Jemma Banks is finally ready to celebrate and enjoy the Christmas season in a way she never did as a child. But when her father breaks his pelvis, she returns home to Marietta to care for him. He is desperate to make amends with Jemma, but she is determined to leave Marietta with her heart intact, even if it means being compared to Scrooge.
Physical therapist and snowboarder EJ Corpa can’t ignore the pull when he lays eyes on his patient’s daughter for the first time. Jemma is beautiful, but guarded. Deep down, EJ knows she’s a woman who’s longing for a little fun. When she agrees to help with his clinic’s tree for the Mistletoe and Montana auction, the armor she’s so carefully constructed begins to fall away, and the magic of the holiday season takes hold.
With ice skating, hot cocoa, and Christmas tree decorating for a great cause, EJ and Jemma begin falling for each other. Will EJ begin to see that life’s adventures are more thrilling when there’s someone to share them with?
Titles in the Holiday at The Graff series includes (so far) : Halloween At The Graff by Sinclair Jayne – Christmas At The Graff by Kaylie Newell – New Years At The Graff by Marin Thomas – Valentine’s At The Graff by Sinclair Jayne – St. Patrick’s Day At The Graff by Jeannie Watt – Love At The Graff by Jeannie Watt – Wedding At The Graff by Barbara Arkrum (to be honest the future titles in this series seem to be going through some changes so as time goes on and definitive titles are finalized I’ll adjust this series list, for now this is the general outline that the current books are showing as up and coming titles)
Title: Christmas At The Graff
Series: Holiday at the Graff #2
Author: Kaylie Newell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Christmas At The Graff delivers an emotional story, one that is far too common. A family estranged, parents giving two far different versions of the truth and children left with anger, sadness and confusion when reality comes into their lives with situations they are not prepared for. Jemma and her sister Justine have had years to build their anger and resentment toward their father. He walked away from their mother and from them. Forgiving him is not an option for either woman, the damage done is too painful to allow for anything beyond resentment and unanswered questions. Their mother became an embittered woman who had nothing but hatred toward their father. There were casualties from their parent’s break up… one of them was Christmas.
Now Joe needs help. After a broken pelvis, their father has asked for help which Jemma is grudgingly providing. Justine will have nothing to do with the situation, but Jemma made the trip to Marietta, she’ll do her daughterly duty but she’s determined to not budge on forgiving her father. His handsome physical therapist can sing Joe’s praises, but Jemma’s not buying it. She knows what her father is like, EJ has no clue.
Jemma and EJ are both wounded souls for slightly different reasons. Neither trusts in lasting love or happy ever afters. But what they both will learn over the days leading up to Christmas is that truth is often two sided, depending on who is telling their version of the truth. Jemma will slowly discover that she’s not been given the entire story behind the dissolving of a family, and while her father was to blame… so was her mother and the version of truth she made the choice to tell her daughters. A near tragedy will change everything, and maybe forgiveness isn’t as difficult as she once thought.
The historic hotel The Graff is all decked out for Christmas, and this building is as much a characters as everyone else. I can remember reading the story surrounding the Graff being remodeled, brought back to life once again – and it’s fun for me to see just how well this particular character of a building has grown over time.
I enjoyed this touching romance. I hurt for both Jemma and EJ – their lives have not been easy, and both have created walls that it will take some life changing events to tear down. But watching them discover that love is a possibility for them, that the past can be left behind and a new future forged was a delightful experience. I would recommend Christmas At The Graff for any Romance reader who enjoys digging deep into emotions, finding answers that aren’t easy and finding a love worth fighting for.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available for the Kindle