Shelby Sutton hasn’t dated in a while, not trusting that a woman would be interested in her and not her family’s money. She works hard for the family business, helping her father run their chain of luxury resorts, and the last thing she needs is to spend two weeks at one of those resorts for her sister’s wedding—especially with her mother’s outrageous requests that regularly derail Shelby’s day. When her sister, Stephanie, asks Shelby to befriend her new sister-in-law-to-be, Shelby is happy enough to try, not knowing exactly how attractive or sad the woman would turn out to be.
Reagan Bryant is a burned out photojournalist who hasn’t been able to pick up her camera since her last big assignment a month ago. She doesn’t know what to do with herself, so a couple of weeks in Colorado for her brother’s wedding is a no-brainer. Taking a page out of someone else’s book, Reagan hits on a woman in the hotel bar on her first evening, only to find out that she’s hitting on Stephanie’s sister. Reagan’s been carrying her guilt and pain alone, but as their tentative friendship forms, something about Shelby tells Reagan that it might just be time to trust someone else with her burden.
I loved Shelby and Reagan. They’re both such lovely, interestingly developed characters, even if they’re very different people with different struggles. Reagan is at the beginning of a likely case of PTSD, and for good reason that I won’t spoil here. It’s beautiful to see her open up to Shelby, and then see what that does for her relationship with her family. Shelby, on the other hand, is very stable with her life and career, but has her own challenges in dealing with her mother, who only cares about flaunting her wealth with the perfect wedding and pushing eligible men at her openly lesbian daughter. Both women go through their journeys in a way that honours who they are as individuals and makes space for each other in their lives, making for a very satisfying romance.
The Writing Style
The writing was engaging, with the romance perfectly paced to ensure a pleasurable reading and/or listening experience.
Nicol Zanzarella was the perfect choice to narrate this book. She does a great job of differentiating the characters and I could listen to her voice all day.
It’s a really lovely Christmas romance and it worked well for me!
I don’t know if it’s fair to call this a con, but Shelby’s mother and Doug, the best man who wouldn’t quit hitting on Shelby, drove me up the wall. I hated their constant heteronormative garbage and how they treated Shelby. That said, I think it was very realistic and kept the book from getting overly sweet, so it was effective even as it was irritating.
Chasing a Brighter Blue is a great choice if you’re looking for a new Christmas romance! I especially recommend getting the audiobook because it’s just so wonderful and easy to sink into.
Excerpt from Chasing A Brighter Blue by Gerri Hill
The massive mirror behind the bar reflected the activity behind her and she watched as a woman approached the bar. She was attractive, her dark hair cut short in a boyish style. As if feeling her watching, the woman glanced at her, their gazes meeting in the mirror. Their eyes held for a long moment, and Shelby was shocked by the profound sadness she saw in the woman’s dark eyes. As if trying to chase the sadness away, Shelby offered a slow smile. The woman’s handsome face lightened some as she returned the smile. Shelby finally pulled her eyes away, wondering at the haunted look on the stranger’s face. To her surprise, the woman walked over.
“Is this chair taken?”
Shelby glanced at it, as well as at the other three empty chairs along the bar. She shook her head. “No.”
“Thanks,” the woman said as she sat down. She motioned for the bartender. “Scotch on the rocks,” she said. She turned to Shelby. “Your eyes are…incredibly blue.” She paused only a few seconds. “Your room or mine?”
Shelby stared at her, shocked. “Wow. You just dive right in, don’t you? No foreplay?”
The woman’s eyes held hers. “Once we’re naked, I’ll give you so much foreplay you’ll be begging me for release.” Her voice lowered to a whisper. “Again and again. I promise.”
As Shelby stared into her haunted, dark brown eyes, she felt a tremor travel over her body, landing squarely between her thighs. Oh…wow.
She cleared her throat before speaking, hoping her voice didn’t fail her. “I think you have set the record for the quickest come-on I’ve ever had,” she said.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781594934698
- Publisher: Bella Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
- Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella
- Gerri Hill Online
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