If I’m judging this book by it’s cover, the first thing that goes through my mind is ‘pass’ mostly because it reminds me of something my grandma would read.
Most of Thayne’s books have a quaint cottage on the front and it just doesn’t scream romance to me. Over the last few years, I’ve tried to pick books based on what the summary says versus what the cover looks like.
That was how I found Thayne in the first place. When I was pitched my first Thayne book, the image of the book cover wouldn’t load. I enjoyed the summary and agreed to read it. Then I hoped on Goodreads and was like ‘ugh why did I decide to review a granny book?’
It was too late to back out so I went ahead and decided to soldier on…..to my surprise, the book wasn’t my grandma’s romance novel! It was like watching a Hallmark movie on steroids but in book form!
Now admittedly, I am not a regular Hallmark channel watcher but I do enjoy their holiday romances. So I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to return to Haven Point but at the holiday season!
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? (summary from Goodreads)
Most of the time, I save my holiday reading for November so I can have October reserved for all my favorite spooky reads. This book came out this week, so a little early for the wintery holiday reading that comes out mid Oct. Normally I would wait until the holiday season to read or review this one but I was excited to return to this town and familiar characters.
One of the things that I like best about Thayne’s books is that they could easily be read as standalone novels. Sure there are some cross over characters and plots but for the most part each book seems to be an independent romance. I think I would appreciate the series more if I had started from the beginning, but overall I found it unnecessary.
When I am reading a romance, 90% of the time I have to like the male love interest. If he has nothing to draw me in, offer as a romantic interest, or that I might value, then I usually struggle with the romance. In this book Ruben shined for me. He was honorable and I also liked that he was so understanding and willing to take on a ready made family so to speak. Single moms and dating are no joke and I think that it was admirable that Ruben was willing to take that on especially with Dani’s past etc.
I thought Dani was a little difficult to connect with at times. I realize why her character had to be a little standoffish, considering her past, however I was a little put off with her at times. I mean I didn’t hate her by any means, I just thought that I wasn’t as connected to her as I had hoped be.
The dialogue and plot were so realistic and believable. Thayne seems to know how to hit people in the feels and she does it so wonderfully that I don’t mind if some of the content is a little heavy.
What makes this novel though is the setting. I love the town of Haven Point and the Christmas magic really shines in this book! I love holiday romances, it just makes the season so much more cozy and magical. If you are gearing up for your holiday reading, I would strongly encourage you to add this book to your reading list!
Book: Season of Wonder (Haven Point #9) by RaeAnne Thayne
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own
- Recommendation: 4 out of 5
- Genre: contempo romance, romance, holiday romance, holiday reading
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