Review ~ Homecoming in Christmas Falls by Ciara Knight

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Eight years after fleeing Christmas Falls because of a high school prank gone wrong, Ashley Brooks receives a mysterious letter from her mentor asking her to come home. She arrives to face all she left behind—her family, her friends, and the rich boy she’d loved who would never date the girl from the wrong side of town.

Brent Donnelly, high school jock, brainiac, and dutiful son did everything right until the day Ashley returns to Christmas Falls. With one look at the girl who got away he questions all his life choices, including following in his father’s footsteps in the family business.

Faced with a potentially devastating decline of tourism in their hometown, Brent and Ashley must work together to save the magic of their town, but when Ashley discovers he still has feelings for her best friend she must finally face the real reason she left Christmas Falls—to try to heal her broken heart.

Seven fabulous authors bring you this holiday romance series about a group of special friends returning to their hometown at the request of their high school mentor. Each book is a standalone, but read them all to fully enjoy the journey of these remarkable women and their emotional reunion with their mentor, an incredible woman who changes their lives and helps save a small town community forever.

When I first cracked open Homecoming in Christmas Falls and saw that it was written in first person, I nearly closed it right away. It’s just a personal preference of mine, but I have a hard time enjoying stories written this way, but I was SO curious about the story that I pushed past the first chapter and then the second, and soon I was wondering who’s story would be next.

Ashley was a bit of a wild child back in the day, not reckless or even destructive, just energetic for a small town girl who never fit in with her family. Though this is a love story, I really enjoyed watching Ash reconnect with her parents, who she’d always viewed through the eyes of a hurt teenage girl. But nearly a decade apart can change things. Change people and their perspectives. This part of the storyline really enhanced the overall Christmas-y feel of the whole story.

Now Ash and Brent. Ash, despite her gregariousness as a kid, had some self-esteem issues and thought she would never be good enough for the town golden boy, Brent. She thought he’d be better suited—and was already interested in—one of her besties, Piper. So after THE EVENT, she packed up and left town never to return.

Until this year when her teacher, mentor and surrogate mother calls the girls home, setting the stage for the whole Christmas Falls series.

Now that she’s a successful business woman with a clear vision of the past, Ash wants to help the town get back the magic it used to have. She’ll put her business sense to good use, along with Brent, to make the place truly fantastic again.

But this is a romance and Homecoming in Christmas Falls wouldn’t be complete without talking about these two. From the moment they appear on the page together, sparks fly. Brent is gorgeous and sweet, an irresistible combination that Ash succumbs to pretty quickly. Instead of being scared as she’d always been, Ash dives in and lets him know how she feels and her plans for the future.

Then it’s Brent’s turn to chicken out and go running. I was upset with him, but Ciara Knight created really beautiful drama with this part of the story. You could feel Ash’s pain and wanted to do serious bodily harm to a guy that seemed pretty damn perfect…until this moment. But I loved that it allowed Ash to see how strong she really is.

This was a really good read. It was cheesy and sweet and fun and filled with over the top Christmas, and none of that took away my enjoyment of this story.

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