Christmas is twelve days away, and Abby Blake is burned out. She is a widowed mother and grandmother, and she just cannot get into the holiday spirit this year. She feels like her family is placing too many demands upon her ,and she is just plain tired of it. Abby makes a radical move and decides to go “on strike.” Her plan is to take a much-needed break by going to Chicago for a few days to spend time by herself relaxing and seeing the sights.
While Abby intends to go to Chicago, she actually ends up in Paris. How? Her daughter’s father-in-law, Cole Hudson, takes her to Paris in his private plane. Cole is a world famous architect, the alpha-male type of man, which drives Abby crazy in a bad way. However, when Cole provides Abby with a luxurious suite to stay in while they are in Paris and takes her shopping for designer clothing and picks up the tab, Abby starts to warm up to Cole; she begins to think maybe he is not such a cold man after all. Cole is warming up to Abby, as well, and he loves her down to earth nature. Clearly, there is an attraction between the two, and it isn’t long before they share Cole’s bed one evening.
The time comes for Abby to return home; her family misses her, Christmas is approaching, and her family has no idea where she is, which has created a frenzy in the small town in which they reside. It is not over between Cole and Abby, however. Cole is staying on in Paris for a work assignment, and he wants Abby to return to Paris to be with him. He tells Abby to meet him at the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve if she wants to be with him. Abby is torn between her family and being with Cole.
The Christmas Strike is a quick read that is more of a romance when compared to the other NEXT novels that I have read, which seem to be mainly women’s fiction. While the story in The Christmas Strike takes place around Christmas time, there is not much in the novel about Christmas or the holidays. Therefore, I would not really consider this book a “holiday read.” However, the story is engaging, and the author does a good job of developing the characters of Abby and Cole. Those in need of a break from their holiday shopping may enjoy The Christmas Strike.