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Unexpected Gifts Audiobook

Unexpected Gifts: A Castle Mountain Lodge Romance, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

When you're looking for a little escape to the rugged mountain landscape that's as beautiful as it is wild, unwind at Castle Mountain Lodge.

Christmas represents everything Andi Williams is supposed to have, and doesn't. Running away to a remote mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies, sounds like the perfect way to escape, until a mix-up finds her sharing a villa with sexy, rough around the edges, Colin Hartford.

Colin's determination to enjoy the holiday he's missed for the last five years sweeps Andi into a season of joy that she's not sure she's ready for. Can Andi open herself up to everything the holidays have to offer…including love?

©2013 Elena Aitken (P)2013 Elena Aitken

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (55 )
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3.9 (54 )
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Story
4.0 (54 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DK 12-25-15
    DK 12-25-15 Member Since 2013

    No spoilers! Love HOT, sexy books w/a plot. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. I also review in exchange for books-lots of fun surprises!

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    "Innocent "Clean" Contemporary Romance -Nice Change"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unexpected Gifts?


    Andi hates Christmas, well she doesn't hate it, but it certainly is not a time for celebration for her. This is ironic because she owns a party planning business. However, due to several unfortunate incidents that culminate into a severe case of anti-Christmas celebration (no mention of the reason for the season – as the phrase goes) she is going to shrink away to a winter retreat.

    Colin is back in Canada for the first time in many years. He wants to immerse himself into all the holiday traditions, enjoy the snow and get back into the holiday spirit – after spending years in a tropical climate on Christmas. The perfect vista? The Castle Mountain Lodge.

    There is a mix up with Andi's reservation and due to the wretched snowstorm she is stuck at the Castle Mountain Lodge with no place to stay (again this is not a parallel to the Christmas story at all). Colin is behind her in line when she gets the news – since he has rented an entire villa he considers asking him her to stay with him. Especially after he recognizes that she is a girlfriend to a childhood friend of his. Once they make that connection, he does offer.

    When he discovers that Andy has a Christmas aversion he makes it his goal to turn her attitude 180°. The rest of the story is just that. Colin planning sweet things, traditional things to change her mood.

    Some unexpected circumstances give this sweet novel unexpected twists and turns. It really is a very sweet, cute romantic story without the descriptive hotness of many books in this genre.

    The narration is good and I appreciated her ability to tell the story without trying to oversell it. Great job.

    Notes: nothing to warn about here
    I'd give this a PG rating

    I enjoy leaving reviews, as I know that I read them the reviews of others before I purchase a book. If you found my review helpful in your decision about this book, would you please select yes directly below this paragraph? Thank you so much.

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    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tamika dearborn 12-09-15
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    "Bad narrator but sweet story line"

    The narrator has no inflection or change in her voice. It's rather awkward. It does not do justice to the story. She sounds happy even when she is mad. I love the story line i should have read the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 05-22-15
    Sandra 05-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story"

    Storyline was intriguing, loved the characters . narrator really kept me listening. Looking forward to next in series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. April Holgate Montrose, PA, United States 09-21-14
    K. April Holgate Montrose, PA, United States 09-21-14 Member Since 2012

    I am open to reviewing quality products.

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    "Sweet romance!!"

    This is a very sweet little romance! It has the feel of Harlequins of old. I miss the easy themes sometimes.

    Andi is sassy and fun to read! I loved seeing her find a match in Colin, he is great at teaching her to enjoy fun again. They both have things to work out and it is heartwarming to see them find their way. I really felt for Andi and her situation. While it was sad, it didn't weigh the story down.

    There is plenty of chemistry, but things stay pretty much PG-13. Some steamy kisses but nothing past that. It is a very cozy romance.

    The story flows nicely and is sweetly engaging. I love the leads and the supporting cast. I hope we get their HEA through the series!

    I listened to the audiobook narrated by Jennifer Drake Ford, she is a perfect fit for the read. I loved her smooth and easy tone throughout the book. She has a consistent pace and great voices. The combination of sweet story and lovely narration is a delight!

    I am eager to see what happens next in the series! The characters are engaging and have potential for more happy ever afters.

    Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer T&T 09-10-14
    Amazon Customer T&T 09-10-14

    ellenhoy T&T

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    "Lovely Christmas Romance"

    This romantic novel really reminded me that this could happen in real life as depicted by the author. I should know, and the main character, Andi, does just that as she tries to escape the humdrum of her real life for the Christmas vacation. Only to find love awaiting her there, when she accepts an invitation that the Castle Mountain Lodge resort sent to her office.
    After spending time living in the Caribbean, Colin enters, determined to enjoy the true Christmas spirit, with snow, ice-skating, mountains and he rescues a damsel in distress. The blossoming attraction is on, although romance can be depicted without the 'heat'.
    This story is a wonderful blend from start to finish, with a delightful pair of main protagonists, and a great mix of secondary characters.

    Jennifer Drake Ford was great in her depiction of the various personalities and it was a pleasure to listen to this audiobook as narrated by her. It was exciting, thrilling, romantic and thoroughly enjoyable and I would strongly recommend this book.

    The cover pulled me in and the story didn't let me down. Love your writing style Elena.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malinda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-02-14
    Malinda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-02-14 Member Since 2011

    I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)

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    "Pretty good non-sexual Christmas romance :D"

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked both Colin and Andi and enjoyed their story. This is the first book I've read by this author and I may try more of her work in the future. Be warned though....there is NO SEX in this story. It's a nice Christmas romance but don't expect much steam.

    Andi is an event coordinator. She isn't feeling the Christmas spirit because earlier in the year she lost a baby and her boyfriend left her when she needed him most. Now with the holidays and the families all having special times Andi isn't feeling very cheery. She decides to get away to a mountain resort to avoid all the Christmas stuff at home.

    Colin has been living in the tropics doing security systems for years. He had a fiancee that cheated on him and ended up pregnant with another man's baby and now he doesn't get involved in relationships. He hasn't been back to Canada for years and decided that this year he wanted snow and a "real Christmas" so his assistant booked him at a mountain lodge that's known for it's Christmas activities.

    Andi and Colin meet at check-in. There's a mix-up in reservations and Andi doesn't have a room after all. Colin recognizes Andi during all of this and it ends up that Blaine (Andi's ex) had introduced them about a year before. Colin finds out Andi is no longer with Blaine and is there alone without a place to stay. There's a blizzard outside and Colin's villa has 3 bedrooms so he offers Andi a place to stay. Andi isn't sure if it's a good idea but Colin seemed alright when she met him before and it was take his offer or sleep on a couch in the lobby so she agrees. Colin and Blaine weren't very close and don't have a good relationship so Colin doesn't know what happened between Blaine and Andi but he quickly realizes that he doesn't care just as long as it's over because he really likes Andi. He also realizes her problem with the Christmas season and decides to make it his task to get her to have fun over the holidays. They go ice skating and have some other activities and things go well between them. Regardless of the fact that Colin doesn't do relationships and Andi doesn't do anything but relationships, both of them can't help but to want to explore the possibilities between them. Things are going well and Andi and Colin are helping to throw a holiday ball at the Lodge when things go to crap in the form of Blaine showing up and being a complete jerk and showing just why Andi shouldn't be with him. This causes some issues in the growing relationship between Colin and Andi but fortunately Andi tells Blaine off and he leaves (I just wish she'd have told Blaine off earlier). Andi and Colin end the story in what would probably be a HFN. They admit to falling for each other (yes, it's an insta-love thing) and decide to be together but since it ends immediately after that I'm not sure if it's established enough to be considered a HEA so I'm going with HFN.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked Andi and Colin and liked their story. My only complaint was that when Blaine showed up Andi should have told him off right away and not given him the opportunity to stick around and cause more problems. Overall though it was pretty good and a nice use of a few hours. I'd recommend this for people in the mood for a Christmas romance with no sex in it. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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