This book is a follow-up and features some of the same characters as an earlier winter story by Novak, but it easily works as a stand-alone novel. The brief backstory did make me curious about the previous romance, but I was quickly swept up in the events of this one. Max and Luca don’t have any reason to become a couple. They live in different countries, their first meeting is more awkward retail interaction than anything resembling cute, and Luca is dealing with his busiest holiday season ever. Novak’s focus on character development guiding the romance arc (instead of the other way around) is what prompts Max and Luca to speak again. And since this is still a romance, I didn’t mind the fun hotel room hook-up that followed.

I’m used to Novak’s delicious romance stories making me hungry, but this time you’ll want to have chocolate on hand to feed the cravings that this particular book inflicts. You’ll also want a glass of water to cool off because Luca makes up for the heat he doesn’t use in his kitchen by bringing it all to the bedroom. What should be a one-time hookup turns into a holiday fling thanks to the explosive chemistry between the dynamic characters, even when they’re fully dressed.

The connection between them is obvious, even when both men are afraid to discuss it for fear of bursting the bubble of easy perfection they’ve created in their short time together. However, the problems mentioned above still exist, and Novak uses the perfect amount of tension to shift this from a whirlwind romance to a potential happily ever after. Don’t miss this sweet treat featuring plenty of holiday spice, excellent bisexual representation, and the character-driven storytelling I’ve come to love from this author.

Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars
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