The Holiday Gift by RaeAnne Thayne
Series: The Cowboys of Cold Creek (# 15)
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review
With two kids and an active life, widow Faith Dustin only wants peace and quiet for Christmas. But her snowy Pine Gulch ranch is nothing but chaotic. All that keeps Faith going is her helpful neighbor, cowboy Chase Brannon. He’s always been “good ol’ Chase,” her faithful friend. Until he kisses her under the mistletoe…
Years ago Chase blew his chance with the woman he’s loved since childhood. Now he’s determined to step out of the friend zone…and into the role of husband. But the scared and stubborn Faith won’t let herself fall. With Christmas just days away, Chase will need all the magic of the season—and the help of her two matchmaking children—to unwrap a second chance at love.
Review: I have read other books in this series but the Christmas ones are my favorites. I really enjoy the way Ms. Thayne puts a strong emphasis on family and in this book a friendship that truly test the bonds of time and life.
Chase and Faith have been friends forever and when needed over the years they lean on each other. It is nice to know that you have an old friend that will and is always there for you. This brought a strong emotional depth to this story for me. I enjoyed that it was a male/female friendship that was testing the strength of time while adding a bit of realism that it really is hard for opposites to be just friends Ms. Thayne made Chase in love with Faith for…ever.
The question is the friendship strong enough to add romance. Christmas added that bit of magic and the help of elves in the guise of Faith’s and Chase’s children. These children added the element of realism to the story as Ms. Thayne wrote very realistically the whimsical way that they dealt with loss and the way they thought to bring happiness to others. The interaction between everyone felt very real. I for one found myself becoming emotionally invested in not only their romance but also their lives. I have always found warmth in Ms. Thayne’s books pulling you in and making you stay.
Ms. Thayne’s characters are easy to relate too and very enjoyable. The storyline which is set in a small town gives me that warm…fuzzy feeling perfect for a holiday read to take me away from the stress of the holiday hustle and bustle. The romantic tension added a little bit more magic making the love between Chase and Faith sensual without going overboard. It was just enough to make you feel the hope and the fences of taking chances breaking down.
This Christmas miracle hit the spot this time of year making one believe in magic and hope. Sugar Cookies and eggnog is the perfect companion when reading this story.