A California Christmas

Harlequin Audio. (Silver Springs, Bk. 7). 2020. 1,013p. ISBN 9781799919728. $39.99. F
Dallas Turner had a crush on Emery Bliss when they were both high schoolers in Silver Springs. She was from a well-to-do family, and he was one of the students at New Horizons, a home for troubled youth. He never got up the nerve to ask her out when they were teenagers, but now they happen to be sleeping under the same roof. Dallas is home for his adoptive mother’s wedding, and Emery is hiding out after a sex-tape with her ex-boyfriend (and former morning show co-anchor) was leaked and they were both fired. Much of the story revolves around Emery and Dallas coming together as they support each other through difficult times while also connecting in other ways. Emery is concerned that all anyone is thinking about when they see her is the sex tape. She worries it will make it difficult to find another job and is suing the TV station and her ex, whom she believes posted the video as revenge after the two broke up. Dallas’s father is in prison for a heinous crime, and for the first time in 25 years, he is attempting to make contact. Veronica Worthington does an excellent job as narrator showcasing the varied emotions the hero, heroine, and supporting characters have throughout the novel. Though this is book seven of the “Silver Springs” series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. While marketed as a Christmas book, the events could have taken place at any time of the year.
VERDICT Listeners looking for a classic Christmas story filled with heart and wonder will not find it here. This is for those who enjoy stories filled with drama and high emotions at every turn.
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