Colorado High Country #5


Pamela Clare

✮✮✮ 4 STARS ✮✮✮

A woman at a crossroads…
Rain Minear has fantasized about finding herself in Joe Moffat’s arms for years. It’s just her luck that the night it finally happens, he’s carrying her into the emergency room. It’s Joe who steps up to help her when a tragedy brings her life crashing down. He gives her a place to stay, helps her get back on her feet, and even tries to save her Christmas, though he’s never cared for the holiday. But he’s far too ethical to sleep with a member of his staff, holding her at arms length despite the long-simmering attraction between them.
A man haunted by the past…
Joe Moffat moved to Scarlet Springs to repay a debt. He’s struggled for years to keep his hands off Rain. She’s the general manager of his brewpub, and he is not that kind of boss. But, oh, she turns him on. More than that, she has the biggest heart of any woman he’s ever known. He’d do anything to see her smile again, even put up a Christmas tree and listen to carols. 
A season that changes two lives forever…
When a Rocky Mountain blizzard leaves them snowbound, they can no longer ignore their feelings for one another. As their passion turns to something deeper, it becomes clear to them both that this will be the most important Christmas of their lives.

I have had Pamela Clare on my future reading list for years. I saw an opening in my schedule this month and after all the recommendations and stellar reviews about Close to Heaven I jumped at the chance to read this Christmas-themed contemporary romance. So happy I did. 
Close to Heaven is a pretty straight-forward friends-to-lovers story with grown-up characters. And when I say grown-ups I mean characters with a no-BS attitude, people who know what they want and express it in clear, simple words. 
Rain has been in love with Joe for twenty years. How she has been able to contain her feelings without going out of her mind is a miracle. Finally she and lays her cards on the table. And let me tell you, that takes some serious guts. I loved and admired Rain for it. I loved that she still could see Joe’s side in this situation although she wasn’t happy with it. This heroine sneaked into my heart because of her refreshing maturity, the kindness she showed people, her consideration for everyone who touched her life and also her courage to risk everything. 
Joe is obstinately holding on to his honor. He thinks it’s in everyone’s best interest to ignore his deep feelings for Rain. But he has a plethora of friends and employees who tell him insistently how clueless he is when all of them are facing the possibility of a life without this hardworking and kind woman in their small town – that’s how popular she is. Their annoyance with him was funny.

Joe knew the moment the staff got word that Rain had quit. Marcia quit speaking to him. Cheyenne openly glared at him. Libby told him she was too busy to talk when he came in to discuss art options for the labels of the new brew.

I wanted to slap Joe a little, not hard, just so to wake him up and see what was right in front of him. His honor is commendable and he is a good man through and through though so I am not complaining that it took him twenty years and half of the town for him to realize that it wasn’t just attraction both of them felt. Because once he does he goes all out and shows Rain what a special woman she is and how deep his feelings run.

Joe had come from a long line of assholes, and he was trying desperately not to become one himself.

I love stories with a small-town setting. Everything feels cozy, charming and familiar. Everybody is in everybody’s business and has an opinion about everything that is going on and has compunctions voicing it. It can be testing but also sweet because it’s usually with the best of intentions. Add to that the holiday factor and I’m all in. I adored this story. For some readers this might be a leeeettle bit too sweet, for me it was the perfect book at the perfect time. 
I saw a lot of characters I want to read about, many of their stories already released. Project Pamela Clare is a resounding success and I can’t wait to read more of this series.

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