December Read-a-Thon: Second Chance Christmas by Ellen Butler a Sweet Reunion Romance To Enjoy for the Holiday

13 Dec

Second Chance Christmas by Ellen Butler (Entangled Flirt, November 25, 2013)

Entangled Publishing’s Flirt line has been producing several great novellas and I have to say, it’s a great way to try out a new author, both as a reader, and (I imagine) as a publisher. Despite my hesitation with reunion romances, I trust Entangled enough to know I’m going to get a good story.

It’s certainly what debut author Ellen Butler delivered with Second Chance Christmas.

I think it was the premise that suckered me in. Emma Taylor can’t believe she’s been called into an ER still dressed in her formal gown from the interrupted concert she was sharing with her date from the French embassy. The last thing she expected to do tonight was to pick up the ex-fiancee who she hasn’t seen for two years because he got hurt in a bar fight.

She’s shocked to discover that Major Colton Evans now walks with a cane, courtesy of a roadside bomb that took his friend and left shrapnel in his leg, and that his most recent address was Walter Reed Military Hospital. She wants to drop him somewhere safe for the night but a quick car conversation and it’s clear that she’s his best bet, particularly while he still needs care for a possible concussion. So she takes him home.

Colton cannot believe that fate landed this chance in his lap. He’s literally counted the days since he and Emma had the fight of the century and he’s more than willing to¬†admit that he screwed up when he tried to force her to choose between his career and hers. Eight hundred and eighty-four days later and he can see how she made the right choice – but even her gorgeous car and house can’t compete with how beautiful she still is. Colton decides this time together is the perfect opportunity to clear the air between them while showing Emma that the holiday season can be about new beginnings as well.

There was something so engaging about this lawyer who has tried to build a shell around her heart since Colton and she broke up and the returning soldier who had kept the picture of the woman he loved in his battle helmet while overseas. Told entirely from Emma’s perspective, I was taken aback at the lack of sex scenes – while sexual tension abounds, all the real action is totally behind closed doors. Butler transmits the true vulnerability of these two protagonists while letting their path back to love unfold naturally. The military piece is beautifully done, offering an insight into Colton’s character while also providing some poignant moments in this novella. While the holiday piece is fairly quiet in the backdrop, the symbolism is still present and quite lovely.

After reading this excellent novella, I’ll be keeping an eye on Ellen Butler for stories since I enjoyed this one. I would encourage Ms. Butler to be a bit more present on social media – like so many people, I like to connect with authors and while she has a relatively new Facebook page, I notice that Butler is not on Twitter and doesn’t yet have a lot of content on her blog. I’ll look forward to seeing her build more of a digital footprint as her oeuvre grows.

Happy reading!

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