Julianna's Reviews > Not Another New Year's

Not Another New Year's by Christie Ridgway
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's review
Feb 06, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-2008, contemporary-romance, holiday-stories
Recommended for: Fans of Contemporary Romance or Christie Ridgway

Reviewed for www.thcreviews.com

In Not Another New Year's, Christie Ridgway has created an enjoyable story, that is basically a two-for-one romance, with a likable cast of flawed characters. Tanner Hart and Hannah Davis, the primary hero and heroine of the story are basically two ordinary people who unfortunately had some unusual things happen to them. They are basically two peas in a pod with a great deal in common. Both have put high expectations on themselves due in part to family dynamics. After Hannah's sister died, she had somehow felt a responsibility to the family to more or less take her place and accomplish the things that she likely would have done if she had lived. Tanner felt that he just didn't quite measure up to his war hero brothers. Of course, both ended up feeling like they had let their families down. What I really liked about their relationship was that they helped each other to discover that the things they had believed about themselves simply weren't true. As individuals, I was pleased to see both Tanner and Hannah grow and change, so that they could move beyond the pain of the past and into a promising future.

I really enjoyed the secondary romance between Tanner's brother, Troy and Desiree. They simply stood out to me more than Tanner and Hannah, not because he was a war hero and she was a princess, but because I felt that they showed more vulnerability. They had to reach further outside their comfort zones in order to allow their relationship to happen, and realize their hearts desires. Also, theirs was not a love-at-first-sight romance like Tanner and Hannah's. While I am not fundamentally opposed to these types of romances, I usually have a harder time finding them to be believable. I think it is a staple in many romance plots that is overused and would lead one to believe that this phenomenon happens in real life far more often than it probably does. I just seem to have a preference for romances that either take time to develop the feelings between the protagonists or in which they have had some previous relationship. Troy and Desiree had know each other for nearly a year, and had obviously been attracted to each other for a long time, even though they had spent the better part of that time at each other's throats. Normally, I don't care for romances in which the characters bicker all the time, but there was something about Troy and Dezi's arguing that was rather endearing. I was just waiting for the fireworks to go off and when they did, I was not disappointed. While I liked these two characters a great deal and found them to be very strong, I did not necessarily think that their scenes overshadowed Tanner and Hannah's. I only found myself wishing to see more of them or that they had gotten their own book instead. The only part of their story that I thought fell short was that they didn't exactly get a solid ending, but I still loved reading about them anyway.

While I was able to appreciate the characters and the overall story, I thought that there were a few plot weaknesses. Once I realized that Hannah's Uncle Geoff actually lived in San Diego, I couldn't quite figure out why he hadn't taken care of her personally while she was on vacation in the area instead of setting her up with Tanner as her “tour guide”. Of course, without this part of the plot, there wouldn't have been a story, but I just think that the overall story would have been a bit stronger if this part had been shored up, perhaps by the author giving more reasons for Uncle Geoff's choice. Also, after reading two of Christie Ridgway's books, I'm beginning to think that she has a penchant for ambiguous endings. I have a preference for strong happily-ever-after endings, and though the ending of this story was happy, I felt that it left too many unanswered questions. One other aspect of the story that bothered me was that the first time Tanner and Hannah nearly had sex they were still strangers and had given each other fake names. I know that this can be an all-to-common occurrence in today's society, but I still prefer that the main characters in my romances be in love before they fall into bed. As the days began to pass, I could sense them beginning to fall in love with each other, yet it wasn't entirely convincing and as mentioned above, I'm not a huge fan of the love-at-first-sight scenario. Even setting aside my own preferences on this, when Tanner and Hannah did finally make love, they had only know each other for a few days and in spite of their growing feelings were still basically considering this to be a vacation fling. Even with this in mind, they did not entirely practice safe sex. While some loves scenes involved condoms, others involved risk-taking and without any mature conversation about said risks. In spite of this flaw though, I thought that the love scenes overall were at least tender, steamy and generally well-written. Finally, one other minor annoyance I found was Ms. Ridgway's use of parenthetical phrases as an exception or aside to a particular character's main line of thinking. While some of them were rather witty, I simply felt that they were a bit overused.

There were a couple of positive things that I didn't already mention that I also thought were noteworthy. I enjoyed the bit of danger and intrigue surrounding Dezi. It helped to make the story more full and interesting as well as drawing all four of the main characters into a mild action plot. I also liked Tanner and Troy's parents. Although they were only in one scene, they made an impression on me, and I would have liked to have seen more of them. While I have not seen an official series designation, Not Another New Year's is a sequel to Must Love Mistletoe. Tanner and Troy Hart and Desiree al-Maddah all made their first appearance in Must Love Mistletoe. Also, Finn and Bailey, the hero and heroine of Must Love Mistletoe, made a brief appearance (Bailey twice) in Not Another New Year's. I must say that I was pleased to see some of the ambiguity surrounding the end of their own story cleared up during their scenes in this book. In spite of the cross-over characters, both stories could be read independently without really getting any major spoilers. In addition, the backstory on the assassination attempt which was introduced in Must Love Mistletoe is recounted in Not Another New Year's only now more from Tanner's point of view rather than Finn's. Overall, I found Not Another New Year's to be a pleasant and generally lighthearted story that was an easy read. I would be open to reading other books by Ms. Ridgway in the future, when I am in the mood for this type of story.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 9, 2008 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2008 – Shelved
February 16, 2008 – Shelved as: read-2008
March 29, 2008 – Shelved as: contemporary-romance
March 29, 2008 – Shelved as: holiday-stories

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Jeez, I think I have a bunch of her books somewhere and haven't even listed them--I guess it's time to start digging! Nice review!

Julianna Thanks Auntee! This one and Must Love Mistletoe are her only books that I've read so far. Overall, I found this one to be pretty enjoyable, though I've heard a lot of people say that they liked the secondary couple better than the primary couple like I did. I loved the hero of Must Love Mistletoe (verrrry yummy!), but the heroine and her mom got on my nerves at times. The one thing I really enjoyed about both though were some steamy and rather creative love scenes that I thought were quite hot. If you have these two, it's certainly the perfect time of year to dig them out.;)

message 3: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee I need to check and see which ones I have--I can remember buying a bunch of them used, but then I tucked them away and I guess I forgot about them! (I'm sure you know how that goes...)

Tammy J and Auntee, I've read a few more of Ridgway's books and I have to say that this one and Must Love Mistletoe are my favorites. The others weren't all that memorable, including Ridgway's new Knitting series. I will probably read Unravel Me (brand new release) just out of curiosity, but I'm not thrilled with the direction the author's writing is taking.

But still, these 2 are fun for the holidays!!

Tammy =)

message 5: by Daisiemae (new)

Daisiemae Great Review Mom! Looks like a great holiday book...:)

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