A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak

by Kristen D · 30 Oct 2015
A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak
This time of year is when all the Christmas books start hitting the shelves. It’s a deluge of tinsel and yuletide cheer and I won’t lie to you, chickens, some of them start to bleed together. There’s too many children still needing to believe in Santa or Scrooge’s to be redeemed and I usually find myself craving differentiation of themes.

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Thankfully, A Winter Wedding was here to serve this year. The newest installment in Novak’s Whiskey Creek series, this book centers around Kyle and Lourdes. I’ve not read the other Whiskey Creek books, but this installment makes it seem like this series is like so many other of its ilk ­ sprawling tribal friend circle who have clearly each gotten their own novels before and there’s some cross­over between the stories. If so, then Kyle is probably familiar to readers of the other books and I wonder if people have been clamoring for his story. A solar panel installer with a seriously unstable ex­wife who happens to be the sister of one of his best friends who also happens to be the woman Kyle is in love with who also happens to be married to his stepbrother. He comes across as broody and serious, loyal to a fault and dedicated to his work and his friends.

Enter in this story, Lourdes, who is a country music superstar looking for a refuge from a whirling dervish of personal chaos she has going. She comes to town to rent a house from Kyle in order to write her new album in peace. However, the HVAC system isn’t quite as function as Kyle thought it was, so instead of abandoning her to a freezing overnight in the Sierra Nevada mountains, he offers her a room in his house.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, she has a boyfriend at the beginning of the book but Lourdes slowly realizes that the boyfriend/manager has no real idea how to be a boyfriend without being a manager and shares a little bit too much personal attention with his other artists, shall we say, and so while he is a background thread through the story, she emotionally dispenses with him fairly quickly.

Also simmering in the background is Kyle’s delusional and sociopathic ex­wife Noelle who spends most of the book either trying to manipulate Kyle into getting back together or punishing him for not getting back together. She’s a piece of work in every sense of the word. Her presence in Kyle’s life was stressful to me and she brought out the worst in him, which may be why I had trouble connecting with him. There was clearly a lot there that I didn’t fully understand and couldn't fully appreciate about their history and dynamic. And, to be honest, she just wasn’t fun to read about. I was not even a little bit sad when her part of the story was over.

Overall, this book was enjoyable. I didn’t really connect with Kyle or Lourdes as people and so that stifled my enjoyment a bit. With series like this, I often wonder how much of the groundwork especially for Kyle ­ is done in previous books. Perhaps if I knew his tribe and knew him a bit more, this would have worked for me a little bit better. When I went to check the Goodreads reviews for this book, it was full of comments like “yaaaaaay! Kyle got his happy ending!” so clearly he is a character more people connect with.

The sex is good ­ I particularly enjoyed the foray in the alley, *cough cough* ­ and their chemistry is tangible. I do believe the two of them are suited to each other and that Lourdes would fully fit into the world of Whiskey Creek, so in that way Novak did her job, I’m just not 100% sure I care that they do. Which is on me and my tastes.

If you’re looking for a good winter­themed book that doesn’t include carols and cider and ho­ho­ho, then I’d pick this up. It made me want to curl in front of a fire with hot chocolate for sure, as well as add the rest of the Whiskey Creek series to my ever­mounting TBR.

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