Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review: 'Holiday Hearts Awakening' by Fiola Faelan

Oregon author Fiola Faelan has traveled widely, taking in all manner of adventures and visual and physical stimuli to prepare for her stories. This is her debut novel and for a lady who has experienced such a rich and rewarding life this book offers a hint of her imagination and forays.
From the opening pages of Fila’s novel we have a clear picture of the thrice-operated Natalie, her fatigue with things Christmas, and the man who is about to alter her life. Example: ‘Natalie: The porch shook as long, strong legs took three steps in one stride, a muscled arm snaking around the little girl. Her eyes jerked to a harshly handsome face, pinned by sharp gray eyes narrowed beneath dark brows. Her gaze dropped to full lips seamed shut in a hard line slashed across a fallen-angel face framed by jet black, wavy hair. He looked like a throwback to some Highland laird with his hair just brushing his collar, his wide-as-a-broadsword shoulders straining a forest green polo shirt. Her gaze took in his sexy washboard stomach and long legs showcased in jeans that molded to tight hips and muscular thighs. She shook her head to clear the sensuous picture of him as a Highland laird in a kilt. At least ogling the angry father beat back the last vestiges of her panic attack. It had been years since she’d looked twice at a man. The universe was completely screwed up if her libido decided to be awakened from its deathbed by an angry man with a child Matty’s age.’The pot is on the stove and the steam is coming – in a bit….

Fiola offers a fine synopsis of her story: ‘The last thing Natalie needs in her life is a handsome-as-sin single father living right next door. What she wants to do is shun the world and embrace her broken heart. She regrets snapping at his little girl over something as silly as Christmas lights, but nothing in the world will change her mind about taking part in holiday hoopla or letting a cherub, or her sexy father, into her life. Zach's decision to ignore his snarky, smoking-hot new neighbor is an easy one, even if he feels a tug of regret he won’t get to know her better. He wants nothing to do with a woman who would snap at his little girl over something as trivial as decorating for the holiday. Neither is prepared for hearts tripping and emotional barriers falling when Zach snatches her from the flames engulfing her home and ends up tucking her into his spare bedroom. Little does he know his ability to play nothing more than caretaker until she's back on her feet is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Will holiday hearts awaken to passion and new love, or will Zach and Natalie let this chance at new love pass them by?’

Within the confines of a short novella Fiola has sculpted several characters whose every aspect – physical, emotional, libidinous, etc – are fully developed. It is terrific story of how two lonely and disconsolate people (the distraught and surgically assaulted Natalie and the veteran returned from combat – both isolated and alone) bring life back into being! Strong stuff, this (and steamy) and a fine little debut novella from one Fiola Faelan. Grady Harp, October 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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