After a few rough years, Sophia finally feels like she has everything going right. And after a long day working in her boutique, she’s ready to ring in the new year with her best friend, Autumn. Certainly the last person she expects to run into is her brother-in-law, Adam Dane … See, Sophia’s had a rocky relationship with the Dane family ever since her husband passed away. And even though she’d rather keep her distance, she can’t help but feel drawn to Adam … and as they celebrate a new year and new beginnings, she realizes he might feel the same way.
Novellas, when done right, can make for brief and captivating reads. When written by a focused author, they’re just short enough to hold even the most wandering of attentions. But the flip side of this is that they can sometimes end long before the story feels finished. One Night in Christmas straddles this line. Though there’s a full novel lurking inside this novella, that doesn’t keep it from being highly enjoyable.
And this is really a testament to Debbie Mason’s writing— she leaves readers wanting more. Even within these short confines, her characters feel fully realized. Sophia, strong but somewhat dependant on her best friend, just wants to continue on in the comfortable life she’s created. Adam, charming but almost focused to a fault, can’t wait to escape from the tiny town. Mason dutifully casts these two as opposites who inevitably cross paths— and then some. Lesser writers might accidentally make their differences feel incompatible, but Mason treats them as puzzle pieces just waiting to see how they fit together. Their blossoming and complicated relationship fuels the story in such a compelling way.
Of course, it helps that they’re backed up by such an entertaining secondary cast of characters. Autumn sneaks through her own new relationship. Sophia’s other friend, Ty, cracks jokes and schemes as a matchmaker. And the Dane family weaves in plenty of mystery and drama to keep the action flowing.
Some of this action might have been better served by a full length book. Sophia’s complications surrounding her husband’s death could have been fleshed out, because it really was a fascinating point. As well, while the ending wasn’t rushed, the build-up could have been stretched. But with a splash of fun and a bit of heart, Debbie Mason has written a charming story.
Title: One Night in Christmas
Author: Debbie Mason
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: May 07, 2019
Classification: Novella, Romance
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.