Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Sleigh Bells in the Snow (O'Neil Brothers #1) by Sarah Morgan



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Sleigh Bells in the Snow
O'Neil Brothers #1
By:  Sarah Morgan
Published:  October 29, 2013
By:  Harlequin
Source:  Publisher


GR's Summary:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan heats up the season with the O'Neil brothers in a brand-new holiday series! 

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year. 

Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus. 

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?







My Thoughts:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan, was a sweet, enchanting, and heartfelt story that  really did a great job of depicting the sentiments of family, kinship, and love during the christmas season.  Kayla Green is a successful business woman in New York.  She has a posh apartment, beautiful office with a view, and a financially comfortable lifestyle.  However, Sarah spends all of her free time working, doesn't believe in vacation, and lacks a connection with her family.  She doesn't date or know how to relax.  As a single woman, Sarah takes pride in her high position in the P.R. company that she works for.  Her goal is to make Vice President of her company, and she has decided to forsake personal relationships in the process.  

Snow Crystal, located in Vermont, is a resort that is quickly going under, and Jackson, the oldest of the O'Neil Brothers, is called in by his mother Katherine, to try to salvage the family business. His father use to run the business, but after his death, Jackson quickly finds out that the business is in dire straits.  Snow Crystal has been in the family for many generations, and it is more to the O'Neil family that just a business.  It's also their home.  Jackson't Great Grandparents, Alice and Walter fell in love there, as did his parents.  All three of the O'Neil brothers grew up there and all learned how to ski those very slopes at the age of 3.  The family has been making homemade Maple syrup by tapping the trees , and is known for having the best Maple Syrup in the area.  Walter, Jackson's 80 year old grandfather is resistant to change, which is a constant source of disagreement between the two of them.  Jackson wants to hire Kayla, because she is a P.R. expert, and one of the best in getting businesses put on the map.  So, Walter agrees with his grandson in the hiring of Kayla on the condition that she stays for a week at Snow Crystal, and learns all about what makes it a special place.

When Kayla arrives at Snow Crystal, she is ready with her usual formal, all business attitude to take a meeting with the O'Neil's.  Instead she gets a warm, close-knot family laughing, informally discussing business at the kitchen table, while Jackson's mother, Elizabeth decorates cookies, his grandmother, Alice, knits a scarf, and his younger brother, Tyler, checks out her long sexy legs.  What ensues is a humorous, and fun type of chaos.  Kayla quickly realizes that she got more than she bargained for, and instead of having plenty of quiet time to avoid the christmas holiday, and be left alone, she is about to be placed right in the middle of family, christmas, and the outdoors!

I really enjoyed this story.  It made me think about the fact that while for some people, myself included, Christmas is a time of love, warmth, family, and good cheer, and yet for others, it is the most painful and lonely time of year.  There are Kayla Green's out there, and this story was a good reminder to me of how important it is to reach out and try to make other's outside of my close circle have a magical christmas as well.  The way that the O'Neil family embraced Kayla was beautiful and heartwarming.  In such a short period of time she developed a close bond with Walter, Alice, Elizabeth, Trevor, Jess, Brenna, and Elise.  She had always felt like an outsider, and her own family had emotionally abandoned her at a young age which was heartbreaking to read about, but at Snow Crystal she had a bright and hopeful new beginning filled with love, friendship, belonging, and a home.  I loved the setting of Vermont.  I could picture the snow covered mountains, majestic trees, wildlife, and smell the crisp clean air.  I loved the humor throughout the story, as well as how Jackson and Kayla fell in love.  I felt like I was skiing, ice skating, dog sledding, taking walks in the wild, splitting logs, and enjoying every bit of the adventure right along with them.  



My Rating:

I give, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, by Sarah Morgan, 3.5 Heart Warming, Nature Loving, Family Oriented, Deep Friendship, and Falling in Love For the First Time Stars!  If you are looking for a great holiday romance, this is a story that you will enjoy.  It's a feel good romance, and will make you feel all the beauty, love, and magic that this time of year can bring!









My Favorite Quotes:


"She'd discovered long before that loneliness could be a dull background ache or it could be sharp and painful.  It could bite into the soft parts of a person leaving bruises, or it could just nip gently at the edges of your subconscious."  (eARC, Loc. 1321)

~Kayla


"It sweeps you away and robs you of breath, and you know that no matter what happens in the future, this is a moment you're going to remember forever.  It's always going to be there, living inside you, and no one can take it away."  (eARC, Loc. 2574)

~Elizabeth 


"Family could be like a cushion, Kayla thought.  Something soft to protect you from the blows of life.  You couldn't stop the blows happening, but if you had people who cared around you then the blows hurt less."  (eARC, Loc. 3704)

~Kayla


"Happiness isn't simply avoiding unhappiness.  You can spend your life dodging boulders or you can jump on top of one and take a look at the view.  See what you're missing."  (eARC, Loc. 3795)

~Jackson


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About Sarah Morgan:


USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘a magician with words’ by RT Book Reviews, she has sold over 11 million copies of her books. She has been nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 for her book ‘Doukakis’s Apprentice’ and 2013 for ‘A Night of No Return’. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick’ slot. 

As a child Sarah dreamed of being a writer and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream.

Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.






Q & A

      1.  No story set in Vermont is the same without skiing. Do you like to ski?  What are your favorite ski destinations?

When I first met my husband (I call him Mr Cool because he is always calm in a crisis and my life is one big crisis) he was an expert skier. He’d skied from four years old and loved it. I loved mountains and snow, but I’d never skied so he decided to teach me and I fell in love with it. Truly, it became a passion for me (I was pretty crazy about him too!). I just loved being in the mountains and sometimes after he’d skied off to tackle some slope that would have made me sob with terror, I slipped off my skis and sat at the edge of the slope looking at the views. I always carried a notebook and I’d sit on the edge of the ski run scribbling away with frozen fingers (unless there was a mountain restaurant close by in which case I’d do it with a hot chocolate). Over the years we skied in different places, but we particularly loved Zermatt in Switzerland. The Matterhorn is breathtaking. But we also skied in Wengen, under the famous North Face of the Eiger, which is considered to be the most difficult Alpine climb (I wasn’t climbing, obviously. I was the one drinking hot chocolate!). Then we had kids and we took them too and that was so much fun. In Sleigh Bells there is a scene where Jackson is telling Kayla that Tyler used to head straight down the mountain from top to bottom as a small child and when people used to tell him to make turns to slow himself down, he used to yell back ‘why?’. That was inspired by an incident with my son. He was shooting down the slope like a bullet, I was having a heart attack and my husband thundered ‘turn’ in his most authoritative voice, but all we heard as our youngest whizzed past us was ‘why?’.  Kids have a great sense of balance and no fear! He was just fine, but I was scared enough for all of us.

      2.  Which is your favorite O’Neil brother? Why?

I can’t pick a favorite! I love them all for different reasons and they have different qualities. In fact that would be an interesting reader question to post at the end of the series – which brother would you pick?
Jackson is so strong and sexy and I love his commitment to his family.  If I had a serious accident I would definitely want Sean because you know you’d be safe in his hands and I’d also pick him for a sophisticated night out (he has a selection of very stylish suits). If I wanted a wicked night out I’d pick Tyler, but I’d never ski with him. That would be a terrifying experience, even with Sean waiting at the bottom of the slope to stick my bones back together. I’d ski with Jackson who is calm and patient and manages not to laugh when Kayla face plants in front of him.


      3.  What do you do when you are not writing?

I do the laundry for everyone in my street.  Oh wait, it just feels that way. Seriously, I can’t believe how much laundry we produce in this house. And it’s not mine, because most of the time I’m working in my pajamas (just ask the delivery man). If I’m honest, I spend a lot of time working and the rest of the time I’m with my family. When I’ve finished the laundry and tidying just enough that the house doesn’t become a deathtrap for the unwary, I read, I go for walks, I go out on my mountain bike. Because I have an indoor, sedentary job I like to spend time outdoors whenever I can. We live near London, which has fantastic museums, so at weekends we often go into the city and explore. But during the week we’re all busy so often all we do is eat together and then flop and watch a movie. I love watching movies, movies are a source of inspiration to me and that’s one of my favorite forms of relaxation. I listen to music, I see friends. People are important to me. Relationships are the thing that really matter in life. It’s important to spend time with the people you love.


12 comments:

  1. This sounds like the perfect holiday romance! I love that it is her who comes to save his family business and not the other way around. And dreaming of happily-ever-after is what holiday romances is all about. Adding this to my TBR as well :) Thanks for sharing Lindy :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I hope you get to read it Lexxie! It was such a beautiful story :)

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  2. I am such a sucker for romantic Christmas reads and I am begging to amass quiet a collection. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I will check it out.

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  3. Bargain! It's only 59p on amazon! *clicks to download*

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  4. Hi Lindy, thank you so much for hosting me and for reading Sleigh Bells in the Snow! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm thrilled to be here - I love your blog and the colours always make me happy :)
    Thanks again!
    (and yes, the ebook is 59 p on Amazon UK at the moment!)
    Sarah
    xx

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    1. Your Welcome Sarah! I really enjoyed it :)

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  5. This book sounds perfect for the holidays and it's good to know that it ended up being an enjoyable read for you. It seems super cute! Nice review, Lindy!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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    1. Thanks Sarika :) It was a great holiday read!

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  6. I am actually reading Sleigh Bells in the Snow right now, and am really enjoying it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and the interview.

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    1. Thanks Andrea :) I can't wait to read your book as well!

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