Reading Challenge for 2023

For ex-con, Cash Bodine, surprising his sister at Christmas just got complicated. His plan to blow into Crystal Lake and then leave is squashed when a winter storm settles in, stranding him at a motel outside of town. He has no choice but to hunker down and make the best of it, and while the woman next door intrigues him, he has no desire to get tangled up in her life. He’s not sticking around past the holidays, so why bother?

Chess Somers stopped believing in Christmas when she was eight and her father left. With an empty bank account, an alcoholic mother in her care, and more bills than she can deal with, she’s not looking for a Christmas miracle—she’s looking to survive. She’s seen the darker side of life and believes there is no hope. So why does the stranger with the dark eyes make her think she’s wrong?
From the minute we met Cash I knew I wanted his story. He comes off and a not so good guy but then you learn that he might have made some mistakes in his past but the bottom line he is good person. Another person who's not what they seem is Chess. Talk about messed up. She has made some bad choices in her life and is trying to be a better person. 

Being that these two are flawed people this isn't your usual Christmas story. There isn't any trees and pretty lights for them. Sure, Cash gets to spend time with his sister and his family and that gives him a bit of the Christmas spirit, but poor Chess hasn't next to nothing. 

What Chess has is a mother who's never made her life easy and is truly a horrible person. I really wanted to punch her. She made me feel even worse for Chess. When she's at her lowest in walks Cash to save her. 

At that moment she really needed it. 

At times I wasn't sure if Cash would let go of his past to love someone and it worried me that even though he was very good and nice to Chess, I could see him leaving her in the dust. Of course, he was totally honest with her about his feelings, so she knew he was leaving but that didn't stop her from feeling something for him. 

As a whole this is a good story about how sometimes second chances is just what you both need. 


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