Review – Tinsel My Heart by Christi Barth

Tinsel My HeartPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: eARC from author

Becca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Players’ over-the-top Christmas show for ten years. It’s a beloved Minneapolis tradition, and the theater’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is in danger of being canceled when their director disappears into rehab. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped this town off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will it require sacrificing their chance at a happily-ever-after together?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I adore Barth’s writing, but add in my hometown of Minneapolis, and there was no way I could turn down this request!

Becca loves working with the small Lyndale Park Players’ theater group as their producer. But losing their director to a last minute drug rehab is stressing her out more than usual. Having to work with her high school friend Jack, who disappeared after graduation, isn’t any easier. But having Jack as director is great for the theater group, and Becca’s hormones.

Jack always had a thing for Becca, but missed out on his chance with her when their mutual best friend Ty made the first move. Jack never wanted to return to Minnesota, but now he’s back and spending time with Becca is showing him just how much he missed his friend, and maybe even the city. But when Ty shows back up out of the blue, things between Jack and Becca are strained once again, and maybe this time for good.

I loved the way that the city of Minneapolis played as secondary character to the story. I have such a love for the metropolitan I grew up in, so getting to see all the little aspects of Minnesota pop up, the midwestern phrases that I miss hearing, was such a fun and special treat for me. Non midwesterns might not get some of the little tidbits, but will absolutely still enjoy the book.

Poor Jack hated everything about growing up in the twin cities, and because of it he vowed never to come back. I have to say, I love the way he processed coming home. There were just as many moments that he loved as he hated, and Barth did a wonderful job of showing Jack’s character getting the chance to look back on his hometown through the eyes of a grown up, a successful one at that. I did think Jack was a little childish in the way he handled meeting Becca for the first time, especially since he never got any kind of resolution on his lingering feelings for Becca.

I adored Becca. I loved that her character was so willing to put her hopes and dreams on hold, but still carve out a life for herself that she could be happy in. She reminds me so much of many midwestern women I know, and I loved her all the more because of it. I was so excited to see that she was going to get the chance to finally live out her dreams, especially after she went through so much to put her life on hold for her ill grandmother.

The romance between Jack and Becca was great, even though Jack was pretty surly at times. I loved the way Becca was able to reflect on their previous friendship to find ways to break through Jack’s walls, to both strengthen their friendship and their romance. It was sweet and sexy and so fun to read! The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the way that Jack allowed Ty to come in and ruin everything he had built for himself, especially since Jack was so unwilling to get the whole story.

All in all I thought Barth wrote a fabulous Christmas themed romance. I loved the story about the Christmas play, and watching Jack go all Scrooge over it! :) Both the hero and heroine were wonderful characters, and the romance was so fun.
I give Tinsel My Heart a B+

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