So, it is a bit odd to get a Christmas story in February, but let me tell you – I DON’T CARE! Those of us who love this series have been waiting, impatiently patiently for this release for ages. Stephan and Jessica are so much a part of the ‘family’ in this story, it is a wonderful chance to glimpse into the life of the newlyweds.
For those of you unfamiliar with this series: Countermeasure is a Romantic Suspense series with some truly wonderful characters. The novellas, the Bytes of Life, are simple short peeks into the character’s days when not embroiled in the big missions or quests, and they all add to the connection that readers have with the characters, as we see their relationship struggles, developments and little moments with family and friends.
In this novella, we get to check in with Stephan and Jessica: Stephan is a pseudo-uncle / father figure for Trevor: he was Connor’s best friend. Stephan is a wonderful man: a bit too buttoned up and control-freak for his own good, even though those traits combined with his ability to compartmentalize his life and emotions have served him well in business.
Jessica is Cassie’s friend and employee – she’s a whiz at ‘finding’ people, and she’s got that whole grab for the brass ring attitude about life and love. Jess saw and went for Stephan, despite his initial protestations and attempts to fob her off, and now 7 months pregnant she is about as happy as can be.
Well, almost. See there’s one problem. Stephan is an utter dolt.
And I love Stephan, but like most men who are into ‘controlling’ situations, he has realized that there are TONS of things out of his control: from random accidents to Jessica’s increasing desirability, which completely freaks him out even as every moment she tempts him. So, he does what all people afraid of emotions and sharing do – he avoids.
And poor Jessica is thinking he doesn’t want her, he’s disgusted by her now “fertility goddess’ shape. It’s bad enough when “your ass is a magnet” and you can’t get out of a chair, but to think that Stephan doesn’t want her or the baby is just one thing too much. She’s very connected to his “I’m in control” attitude, and she’s unaware of just what sort of power she has where Stephan is concerned, but all that will change.
Walking away quietly is not a Jessica move though, so after one of the most addlepated, unfeeling and childish moves ever as Stephan rejected her advances, she waddles him down and sets the stage for confrontation. Oh he capitulates, in some ways learning a lesson (but knowing him, it’s a short-term memory and he’ll do this again with something else) as he shares his deepest fears, concerns and emotions with Jessica. Oh – and need I mention he’s read every single book about pregnancy, focusing on the “what could go wrong’ bits? *sigh* Men.
See, Stephan is not an ‘emotionally connected’ man, deep emotions send him off balance and make him feel out of control, and he has carefully constructed his façade to be inscrutable and enigmatic. Now, when the time comes, facing those emotions is even more frightening – but to lose Jess would be world-ending. Yet, he can’t let go of the information that he has absorbed like a sponge – all worst case scenario issues that he never shared with Jessica. Her chasing him down to confront him is the push off the cliff he needed, to trust that she will be there to catch and reassure him.
Yet another peek into lives of the secondary (but wholly enjoyable) characters. The emotion and connection between the two is palpable, and while there is some incredibly steamy smexy moments, but the emotional honesty, trusting in one another when the very idea scares you silly, all work to forge a deeper connection. These are hallmarks of the writing and character development in this series and why they stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Title: Christmas Wish
Also in this series: Countermeasure, To Russia With Love, Alternate Connection
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published on: 28 February 2015
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
In the seventh Byte of Life, newlyweds Stephan and Jessica Connellan are solidifying their relationship while expecting their first child. Nothing will stop Stephan from protecting the dream he’s always yearned for—a family—but his concerns for Jessica and their baby’s health could be more harmful than the eye can see.
Jessica’s joy in the new life they are creating together is crumbling. As her pregnancy progresses, Stephan appears distant, detached. Worried that their whirlwind romance is about to explode in her face, she’s anxious to bridge the distance between them. Will she be able to remind him of what they have together before his promise of forever slips through her fingers?
See the Series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Fans of the Countermeasure series will want to grab these Bytes if you haven’t already –
but I suggest that those new to the series read in this order….
Countermeasure (Countermeasure Series)
Uncharted (Bytes of Life Series)***
Ecstasy by the Sea (Bytes of Life Series)
Cuffed at Midnight (Bytes of Life Series)
Take Me (Bits of Life Series)
Passion at Dawn (Bytes of Life Series)
Something Crazy (Bits of Life Series – TBA)
To Russia With Love (Countermeasure Series)
Blindsided (Bytes of Life Series)
Roaming Pleasure (Bits of Life Series – TBA)
Mutual Payback (Bits of Life Series – TBA)
Lost to Rapture (Bytes of Life Series)
A geek’s Dream (Bits of Life Series – TBA)
In From the Cold (Bits of Life Series – TBA)
Christmas Wish (Bytes of Life Series)
Alternate Connection (Countermeasure Series – 2015)
London by Moonlight (Bytes of Life Series – TBA)
Locked and Reloaded (Countermeasure Series – TBA)