His look is something else altogether. It's open and honest, and something deep inside me cracks. He hasn't looked at me like that for so long, I forgot he could.
I grew up with him and bested him in practically everything we did together–debate, grades, mini-golf, you name it. So I’ve built an immunity to his boy-next-door charm. Sure, sometimes I might accidentally type his name into my search engine, but his dimples, hotel empire and thirst-trap photos don’t tempt me. I’ve got my sights set on earning my way to the top of the Palmer Hotel empire, and nothing is going to get in my way.
Until my step-sister leaves her secret toddler with me before skipping town for three months. Now suddenly everyone thinks he’s mine, and instead of powering my way to the top, I’m struggling to not get fired. And instead of Ruben staying on the executive floor where he belongs, he’s invading my apartment, breaking dates with starlets, and looking disappointed that I decided to settle down with anyone except him.
But I know Ruben, and Ruben doesn’t settle down. So there's no way I’m giving him my heart. Not even for Christmas.
Thoughts & Feelings
I don't know why but I always get in the mood for Christmas books in November. I'm not one of those people who decorate for Christmas right after Halloween so I really don't know why my love for a cozy Christmas novel creeps in so early. Esther Hatch's newest Christmas novel, One Small Secret, had me giggling from the get-go. I absolutley LOVED this novel and couldn't put it down. I read it in a single night and even woke my husband up a few times with my giggling. IT'S SO GOOD!
I love that Esther's addition to the Gift-Wrapped Romance series was completely different than Anneka R. Walker's. It takes place in a different city with different characters and has it's own unique feel while still giving us the same cozy Christmas vibes. It made me want to read the entire series even more.
One thing that I loved about One Small Secret was our leading lady. Cadence has so much confidence and sass but she never gives off the "I'm too good for you" vibe. Confident but humble and so easy to relate to. She also has the best sense of humor and getting to "hear" her inner thoughts had me giggling throughout the novel. I was only three (kindle) pages in when I had my first laugh and it was so good that I took a screen shot and sent it to my sister. That my friends, is just how amazing and funny this book is. You are going to absolutely love Cadence.
Swearing is mentioned but no actual words are given. The passage says, "I curse..." and there are a few "what the" but no swear words are printed.
Content & Trigger Warnings
Title: One Small Secret
Series: A Gift-Wrapped Romance #4
Author: Esther Hatch
A Gift-Wrapped Romance Series
Cabin Crush by Kasey Stockton
Merry Kismet by Anneka R. Walker
Solo for the Season by Martha Keyes
One Small Secret by Esther Hatch
Jingle Bell Jilt by Mindy Burbidge Strunk