CEO, Adrian Blackstone is a handsome and successful owner and CEO of Blackstone Historical Renovations, and he wants his executive assistant “more than he’d ever wanted a woman in his life.” Rachel Carter wears sensible heels, professional clothes, has been working for Mr. Blackstone for 16 months, and is trying to remember seducing her boss will end with being unemployed.
They’re at one of Adrian’s former renovations to meet with and impress a potential client. As the title suggests, they get snowed in and hijinks ensue. They’re snowed in at a luxury hotel with guests and a full staff, so its not like they’re roughing it. The nice bit about this (versus the usual “stranded by ourselves, whatever will we DO until help arrives?!” plot) is it gives Ms. Stacey the ability to focus solely on Adrian and Rachel and their interactions with each other, rather than having to spend precious novella pages rescuing themselves in some way. That kind of thinking and paring a story down to focus on its most important elements are things Ms. Stacey excels at and is part of what keeps me coming back book after book.
After discovering they’re snowed in, Adrian heads to the bar and sees a woman at the bar whom he is instantly attracted to. She laughs and he’s entranced. When he sits down next to her he discovers…its Rachel.
Number thirty-two, or thereabouts, on Rachel’s list of one hundred and one ways to seduce her boss was to pretend to be a stranger in a bar. Being mistaken for a stranger in a bar was close enough to send a little sizzle down her spine.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh like that before,” he said, and it wasn’t in his Mr. Blackstone voice. It was definitely a picking-up-a-woman-in-a-bar voice.
“You’ve never told me a joke about two elves, a reindeer and a candy cane.”
He swiveled his stool a little toward her, so their knees almost touched. “Let me buy you another drink and I’ll think of a joke.”
They share their first kiss after a dance, and I melted. A good sexy dance scene is nearly as romantic and sexy to me as anything that happens in the bedroom.
…since I’ve only heard you call me Adrian in my mind— sometimes when I’m dreaming and sometimes when I’m in the shower— I want to hear it from you more often.
Although a conversation like this while dancing ups the Sexy Quotient drastically. fans self*
This was a fun and (not to be to redundant) a sexy read. They spend the better part of a weekend in bed in a lodge only to come home and have a misunderstanding or two which keeps them apart for a little while. There is some angst, and there are some supportive family, a Stacey trademark, and a Merry Christmas and Happily Ever After, of course. It IS a Holiday Novella.
I’m thrilled to add Snowbound with the CEO to my Shannon Stacey Holiday Novella Collection. I’ll be reading it every year just like I do Mistletoe & Margaritas and Holiday Sparks. Reading these stories has become one of my favorite holiday traditions.
Lynda the Guppy
aka No Grinch With Sticks
aka The Fish With Sticks
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars