ARC Review: Love Me This Christmas by Jasmine Nicole
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
Love Me This Christmas was a very sweet holiday novella. It had a little bit of everything wrapped up nicely in Christmas paper and stamped with a bow. Our heroine and hero were Natalie and Fury and they are introduced in this story on two different emotional wavelengths. But in the end, they are riding it (or she's riding him...) together.
The book opens up with Natalie Love discovering that the family she'd always dreamed she would have was about to be derailed. I mean, I saw this coming, but damn it was still foul. Not only does she have a young son to shelter from the harsh reality that daddy isn't coming home, she also has to deal with the "love of her life" leaving her and admitting he'd already been tiptoeing out the door before he fully made his exit. I must say, my good sis was a lot better at handling it than I would have been. He wouldn't have been walking at all had it been me. Limping, crawling, carried, covered with a white sheet by coroners probably would have been his ending instead. But Natalie allowed him to go because you can't make someone stay where they don't wanna be, right?
A year later, baby girl is still reeling from the ripping apart that was done right before her favorite time of the year and it almost made her completely hate the memories. Understandably so, that time is going to always be difficult if there is nothing or no ONE to replace those broken pieces with something better. Insert Fury Ross.
When we are introduced to Fury, he is just a gentleman trying to help what seems to be a damsel in distress. Nat literally slid right into his life and while their first encounter was an accident, everything happens for a reason. Mr. Ross was only trying to keep Natalie from busting her ass on the ice outside the store but that sparked something in him and he doubled down on his noble deeds and bought her what becomes a staple in their relationship, a peppermint mocha latte. He also helped her with her search for the Christmas lights she'd gone into the store for in the first place.
Hesitate to give him the time of day, Natalie brushed his niceties off as lame, even though she thought it and HE was cute. Being jaded will have you losing your blessings if you aren't careful. But you know how they say, "if it's meant to be, it will be"? Well, Nat & Fury were meant to be. Because how do you randomly show up with your families to the same place and still run into each other after you couldn't get that person out of your mind? But like I said, everything happens for a reason. Fate, I tell ya. Thus, the start of a beautiful connection.
For the remainder of the book, we see these two getting to know each other and falling deeper and deeper in a short period of time, which scares Nat a little. But I get it. Sis doesn't want her heart broken again. However, Fury was steadfast in letting her know that he ain't that nigga from her past. And he proves it EVERY SINGLE TIME. We love a hero that is intentional about what he wants. I even swooned a little when him and his son, Johnathan, surprised her at work. It was the cutest thing in the world. It was heart swelling that their sons became comfortable with the other adult the way they did. I would say that it was cute that the boys got along well too, but that happens a lot with young children. Everyone is their best friend on impact. However, when you are pursuing a relationship with someone, your child(ren)'s comfort level with the other person and their child(ren) is VERY IMPORTANT.
Since I'm already discussing it, I must say, what is noteworthy in this book is the family aspect. Not only did Fury have the big family that Natalie desired, there was healthy co-parenting shown all over Fury's side. Both of his parents were married to other people and even though Johnathan's mother was engaged to someone else, Fury was cool with Kevin. They all worked together to ensure their family worked well. That is something we don't see enough of in the black community and I loved to see that.
Once Fury and Natalie crossed from the "getting to know you" into the relationship phase, I had a feeling SOMEBODY was gonna pop back up in the mix. And sure enough, Jeremiah's sperm donor resurfaces in the most inopportune time. I personally feel like Fury should have rocked his dome and Natalie should have told ole girl the truth about his trifling ass. But just like when he chose to leave, she was grace under fire with it. I COULD NOT! Work function or not, it would have been on and popping. The nerve of him to ask how his son was doing after not even seeing him for a whole freaking year. FUCK YOU!
I did not agree with her intentionally ignoring when he WAS calling when he first left just because she was hurting. She didn't have to speak to him. She could have just given the phone to their son and kept it pushing. However, I also understand not wanting your children to have their hearts stamped on by broken promises. It's one of those things, do I give them the chance to prove themselves to our child(ren) and risk them hurting them or shut that door completely and lessen the blow? So, I get it. In the end, both Natalie and Jeremiah were taken care of the way they should. Fury and his unconventional family welcomed hers with opened arms and they added to make it even bigger and better.
For a first-time author, Jasmine Nicole did GREAT with this book. There were a few editing issues I saw, but it in no way shape or form took away from the reading. I'm so glad Jas made that cross from being a reader to a full-blown PUBLISHED author in these literary streets. I can't wait to read more. Congratulations on your debut and I look forward to more. Thank you for allowing me to receive an advanced copy of your release for an honest review.