RaeAnne Thayne comes to the blog today with a holiday romance, the 9th book in her Haven Point series, set in the small Idaho mountain town. Full of family, secrets and community, please read on for my review of
Season of Wonder
Dani and her two daughters, 13 year old Silver and 6 year old Mia have relocated from Boston with Dani’s graduation from vet school to partner with Dr. Morales and start their new life. Divorced after eight years with a ‘baby mobster wanna-be’, Dani changed her life, her residence and her and her daughter’s names to escape the taint that her now-dead ex-husband’s name would bring – as not long after they arrived in Haven Point, he went down in a ‘blaze of glory’ killing 3 people, one a police officer, during a botched bank robbery that made national news. While Dani has zero to be ashamed about – her marriage was her own immature effort to bring a sense of family back into her life, one that she lost when her mother died when she was a child and thrust into the foster care system. But, Tommy was in and out of prison, with his mother the only person who actually believed, and refused to see sense, where her son was concerned. Working multiple jobs, going to school (and then vet school) taking loans, scrimping and saving – she’s graduated and a correspondence with a visiting lecturer brought her an offer to work in the clinic at Haven Point, with an eye to taking over the practice when the current vet, Dr. Morales retired fully.
Dani’s new start comes with a small house, perfect for her and the girls, and a ton of challenges. Having experienced everything being yanked out from under her, repeatedly, as a child, she’s not interested in allowing herself to feel ‘too comfortable’ in this place, always waiting for the next shoe to drop. When you add in her daughter Silver and her being caught vandalizing properties in town, her change in both behavior and attitude, difficulty fitting in and the general ‘teenagerness’ of her behavior – Dani is quickly running out of ideas to bring her daughter back. On the other hand, her bright, chirpy and outgoing younger child Mia is withdrawn, painfully shy with everyone but Dani, and seems to have lost some of her spark. With a neighbor being both a Sherriff and the son of her boss, not to mention insanely attractive and friendly, and just a bit too observant for her liking, nothing could be worse than having Silver returned to home with him, after vandalizing his new boat. EVERYTHING is wrong with this situation: Dani’s shame for her daughter’s behavior and worry that it is the first in a long slide into her felon-father’s footsteps, Mia’s apparent fascination with the man, his obvious careful consideration and ‘sizing up’ of her every reaction, and the unexpected, yet wholly understanding way he approaches Silver’s bad behavior and offers options for her to ‘make things right’, showing both Dani and Silver that mistakes happen, it’s how you learn from them while working to rectify the issues.
From the first moment to the last, it’s a struggle for Dani to keep her remove with Reuben, while he’s constantly hoping to get ‘more’ from her: trust, conversation, smiles, and yes, kisses. He’s trying to pull Dani and the girls into the community – you don’t relocate from the big city to a small town to stay apart from everyone and everything – but he also sees that Dani’s reluctance to ‘join’ is rooted in her own insecurities and hurt – and he’s determined to give her every option to share what’s hurt her, in hopes that something new can come from it. With the acceptance from Mia and Silver, his parents and siblings, and a dramatic show-down with Silver at the center, it slowly becomes apparent to Dani that Reuben offers her everything she longs for, and trusting him and in the goodness and kindness of the people in Haven Point is her best option. A sweet second chance at family and love story, full of some adorable moments.
Title: Season of Wonder
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Holiday Themed
Published by: Harlequin HQN
Published on: 25 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 54 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
He’s giving her children a season of wonder…
Dani Capelli seized a chance to start over in a small town with her daughters. Now, facing her first Christmas in Haven Point, she wonders if leaving New York was a mistake. Dani loves working alongside veterinarian Dr. Morales, but her two children aren’t adjusting to small-town life. And then there’s Dr. Morales’s son, Ruben—Dani’s next-door neighbor. Gorgeous, muscled and dependable, the deputy sheriff is everything she secretly craves and can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.
Ruben never pictured himself falling for a big-city woman like Dani. But beneath her prickly facade, she’s caring and softhearted and she needs all the love and protection he can give. When Dani’s teenage daughter starts acting out, Ruben draws on family traditions to show the girls just how magical a Haven Point Christmas can be. But can he convince Dani that she’s found a home for the holidays—and forever—in his arms?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: