Title: No Holly for Christmas
Author: Julie N. Ford
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance/Suspense
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Julie N. Ford will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Some things were inevitable. Sitting in his hybrid sedan outside the Jefferson County courthouse, Brian closed his sleep-deprived eyes. Images of his frail father took advantage of his limited vision to once again flood his brain.
Declan McAlister had never looked so weak as when he lay in his hospital bed, sensors monitoring every heartbeat, oxygen hissing through the tube taped to his gaunt face and hovering just beneath his nostrils.
“I really need you to do this for me, son.” Declan had used his stern voice. “You’re the only one I can trust to help me see it through.”
From the head of the bed, his mother, Georgian, had pleaded with her eyes for Brian to accept. Imploring him to do this one favor for his father, for her. Brian could disappoint his father, he’d been doing so quite proficiently his entire life, but disappointing his mother was a behavior he’d never grown accustomed to.
If only what his father wanted didn’t go against every ounce of moral integrity Brian had left. Working for the district attorney’s office, even on a temporary basis, was not a job Brian had ever aspired to. In the DA’s office, guilt or innocence was relative to whether or not the case could be won. The guilty went free for lack of resources to investigate, while the innocent spent years in jail, victims of ignorance, poverty, and public and prosecutorial apathy. Putting folks in jail whether they were guilty or not just so the rest of society could enjoy a false sense of security was nothing short of criminal, in Brian’s mind. No, he’d never wanted to be a part of that world—his father’s world.
After being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he’s ever truly loved, Brian McAlister has all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA’s office, he steps into the middle of a politically sensitive murder case where he crosses paths with a beautiful ex-socialite-turned-social-worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter.
Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at Walmart, Holly is dreading the approaching holiday season. However, her angst isn’t due to her husband’s untimely death the previous December 25th, but to a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas. To make matters worse, she unwittingly stumbles into the throes of Brian’s case and the manhunt for a killer who now has his sights set on her.
His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.
I’m giving this wonderful story an enthusiastic five (5) stars.
This book is the second in the series, but you do NOT have to read the first to love the second. It’s action-packed and both plot and emotionally driven. I was afraid, given the materialistic introduction to the female protagonist, Holly Winter, that I wasn’t going to like half of the starring couple. But soon, it became clear that Holly had many conflicting reasons for carrying herself off as a snob, and that she also had scores of heartwarming qualities.
The third point of view isn’t given to the real bad guy, but to a supporting character. I was a little unsure about this choice—until I saw how well developed this tertiary person was treated, both inside his own head and by other members of the cast. This story could have been carried off without this third person, but not half so well.
Without giving the plot away, there isn’t too much more I can say except: READ THIS BOOK! As a special incentive, during the tour, it’s available for only $0.99. Such a deal!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. After twenty-five years of residing below the Mason-Dixon line, she now calls the chaparral of Southern Utah her home, where she lives with her husband, the one daughter who has yet to flee the nest, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen.
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