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Reindeer Games

Ginger+Eli (The MacAllisters of Rivers End, Book 3)
By: CJ Hunt
Narrated by: Sarah Grant
Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The perfect mix of quirky, sexy and melt your heart romance." (Eileen Cook, best-selling author of With Malice)

Ginger Lewis knows from personal experience that the world is full of bad and dangerous people. She’s been lucky enough to escape her rough past and cherishes her stable work family and lovable bulldog, Max. She knows better than to try to rescue a stranger in a snowstorm. Especially one with a chiseled jaw, perfect stubble, and 1,001 secrets behind those icy blue eyes. 

Eli Murphy, on the run and temporarily homeless, should be glad to spend the holidays stuck in the woods with no cell reception and no one who knows him. The isolation will allow him to regroup and plan his next move. But between the festive atmosphere, cozy cabin, and tempting fake girlfriend, Eli finds himself fantasizing about a future he doesn’t deserve. As the Reindeer Games draw to a close, he will have to come to terms with his mistakes or risk losing Ginger - and the chance to make a real home in Rivers End. 

Welcome to Rivers End, where you can forget your troubles - for a little while....

While all the Rivers End stories can be enjoyed as stand-alones, you may want to listen to each mini-series in order to preserve any plot surprises and get the full picture of how the characters' lives weave together! The following is the suggested listening order:

The MacAllisters of Rivers End:

  1. Silver Bells (Isaac and Jenna, beginnings)
  2. Tipsy (Shannon and Lucas)
  3. Reindeer Games (Ginger and Eli)
  4. Wedding Bells (Isaac and Jenna, happily ever after) 

The O'Donnells of Rivers End:

  1. The List (Selina and Connor)

The Martinez Family of Rivers End:

  1. Maybe (Lucie and Daniel)

The Witches of Rivers End (romance with a touch of magic):

0. Trick or Treat (Mona and Garrett) - newsletter subscriber exclusive!

1. Merry (Merry and Dillon) 

2. Oona (Oona and Sam) 

©2017 CJ Hunt (P)2018 CJ Hunt

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Christmas Redemption Story

Ginger Lewis faces a dilemma when she finds a man stranded by the side of the road in the middle of a snowstorm. He’s wearing a funny hat and a smile she can’t deny. With her trusty bulldog Max at her side, she lets the guy into her truck, not realizing her life is about to change. The stranger, Eli, is in need of temporary shelter and Ginger can offer that. Also, there’s no way for Eli to get back down to civilization, so he’s stuck with Ginger and her co-workers as they embark on a tradition of games leading to the ultimate prize for ten thousand dollars split between the couple who win. Five thousand dollars would go a long way to help Eli as he deals with his problems.

We first saw Eli in the book Silver Bells, so he’s familiar – and not in a good way. He’s Jenna’s younger brother and he’s a screw-up. Or so we believe. He’s always hitting Jenna up for money, not really realizing the impact this has on his sister. Him ‘borrowing’ her car is undoubtedly the last straw.

What Eli discovers at the cabin is a group of people who are welcoming and willing to take him at face value – that he is, essentially, a good guy. Fake boyfriend is one of my favorite tropes and Ginger and Eli put up a good front, while Eli sleeps on the couch. His little adventure with Max shows he has a good heart. When real life intrudes, he admits he needs help. He respects Ginger too much to involve her. He doesn’t want her to know how much of a mess he’s made of his life. So he admits everything to Ginger’s boss, laying it on the line. Turns out the boss has some friends who are more than willing to step up and help.

Instead of facing Ginger, Eli runs again. He’s doing it to clean up the mess he’s made, but she’s hurt nonetheless. She doesn’t understand why he walked away. Having been through an abusive relationship, she instinctively knows Eli is no threat. So why did he leave?

This is a redemption story. How one man can face his demons and become a better person. Would he have turned his life around without meeting Ginger and her found family? Doubtful. Until Ginger, he’d only had Jenna and he’d used her over and over again, leaving her with no choice but to turn on him. Thanks to Ginger, even that relationship might get a second chance.

Sarah Grant is a different narrator from the other books in the series but since most of these characters have not previously appeared in Rivers End, it works. She does a great job and I enjoyed the performance. This was a great little book, especially good around the Christmas season and I’m glad I listened to it.