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Lachlan McGregor and Kayla Moore have fought hard for their happily ever after, so one would think their first Christmas together would be a piece of sugarplum cake.

But even though the city of Edinburgh is absolutely magical during the holiday season and the sizzling duo has enough steam between them to make snow melt, Christmas often brings its own share of troubles.

Kayla misses her mother and San Francisco while trying to adapt to life in Scotland, Lachlan struggles to stay on top of his ever-present demons (which pack more punch during the holidays) and his older brother Brigs is facing difficult memories of his own.

One thing is for sure though - this will be a Christmas they'll never forget.

87 pages

First published December 22, 2015

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About the author

Karina Halle

117 books16.5k followers
Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling author of River of Shadows, The Royals Next Door, and Black Sunshine, as well as 70 other wild and romantic reads, ranging from light & sexy rom coms to horror/paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Needless to say, whatever genre you're into, she's probably written a romance for it.

When she's not traveling, she and her husband split their time between a possibly haunted 120 year-old house in Victoria, BC, their sailboat the Norfinn, and their condo in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com

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5 stars
1,010 (36%)
4 stars
1,114 (40%)
3 stars
533 (19%)
2 stars
93 (3%)
1 star
22 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 273 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
December 25, 2015
5 stars!

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The Play by Karina Halle made my top 10 favorite books this year. I loved Lachlan, Kayla and their story so much. As soon as I saw their Christmas novella was available, I dropped what I was doing and started reading. I was not disappointed. It was special, heartwarming and magical. It also had some nice and steamy scenes!

This is Kayla's first Christmas with Lachlan. It's also her first Christmas in Scotland and her first Christmas without family near by. Her first Christmas without her mother. It's not easy for her. As for Lachlan, Christmas is a time where people are celebrating and with celebration comes alcohol a lot of the time. This Christmas isn't easy for either of them. But through it all, they have each other. They are together, happy and in love. Even with all the obstacles they know they are lucky. They have each other.

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This was a perfect Christmas novella. These two characters are so special to me, I could never tire of reading about them. If you've read and loved The Play, this is a must read. It also has quite a few Brigs scenes (his book is next in the series- can't wait!) Winter Wishes is the perfect combination of sweet and sexy. A full 5 stars for this Christmas novella!
Christmas may be over. But we have just begun.

Profile Image for Brandi.
634 reviews1,275 followers
December 27, 2015

An entertaining, little novella, with a perfect combination of sugar and spice. I loved catching up with Lachlan and Kayla during the holidays. I definitely recommend it for fans of this couple.

Thanks, Pavlina for the gift!! xoxoxo
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,977 followers
December 30, 2015
4 Winter Stars.


This book starts after the end of The Play, after Kayla moved to Scotland to be next to Lachlan. She’s still mourning the loss of her mother, looking for a job and try to adjust to a new life, so when Lachlan tells her they’ll be spending Christmas with his family, this only make her even more nervous. But Lachlan is determined to make their first Christmas together perfect.
Do you know what I love more than novellas about the book-couples I like? The ones that seem like epilogues. And I LOVE epilogues. This was a sweet and (so, so) sexy short story about the relationship of those two, that made me realize how good they actually are as a couple. If you like their book you definitely have to read this novella.


Rating: 4 Stars.
Steam: Hot.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
August 5, 2016


Such a lovely and super hot novella!The Play is one of my favorite books of 2015!The connection that Kayla and Lachlan has is something magical,unique and so intense!So it was so nice that we got a Christmas novella with them!It's a wonderful Christmas gift for fans of this couple. This book is about Lachlan and Kayla's first Christmas together and believe me it was amazing!Even though it's a short story, I can't even express how much I needed it and if could get more and more about these two characters I would be so happy!!


Such a perfect book for Christmas!If you still haven't read The Play, I highly recommend it, maybe you should have yourself a special gift this Christmas and finally meet Lachlan and Kayla! Looking forward to reading Brigs story!
January 6, 2016
Well, this was certainly a pleasant surprise...who wouldn't want more Lachlan and Kayla and Lachlan and Kayla and a Christmas story to boot.

Kayla's trying to deal with events that happened in San Francisco and what's going on in Scotland and Lachlan's trying to deal with his demons. The best part is that they are doing this together...supporting each other in the best ways possible.

And yes, that means lots of steamy scenes that pack quite a punch especially for a novella. Then again, what did we expect with these two? ;)


I really got a kick out of the family dynamics at Christmas. We all have one or two of those crazy relatives. It just made it more real.

My favorite part is who Brigs ends up bringing to the house. I really cannot wait for his book so I enjoyed all the scenes involving him. Luckily, his book, The Lie, is coming out February 15, 2016.

I was also pleasantly surprised to hear that Thierry is getting a novella called Before The Dawn coming out March 1, 2016. Woohoo!


Favorite quote:

Sibhe mo clann.

“It’s beautiful,” I tell him breathlessly. “What does it say?”

“It says, you are my clan.”
Profile Image for Kim Bailey.
Author 9 books607 followers
January 2, 2016
4.5 Stars

Lachlan and Kayla really helped to make 2015 an exceptional reading year. The Play was one of my top reads & has joined my 6-Star best-of-the-best shelf (that's like royalty in my world). This sexy little novella was an exceptional addition to their story.

I loved this read & now can't wait to get my hands on big brother Briggs (his book that is) *wink, wink

FYI - if you've been waiting to read this book, don't wait to buy it! it's only available until January 1!
Amazon -> http://amzn.to/1TikmOW

Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,362 reviews1,431 followers
December 31, 2015
5 Stars!

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After spending some time apart dealing with their own struggles, Kayla has moved across the country to Edinburgh, Scotland to be with Lachlan. They have both been through a lot, but took a risk on love & are crazy about each other. They were both lost when they were apart, & now feel whole again. They are just better together.

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Lachlan & Kayla are so happy to finally be able to build a life together. Lachlan is still playing rugby for Scotland & Kayla is looking for a new job. She has left her family & friends in San Francisco & everything she's ever known to follow her heart, & be with Lachlan. He is just "it" for her & she realized that when they were separated.

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-Kayla, beautiful Kayla, is staring at me with so much love, my heart can hardly take it.

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The couple is excited to be spending their first Christmas together with the McGregor clan. They also thoroughly enjoy the holidays together in their home in Edinburgh. We get an extremely steamy story full of kink, dirty talking, & fantasies fulfilled. It's a white Christmas full of everything magical & delicious!

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We get some issues with Lachlan struggling with his own demons & Kayla missing her mom, but for the most part this story is pure Christmas bliss. It's set in a winter wonderland, with a castle, a bunch of sweet dogs, & on FIRE sexy times! I have adored this couple & can't wait for Brigs book next! :D

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-Christmas may be over. But we have just begun.

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Profile Image for • Jodi Bibliophile •.
311 reviews1,102 followers
April 2, 2020
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Fuck! My little heart is so happy right now.

I’ve just finished the novella of Winter Wishes by Karina Halle and can’t whip the fucking smile off my face.

It was fucking PERFECT!

It’s no secret that this author is very special to me. She wrote my all-time favourite book and gave me my book husband but this year she also gave me something else; Lachlan & Kayla.

One of the best things I’ve done this year was pick up The Play and I fell head over hills for these characters.

Lachlan was broken, broody and so fucking beautiful he made my vagina and my heart hurt! I fell for him completely.

Kayla is a woman of my own heart! I swear to fuck she is my fictional doppelgänger. She’s so strong and so fucking perverted and I had the best time bonding with her.

When I finished The Play I knew I had read one of my favourite reads of 2015 and 100% my favourite book by Karina besides Love, in English.

When I finished it I was desperate for more and then Winter Wishes got announced and I literally peed!

Just to be reunited with Lachlan and Kayla once again just make my Christmas that much for special.

I loved everything about this novella. It was fun, oh so sexy and so funny!

Kayla and ‘her’ idea of a Christmas Tree had me in stiches. I fucking adore that bird!

I loved seeing Lionel, Emily and Jo again!

Such a beautiful Christmas story for everyone that fell in love with The Play and most of all fell in love with these two characters.

I had so much fun reading it and that is the main thing you should always get whilst reading a book is to have FUN!

I now am more excited as ever to visit Edinburgh next year and also Brigs book in February!

If you’re looking for something hot, sweet and so much fun to read then this Christmas story is the one for you but remember to read The Play first <3
Profile Image for Jen.
700 reviews127 followers
January 5, 2016
5 Winter Stars!

"Christmas may be over. But we've just begun."

More Lachlan is always like Christmas any day of the year! After reading The Play I was soooo excited to grab Winter Wishes right away knowing that Lachlan and Kayla would be getting their own Christmas novella.

In this fabulous little book, it's Kayla's first Christmas after losing her mom. She's have a tough time, but Lachlan is there for her. Lachlan is also trying to keep his demons at bay being faced with alcohol at almost every turn. I have to say, Kayla's idea of being a human Christmas tree was very creative.

Lachlan and Kayla are spending Christmas with his parents, grandfather and his brother Brigs. Their stop at castle Dunottar was exciting. Later we get to see how awesome family can be during the holidays and also fall in love with another little puppy, Winter.

"My people. My heart. My clan."

I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than to have more Lachlan. I loved getting to know Brigs better in this book. I can't wait to read his story and see how little Winter is doing. Hopefully we get more Lachlan and Kayla in the next book too. I will always love reading about these two.
Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,544 reviews1,441 followers
March 2, 2021
2,5 stars

This is a follow-up book, a novella, which is a bonus story of the lovely couple, Lachlan & Kayla in Book 3. Normally, I don't read novellas as for me, they are never enough on their own but I read this one because I loved Lachlan & Kayla in Book 3 and anything more about them was welcome :)


The events in this novella take place during the time before the Epilogue in Book 3. Therefore, it is best to read it as follows:

- Book 3, The Play, the end of last chapter
- This novella Winter Wishes
- Book 3, The Play, Epilogue.

I should also add that the novella tells a story during Christmas time.

In a world where magic isn’t supposed to exist, I’m sometimes dumbfounded by love, because how can that be anything else but mystical, magical? Love bends reality to our will.

“How do I look?” she asks, her metallic and chocolate body lit up by the strings of lights. She looks like a sexy alien queen, that’s what. Someone from the weird sci-fi porn movies..

"You look like an angel,” I tell her, hoping that sounds better. “All lit up like Christmas tree. From another planet. Actually you might be the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.”

My Kayla. My glowing queen. Mine.

In short, you may read this novella if you liked Book 3 - or not, not a big deal. I mean it's not a big loss if you don't read it but it gives some more scenes with Lachlan & Kayla so it is also fun if you read it :)

The novella gives some more intimate scenes between the couple, some family time during Christmas and a few scenes with Brigs, who will be the hero of the next book. I just didn't understand why the writer needed to insert such a grumpy, rude and unlikable grandfather into the mix. I hated him and how he treated both Lachlan and Kayla. What was the point of the scenes with him, I wonder?

Don't take my rating into consideration because novellas rarely get a high rating from me. If for nothing else, the book is good for the Christmas mood, so it is still recommended, especially during this time of the year...


You can follow my instagram page from here
June 30, 2016
“They’re a lot of responsibility. A lot of time, commitment and care. But most of all, they’re about a lot of love. It’s about opening yourself up and experiencing something unconditional while trying to give it in return. Because lord knows, dogs will test that love and patience every time they chew your favorite shoe or piss in your bed.”

* * *
“Loving a dog, letting it into your life. It’s like letting in love. Falling in love. It’s about getting attached to something that will die in your lifetime. And it’s horrible to think that way but I think that’s why we get so attached to animals, to our pets. We outlive them. Their time on earth is limited and they have nothing but love to give. But that’s what makes every day with them even sweeter. Loving a dog is about loving and losing. But your heart comes out bigger, and stronger, in the end.”
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
December 26, 2015
5 Brilliant Snowy Christmassy Scottish Stars

I want to kiss Karina Halle on her mouth for letting us revisit with Kayla and Lachlan. This read has made my Christmas holidays all the sweeter.

We met those two first in The Play . If you haven't read this one, stop reading my review and go and do it. NOW.

After the events of "The Play" Kayla and Lachlan are both dealing with their respective problems. Lachlan's darkness is still creeping up on him but with the help of Kayla he has become very good at pushing it back and letting the light back in. After her transition to Edinburgh Kayla is trying to get a job with a newspaper. Additionally, she misses her mother and the rest of her family - it's Christmas after all. Broken down to the essential - they want to belong.

"Sibhe mo clann."
"It's beautiful," I tell him breathlessly. "What does it say?"
"It says you are my clan"

Those two are perfection. Lachlan is such a gentle beast, with a huge heart and dirty mouth. Can't say enough how much I love him.

"And when he whispers into my ear "I've got you", I believe him. He has me - now and forever. He won't ever let go. He won't ever let me fall"

Kayla's version of a Christmas tree is so hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing. If you come across this scene and you don't laugh you should stop reading this book altogether...it shows the quality of their relationship. How deeply they care for each other, how explosive their chemistry is and that they can laugh in the face of darkness. How comfortable they are with each other.

Both of them get what they want for Christmas.

"It's a strange feeling, to actually feel part of a family, something deep and organic. I know I've felt it over the years but when you're an orphan, that longing, that search to belong, it never really leaves you. But at least now, after last night, it's abated. There is peace. There is relief. And when it's all over, I think I'll just be a wee bit sad"

Finally a quote I loved because it shows how successful Kayla is chasing Lachlan's darkness away:

"The shadows are gone.
I am here.
I am there.
I am hers.
When we've both caught our breaths we curl up into each other and pull the covers over us, tucking us in tight. Christmas may be over. But we have just begun.
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,408 reviews208 followers
December 31, 2015
We took our family away for Christmas to a beautiful holiday spot in our country that can only be reached by boat/ferry. The menu was planned out and there were additional guests coming to join us and then I got sick on Christmas Eve.

I completely missed Christmas Day because I couldn't even get out of bed. What is a bookworm to do when faced with this situation??? Read of course :-) This was the perfect book for me at the perfect time. Whilst everyone was enjoying the feast and consuming bubbly wine, I was tucked up in bed with my kindle get up close & personal with Lachlan & Kayla - and it was awesome :-)

This is a bird's eye view of this couples first Christmas. Shopping for gifts together, meeting the rest of Lachlan's family and of course, the dogs :-) The heat factor between this couple is off the bloody charts and they cannot seem to get enough of each other, Lachlan definitely pushes the 'any time any where' boundaries in this novella. Amongst all the happiness however is Kayla's grief over recently losing her mum and facing her first Christmas without her. The scene is also set for Brig's upcoming book, The Lie. I am really looking forward to this when it releases in February.

Winter Wishes is the perfect holiday read that left me with that warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
Profile Image for Janey.
1,290 reviews
January 3, 2016
A return visit to Lachlan McGregor and Kayla Moore, where we are enlightened by their first Christmas together.

”The amount of love I have for him exceeds the deepest reaches of anything. Infinite and uncontained. Tested. True.”

Following Kayla’s move from San Fran to Edinburgh, Scotland, we see her struggling between her unconditional love for her beast of a man, and her desperation to make her mark in a job independently.

It was a delight in Lachlan overload, with his ever-present protectiveness and fierce love he has for this gal.

”We’re both such a mess. And so bloody meant for each other.”

We also get to spend some time with Lachlan’s family, with an overload of Brigs, whose story The Lie is due mid-February 2016.

This shortie lovingly fits between the last chapter and the epilogue of The Play, and suggests a re-read of the epilogue after, which I did with a beaming face and a warm, fuzzy heart.
Profile Image for Loz.
778 reviews
December 27, 2015
perfect christmas novella for anyone who loved kayla and lachlan in the 'the play'. i jumped straight into this one on christmas eve and didn't come up for air until i reached the last page. this was a sweet and sexy read, karina halle blends both seamlessly. i am pretty sure lachlan is my favorite hero of hers so far, you cannot beat this broody guy who loves his dogs just as much as his girl. both are going into christmas with inner struggles. kayla entering the christmas season for the first time without her mum and in a brand new country and lachlan struggling at this time of year with his alcohol addiction. yet regardless of these things, this is not a heavy novella. it's sweet and fun. we get so many light moments with this memorable couple and some truly great moments with brigs and lachlan finally showing that strong 'brother' relationship. i cannot wait for brigs' book up next!!
Profile Image for Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite.
1,167 reviews307 followers
December 26, 2015



Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,178 reviews1,233 followers
December 24, 2015





I love this time of year and Karina put all those amazing Christmas thingies into this book.
Everything from hot chocolate to ice-skating, walking across a Christmas fair, a family in front of the tree, presents, lots of food, snow, sadness, happiness.
LOTS of sexiness!!!! Just perfect.


Lachlan and Kayla's story was already amazing in THE PLAY, but this holiday novella made it even more special!
Now I can't wait to read Brig's story. I already know that I will probably cry my little heart out before he finds his HEA!!!!


Smokin Hot Book Blog Email

Profile Image for Luna Sol.
403 reviews53 followers
December 23, 2015
5++++ Stars
I finished this book with tears in my eyes and wanting to continue reading about their story forever and ever. What a perfect, magical novella about Lachlan and Kayla. First of all, you can feel the love and passion the author has for this story, these two characters all through the book. And that combined with her talent make this novella a perfect read.
What I love the most is how it captures that Christmas is not a happy occasion for everyone despite what their faces may be showing. Some of us may be battling inside demons that are especially very hard to fight during Christmas, or as with Kayla it may be the first Christmas without a much loved person and it's hard, so very hard. In Winter Wishes we can see how the love Lachlan and Kayla have for each other made it possible to live through difficult moments. I love them.
It's of course super steamy with some scenes that will leave you panting because the chemistry these two characters have is perfection, it's intimate, raw, emotional.
It also made me laugh a lot with lots of funny moments.
It's hard saying goodbye to Lachan and Kayla but I'm so happy where Karina has placed them in their life and I look forward to see how they are doing in The Lie, Brigs McGregor story coming up Feb. 15.

Profile Image for Sandra Cortez.
522 reviews49 followers
January 7, 2016
"You are my clan" this was a short and sweet novella that gave me just the right amount of warm fuzzies.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,215 reviews11.8k followers
April 21, 2018
If it's wrong to want more of Kayla and Lachlan, then I'll never want to be right. It was such a treat to get this little snippet of their lives after all of the events of their story, and it was wonderful to have it be set at Christmas!
Profile Image for Malene.
1,227 reviews571 followers
December 26, 2015
I just loved The Play which was about Lachlan and Kayla. So I was pretty giddy when this short novella was released. I couldn't wait to know more about these two amazing people.

Winter Wishes was just the icing on the cake. It made me fall even more in love with both of them. Lachlan and Kayla are perfect for each other. If I wasn't sure after reading The Play, I sure as hell am now. They compliment one another to perfection.

We also get to meet Lachlan's parents, grandfather and of course his brother Brigs. This was such a warm and loving conclusion to Kayla and Lachlan's story, but also a great introduction to Brigs and his untold story. I simply cannot wait to know more about this McGregor.

5 BadAssDirtySexyAyeStars
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
7,013 reviews837 followers
January 15, 2016
Kitty's review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

I love that Karina Halle brought us more of Lachlan and Kayla in this wonderful holiday sequel. I love epilogues but always wonder what happened to get them from point A to point B. In Winter Wishes, Karina lets us in on the secret and also opens the door to Brigs story. Then again, it could very well be Amara’s story. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Kayla comes into her own in Winter Wishes. Yes, she is still devastated with her mother’s death and getting used to Edinburgh but she is doing everything in her power to help Lachlan face his demons and accept the love that he so openly gives to her. And, as for Lachlan, he’s still the teddy bear that I fell in love with in The Play. But, even more so since he is now working through his fears and being there for Kayla when she has her moments. They each come up with the most creative ways of making the other forget about the funk that they are in. Definitely creative and extremely hot.

I adored the descriptions of Edinburgh, its history and historical landmarks. I loved that Ruff Love, Lionel and Emily were again highlighted. God, I loved those dogs and how much Lachlan devoted himself to loving them and giving them homes. Karina also gave us more of an insight to Brigs and the rest of Lachlan’s family, how much they truly supported him and helped him through the rough times. But, most of all, my heart swelled when he declared Kayla as his Clan and truly realized that what he had now definitely out-weighed his past.

Again, another wonderfully told and written story by Karina Halle. She has a way with words that not only tell a story but brings you right into the hearts of her characters. She has a way of taking a terrible situation and making it better with lots of love, a touch of humor and lots of hot sex.
Profile Image for Jessica Hull.
935 reviews654 followers
December 29, 2015
If you loved Lachlan and Kayla's story in The Play, you'll definitely want to curl up and keep warm with this festive little extra from Karina Halle. Winter Wishes takes place mere weeks after Kayla returns to Scotland as she and Lachlan prepare for their first holiday with Lachlan's family. Their demons continue to plague them both, heartbreak and loss and addiction ever present. All of that juxtaposed with a curmudgeon of a grandfather, the quintessential snowy Scottish weather, and some sexy fun with tinsel, and you've got yourself a merry little MacGregor holiday.

This story is the perfect little gift-wrapped package, rife with sensual escapades signature only to Kayla and Lachlan. But those sexy antics are second only to the captivating drama and heartfelt emotion that serve to remind the reader that the road to happily ever after will always be a difficult one for this pair, but that all is merry and bright when you have the right person by your side. Halle's exquisite writing style compliments her eloquent, raw story-telling to make for one decadent holiday treat you'll want to nab right away before it's too late!
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