I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Carina Press on November 21, 2013
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Every December twenty-fifth, Rebeccah Rickman volunteers through her synagogue so that others can celebrate Christmas. Her usual mitzvah, or good deed, is assisting police officer Jeremy Kohler. But this year is different: this year, Becca is free to act on the attraction that has long simmered between her and the sexy cop.
Jeremy couldn’t have asked for a better gift than discovering the woman he’s fantasized about for five long years is single. But when he learns about the violence that broke up Becca’s marriage, he’s hesitant to pursue her. He fears his desires will scare her away—but can’t deny his own need for control in the bedroom. Or his longing to instruct her in the fine art of submission…
Becca is shocked to learn that Jeremy is a sexual dominant. And despite her past, she’s also aroused. But before she can explore what that means, she’s going to have to put her trust in Jeremy—and her own fledgling desires.
My Initial Reaction…
Reading Matzoh and Mistletoe right after reading a really great Christmas Erotic Romance probably raised my expectations a bit too high, because I left it feeling underwhelmed. The characters just didn’t do it for me and the sexy moments kept leaving me unsatisfied, but there was a solid story and lots of potential.
Rebeccah had the potential to be a really fantastic character. There’s a lot about her that I really liked. When you first meet Rebeccah, she’s volunteering on Christmas at the local police department – something she does every Christmas and Easter. As a Jew, those days aren’t holidays for her, so she volunteers her time to let more of the police force and support staff be with their families. She’s also a teacher, which for me is generally a solid green light. She’s also just gotten out of a particularly bad marriage, but she’s looking ahead, determined to regain her confidence and her life. So what’s not to like? It was hard for me to figure out, but I think I finally realized that because we don’t get to see the strong, confident, giving woman side of her fleshed out, we’re left with the victim. Victim of spousal abuse who’s having an understandably conflicted time with a DOM/sub relationship. There’s enough there for you to get that she’s refuses to let herself be a victim, but it’s not how we really get to see her.
I think that’s in large part because we spend way too much time inside Jeremy’s head, and that’s exactly how he sees Rebeccah – as a victim. Jeremy, the police officer that Rebeccah has spent the past five years riding with on Christmas and Easter, has had a thing for her since he met her. So when he finds out she’s divorced, he wastes no time staking a claim. But then he finds out about why her marriage ended and he worries that Rebeccah won’t be able to handle his sexual preferences. I wanted to like Jeremy, because he really is considerate and caring with Rebeccah. But he got on my nerves, and I think it all circles around the fact that he wouldn’t stop looking at Rebeccah as a victim. Yes, slowly initiate her into this new-to-her sexual world, but don’t treat her like she’s breakable. It really hurt my impression of both characters, and unfortunately, also the sexual tension between them ended up falling pretty flat for me too.
Matzoh and Mistletoe centers on the growing relationship between Jeremy and Rebeccah, who is exploring her sexuality after years in a sexual repressive, not to mention abusive, marriage. Rebeccah is jumping into the deep end with Jeremy, who is a DOM and wants her to be his sub. She struggles with what she wants sexually, though, because of her past experiences with her husband. So Jeremy and Rebeccah are constantly trying to negotiate that line and helping her to grow to a place where she’s more comfortable with her sexuality.
As I’ve already said above, the sexual tension between Rebeccah and Jeremy was strained for me because of the way they were weighed down by her uncertainties and Jeremy’s inability to see her as more than a victim. The story had serious potential, as her past experiences could have added so much, but for me it just dragged. And a good portion of the sex was cut, which isn’t exactly what you expect from an erotica. So I was left pretty unsatisfied on that count.
Matzoh and Mistletoe was on of those books that, for me, had lots of potential but ultimately fell kind of flat. It kept me hoping it would deliver and there were moments where it did, but mostly, it just didn’t live up.