Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Christmas at Gate 18" by Amy Matayo

I love Christmas. I love Amy Matayo books. Combine Christmas and an Amy Matayo book, and you've got a read I can't resist!

Supermodel Rory Gray just wants to go home. After wrapping up a three-day high-fashion photo shoot overseas, she’s exhausted and ready for the holiday. A holiday that involves Hollywood parties, air-kissing the industry elite, and a whole lot of fakeness…but whatever. Once she gets through that torture, she’ll head to her beloved Seattle and the life of anonymity she misses so much. In less than twenty-four hours, she’ll be there. 

Colt Ross has spent the past six months detaching himself from the Hollywood world he grew up in, and home is the last place he wants to be. But he’s been called back by his overbearing father for reasons he can only imagine. Likely reasons that involve taking over the family corporation or fund raising among Hollywood elite—something Colt has no interest in being part of. Not that he has a choice; when you’re the son of an industry executive, rubbing elbows comes with the territory. In less than twenty-four hours he’ll be home. After all this time away, home no longer appeals to him. Especially not at Christmas. Leave it to his father to ruin a holiday. 

But when a late-season hurricane grounds both of their flights in the Dominican Republic, Rory and Colt find themselves stuck at the airport far longer than anticipated. As weather conditions worsen, they both begin to realize that this Christmas will be spent with strangers packed inside a single airport terminal—specifically at gate 18. 

Rory and Colt are faced with a choice: band together in their misery or make this Christmas one they will never forget. For two people who aren’t real fond of the holiday, this Christmas might turn out to be the best they’ve ever had. 

Christmas at Gate 18 is a fun Christmas novella that can be read in a couple hours—and once you start reading it, you won't want to stop until you've finished it! Rory is a fascinating character—I never would've guessed I'd become so fond of a supermodel so quickly!—and her backstory was both intriguing and heartbreaking. I do wish we'd gotten to know Colt better; he remained a mystery until the very end of the novella, even though half of the novella was written from his perspective.

I've read a lot of Amy Matayo's books, and I'd say that Christmas at Gate 18 falls somewhere between The Whys Have It and The Thirteenth Chance in tone. The Whys Have It is very intense and emotional, while The Thirteenth Chance is light and fun. Christmas at Gate 18 isn't nearly as deep and dark as The Whys Have It, but it's also not the light romp of The Thirteenth Chance. It's a great mix of fun and serious, and, of course, it features a toe-curling romance and the great banter that's a hallmark of Matayo's writing.

This is the type of novella that would make a great Lifetime Christmas movie. (I say Lifetime instead of Hallmark because this isn't as light and squeaky-clean as a Hallmark movie, but it seems suited for Lifetime.) It's romantic, intriguing, and full of Christmas cheer—perfect for a cold winter night! 4-1/2 stars.

Note: I'd classify Amy Matayo romances as "sweet with heat." What I mean by that is there's never any sexual content that goes beyond kissing, but those kisses get pretty heated. Just FYI 😉

Buy the novella.
Read my reviews of Matayo's The Whys Have It (4-1/2 stars), The Thirteenth Chance (5 stars), The Wedding Game (4 stars), In Tune with Love (4-1/2 stars), and A Painted Summer (4-1/2 stars).

Author Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef...and liar. She's decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.

Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.

She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she's proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn't put it to good use.

She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.

Keep up with her: website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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