Published by Harlequin Source: Netgalley
Genres: Christmas, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Buy on Amazon
Moving to Horseshoe, Texas, to become guardian of her half sister has been rewarding for Lacey Carroll. But raising a six-year-old--especially one who has stopped believing in Santa Claus--has its challenges. Lacey's goal is to bring holiday wonder back into the child's life, which isn't going to be easy with a grinch like Gabe Garrison next door. The man is mean, rude...and hurting.
After losing his son, Gabe shut out the world. But his privacy is invaded by the quirky, dynamic blonde and her kid sister, who are single-handedly filling his solitary life with love. When Lacey enlists him in a holiday campaign for Emma's sake, he can't resist. Will Lacey's unique brand of healing magic make this a season of second chances--for all of them?
Another sad Christmas book, well sad with some happy upswing as well. Both the hero and heroine in this book have experience death in their lives, and its seriously impacting their lives and their holiday season. Gabe lost his son, and to say he has taken to being a hermit and a bit of a grouch, which frankly is more than understandable. Lacey has given up her life to become a guardian to her younger sister after her father’s death. It’s not an easy job, but Emma is a great kid, although not always the best listener.
Its Christmas season, and Emma doesn’t really seem like she wants to celebrate the season. So Lacey makes it her mission in life to bring happiness to Emma and to make sure that she is experiencing Christmas the way every child should. The only thing that seems to be putting a damper on things is her grumpy neighbor who really doesn’t appreciate Emma coming into his backyard to pet the mans sick dog. Lacey and Gabe have some confrontations over the matter, but Lacey doesn’t give up, she stands up for her sister, and more than that she doesn’t let Gabe off the hook. Before you know it Gabe reluctantly starts letting these two girls into his life.
There is a lot of pain going on for Gabe, and sometimes it is really hard to read. I mean his grief is all consuming and he just isn’t ready to deal with the loss. He feels responsible for the accident, and he is just really not capable of moving on from it. Honestly it seems like he is barely getting from day to day. And the scenes with Gabe’s dog, wow, let’s just say, I’m a dog person so these scenes had me wanting to cry.
I loved Lacey though, she is such a hard position, and she’s doing everything she can to keep it together. I have to respect someone who would be willing to give up their young lifestyle and move to a small town to take care of a sibling. There are some funny scenes with Lacey and Emma as she stumbles in some of her attempts to be a good parent. And there are also some really great scenes with the two of them bonding and Lacey really being a good caregiver. I also really loved that how Lacey doesn’t give up on Gabe, she keeps trying to reach him, even when he pushes her away.
There are some really great moments at the end, and I totally don’t want to give them away, but they are really great. While there is a lot of grief in this book, there is also a lot of hope, so don’t think this book is all doom and gloom, because I promise it isn’t. These two people are such good hearted people, that it made pulling for them getting their happy ending so easy. It was definitely a good read, so you should check it out.