The Mission by Barbara Elsborg

Conrad receives a gift for Christmas - a stalker. Sheena read The Mission by Barbara Elsborg.

From the blurb:

Snow! Tick.
Skiing! Tick.
Christmas! Tick.
Stalker! Er…

When Conrad and his ex split up three months before their upcoming work ski trip, Conrad’s
unwavering passion for the slopes overshadows his reservations about a holiday anywhere near his ex and his new partner. But as ‘friends’ keep hinting he should cancel, he wishes he’d seen sense earlier. Now it’s too late to get his money back.

A clash of heads at check-in with a handsome stranger sets Conrad’s heart racing. Arlo is bound for the same Austrian resort, sparking Conrad’s daydreams of shared slopes, shared apr├Ęs-ski, shared hot tubs and more…while fully aware that spotting Arlo in the mountains will be almost impossible.
Little does Conrad know Arlo has orchestrated this moment. Now all Arlo has to do is convince Conrad he has the best of intentions. After all, if they don’t click by the end of the flight, Conrad will never know he’d been stalked.

There is a short description of sexual assault.

Please note that this story was originally released as a short story as part of the Winter Wonderland Prolific Works giveaway. The story has been revised with over 25,000 words of added content.

Sheena's Review:

The Mission is a standalone story with everything I'd expect from a Barbara Elsborg book, with lots of hardship and fun times on the way to a nice HEA. Conrad, when we meet him is in a very unhealthy relationship with a very toxic person, and ends it only to find himself three months later stuck on a work ski trip with his ex. His work colleagues who all believe the ex, and he has nobody. Until he meets Arlo, who unknowingly to Conrad, has engineered their meeting after seeing him one night in the office.

It should be a little creepy that Arlo stalked him like that - and it is a little strange, but Arlo is just so charming and determined to help Conrad that I never felt creeped out by him. He's such a fun and genuine person and really wants the best for Conrad. I loved these two together, and I loved that Arlo came clean so quickly and did give Conrad the choice. The ex, however, is a real nasty piece of work and deserved far more than he got, which is usually the case with abusers.  

Overall, I really enjoyed this even though I had to suspend my disbelief more than once and just enjoy the story. It's not light hearted - this is a Barbara story after all - but it is fun in places with a nearly satisfying HEA.

Rating: 4 Stars

The Mission is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.