All Wrapped Up by Kimberly Kincaid
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: Talk about a hot lead... Christmas is coming to Pine Mountain - and it has a way of stirring up memories, good and bad. Nick Brennan may manage the Double Short bar smooth as good whiskey, but his past is a hot mess. When he runs into a burning building to save a little boy, some people start thinking there's more to his heroism than holiday spirit. And then then local reporter assigned to the story turns out to be gorgeous Ava Mancuso, the girl who got away. Ava knows what it's like to have a past. But the changes she's seen in Nick since she knew him do more than set off her natural curiosity - his warm eyes and gruff charm have her instincts fired up. Still, all the chemistry in the world doesn't erase history, even when Nick invites her to his little sister's mistletoe wedding. Does he have a heart under all those secrets? Or is this going to be just another Christmas past? (from Goodreads)
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I absolutely loved Just One Taste which came out earlier this year and couldn't wait to read more in the series.
My Impression: While I haven't read the rest of the Pine River series (though that will be changing soon) I had met Nick Brennan in the earlier book and it was obvious he had quite a story to tell so I was excited to see what it was.
Let me get the negative out of the way - I don't like the Secret plot. Of all the plots I've come across one involving the main characters keeping secrets just tend to not work for me. In this one both Ava and Brennan have their secrets and they're key components of the story. There were times I wanted to reach into the book grab which ever one was being hardheaded at the time and say "Just tell him/her!!" And I was dreading when all the secrets come out because you know that's going to happen.
Now for the positive - Kincaid did a fantastic job of making one of my least favorite plot devices a really enjoyable book. For starters I really understood the motives of the characters which really helped keep me from being to annoyed with them. I totally got why Brennan wasn't looking to share his past and really just wanted to be left alone. I understood why Ava pursued the story and why she wanted to keep going with it. Her motives were underhanded or purely self-serving so while I knew certain things were a bad idea I understood why she was doing what she was doing.
The ending was super satisfying. Sweet and with everything I wanted from it. And I did a dance of joy when I realized that Kincaid's new series is going to be about Station Eight! The scene with Ava and Alex was fantastic and seeing him fall head over heels is going to be great fun.
Overall, I was really impressed with Kincaid taking a plot device that I don't love and making a story I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to going back and reading Adrian and Teagan's story.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I've already gotten the first book of her new series and going back and reading what I missed in Pine River
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes, if you like a good dash of spice mixed in with the sweet I think you'd enjoy this book and the series.