Review: The Cabin at Candy Cane Lane – Laramie Briscoe
by Laramie Briscoe
Series: Blizzard Bluff #1
Publication Date: December 2, 2022
Source: Grey's Promotions
I received an advance review copy of this book from Grey's Promotions. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Holly, jolly and all that's naughty...
Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But not this year; at least not for me.
Laid off from my job, left at the altar, and wanting to bury my head until the new year I head to a family friend's cabin.
Blizzard Bluff was in my rearview as soon as I graduated high school, but now I'm heading back to lick my wounds.
The last person I expect to see is the boy who made my heart pound as a teenager. Only he's a man now, and he's going to be the one to turn my holiday around.
It’s the perfect time of year for holiday novellas so this one, with its adorable title, sounded right up my alley. There’s a lot of tropes in this novella – snowbound, second chance, and instalove – and while the first two are some of my favorites, the last one didn’t work for me at all.
“Left at the altar.
Honeymoon was given to my best friend and her husband.
Now I’ve lost my job.
At the end of my rope would be an appropriate way to describe my life right now.”
After being left at the altar and losing her job – in the same day – Holly decides to give up on city life and move back to her small hometown of Blizzard Bluff. Wanting to lick her wounds in peace, she takes a friend up on the offer to spend a few days at her cabin. With a possible blizzard coming in, Lucas agrees to give his friend’s cabin a quick once-over. After all, he’s basically the only handyman in Blizzard Bluff. Neither of them expects to see their childhood love, or that the blizzard will strand them together overnight.
I pitied Holly from the beginning but never quite managed to make it to wanting to root for her. It’s your classic holiday movie trope: girl from small town moves to big town, something happens that sends her back home, she realizes what she wanted was waiting in the small town all along. It was fine, but there was nothing about it that really drew my attention. Lucas, on the other hand? I want all the good things for him, and by the end I wasn’t sure if that was Holly or if he was better off without her. He’s still pining after her, but he hasn’t let them stop him from pretty much single-handedly keeping his father’s construction business afloat. And look, I know it’s a novella, but everything moved way too fast for me. The speed with which Holly goes from being jilted to declaring true love for Lucas gave me whiplash. I couldn’t blame Lucas for hesitating to let her in again.
“I don’t want him to have to wait any longer.”
Overall, I couldn’t buy the HEA. More background on their childhood relationship or more time spent showing that Holly had recovered from her previous relationship would’ve helped. It’s a quick novella, though, so it may work if you’re looking for a little infusion of holiday spirit.
Content notes: View Spoiler »jilted at the altar, cheating (of side character on MC), death of a parent from cancer (before book starts) « Hide Spoiler