First things first, let me start by telling you what it's about. Martha Blue is the youngest of the three Blue daughters. If you read the other books, you'll remember that Martha has always been a bit of a free spirit. She has a party girl reputation that is an embarrassment to her extremely professional, conservative, and dare I say snobbish parents. They can't risk Blue's seemingly reckless behavior bringing negative attention to their football team, which has already suffered (and continues to) its fair share of scandal. They recruit the help of a close family friend to keep her busy and scandal free. The friend is professional boxer Joaquin Ryder. He's back in his hometown of Las Vegas for an upcoming fight. His preference was to avoid Blue while back in Las Vegas due to their history. Unbeknownst to her parents Joaquin and Blue have a secret attraction that once revealed years ago, didn't play out well. There was rejection and feelings were hurt. Both Joaquin and Blue still harbor emotions for one another, and things get complicated. Joaquin doesn't think that he's good enough, and Blue isn't the unfocused wild child that her parents assume.
What I like: This should be the "What I Love" section of my review, because do I ever love the Blue family. Blue's parents are a true nightmare. They are so wealthy, snobby, and controlling. They've tried to control their daughters and seem to care only about the football team. What's to love about that? Beneath the snobbery and self-centered behavior there is a couple that is still crazy in love with one another. There are glimpses of this really deep love that feels so real. These glimpses are really quite beautiful and it adds depth to this power couple. They are more than what they seem with their children as well. While they come off cold to their kids, I get the feeling that they don't see how their behavior is affecting them. They're so busy making money and building a dynasty for their kids that the dynasty and their name has become everything. I would actually love to read a story about Mamma and Papa Blue (*hint, hint*)
Martha is a well written character that has layers. She isn't quite the selfish party girl that one might believe (or that her family thoroughly believes). The problem is she's let them think what they want to about her, and while she's no angel, she's hardly the the thoughtless brat that everyone seems to believe. In fact, she wants what's best for the football team. She's even secretly taking steps so that she'll be more qualified for a hands-on role in the company. I also like that her feelings for Joaquin comes across as very genuine. She's in love with this man, but he's made it clear what he's capable of giving, or rather not giving, her. Joaquin loves her just as much. Unfortunately he has trust issues and a problem with the whole notion of love. Because of that, it takes him a bit to accept his feelings. I like that Martha was his flame, and like a moth he was continuously drawn to her. The relationships in general are all very well-written, and it gives this story so much life.
If there has to be a problem with Just for Christmas, I would say that I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending. I won't say why for those of you haven't read the book, but it left me slightly unfulfilled. Obviously not enough that I would give this book a bad score. Despite the bit of disappointment that I felt at where it ends, I'm still giving this 5 out of 5 rating. It was so enjoyable that I'd read it again. I'm not a huge sports romance fan, but this series and the Blue family work for me. I strongly recommend it, you won't be disappointed (although darn it I wanted just a little more at the end!) I'm off to read Night Games!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and an honest review*
Rating: 5 stars!
Published: December 1, 2014