Nickolai’s Noel makes for one steamy quilt novel
One of the fabric companies needs to come out with a line of solids that features 50 shades of gray to go with “Nikolai’s Noel,” by Alicia Hunter Pace.
While it is missing the S&M of the popular trilogy, it is not often you find a black lace bustier in a quilting novel. And the steamy scenes, while at times uncomfortably long, are quite sexy.
The holiday-themed romance begins with a typical meet-cute between Nickolai, a professional hockey player who grew up as an orphan in Russia and is unstereotypical frugal for a pro-athlete, and Noel, a quilt shop owner in an artist district who makes her living creating and selling beautiful quilts with a needy and overbearing family.
Nickolai happens into the quilt shop with his current girlfriend, a twat who thinks it is perfectly fine to use a quilt as a dog bed, so you absolutely have to hate her. Three months later the pair runs into each other by chance at a friend’s holiday celebration when all the guests are stranded there overnight by an ice storm.
The girlfriend without a proper appreciation for quilts is out out of the picture and you can see the plot line unfold from a mile away at this point. There’s a cozy scene by the yule log, some hot Christmas sex, they fall in love, run into a rough patch and eventually live happily ever after where they have many hour-long love-making sessions. Apparently professional hockey players have unmatched stamina and the control of a tantric sex guru in the bedroom. Their playoff beards must give them special powers like Sampson.
In spite of its predictability, the novella is an entertaining read. I finished it in two sittings. And while I did find some of the sex scenes uncomfortably long, it was nice to see a quilter depicted as a young woman who wears matching sets of La Perla lingerie everyday just because she feels like it, instead of a woman opening a quilt shop as a nice retirement project.
The novel also comes complete with a free quilt pattern designed by Liz Porter, of Fons & Porter fame. You can click here to download Starry Nine Patch from Crimson Romance. And click here to get a copy of “Nickolai’s Noel.”