What it’s about
Celebrate the magic of Christmas in Haven Point with New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne, where hope, home, and happily-ever-after are as close as your holiday stocking…
Christmas is the last thing Cole Barrett is thinking about this year. He’s barely hanging on trying to care for his two grieving children since his ex-wife died in a tragic accident. For the reclusive Cole, this is no time for gift-giving and celebration—and certainly not for a sunny-natured optimist to blow into his screwed-up life.
In the years since her cancer treatments, physician Devin Shaw has researched the curative powers of Lake Haven’s mineral waters. Unfortunately, the hot springs are on Barrett property, forcing Devin to strike a bargain with the ranch’s attractively gruff owner: she’ll give Cole’s children the magical Christmas they deserve, and Cole will allow her patients access to the springs. But can she work her holiday magic to heal the Barrett family’s battered hearts—and her own?
2.5 Stars! An okay read, but not up the standards I know this author is capable of.
This series hasn’t quite cut it for me since the beginning, and while some of the story read like the RaeAnne Thayne that I enjoy, most of it didn’t.
Let’s start with McKenzie, Devin’s annoying sister from Redemption Bay, who made an appearance along with her judgmental attitude. Devin, to her credit, didn’t jump to conclusions about Cole and his past, but of course McKenzie had to say her piece and it made me want to slap her. She’s talks about the people of Haven Point and how neighborly and helpful they are, but she’s the first one to spew her negativity and make assumptions…EGADS that woman annoys me!!
Devin was a one dimensional character, didn’t have much fire in her and at times was wishy-washy. She just wormed her way into Cole life and his children’s, under the guise as the helpful citizen, but you could sense her desperation to have a man and a family. I was sort of embarrassed for her. It’s not that I disliked her, I really didn’t feel much of anything towards her.
Now Cole on the other hand, despite some curves life threw at him and unwise choices on his part, picked himself up and continued to forge ahead. He built a credible successful business and was trying to do right by his children. He wasn’t without issues though. Constantly reminding his children not to talk to their grandfather, when the man clearly wanted to know them and they him, got on my nerves. But, for the most part he was a stand up guy and I enjoyed his character.
Okay so here’s why this book was a bust for me. I actually enjoy children in my romances, they can often add warmth and sweet to a read, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case here. There were children, and yes, Ty was adorable, but his sister Jazmyn’s constant bragging and pushing her brother and his feelings aside to feed her own ego got old…very, very old. It was so distracting and took away from every other aspect of the book. Just when you think you’re they’re having some heartwarming family time, Jazmyn shoots her mouth off, steamrolls over her brother and the fun he’s having, to put herself in the limelight. It never ended! There was nothing about this child that was endearing…nothing! I wanted to tape her mouth shut. She was awful. Yes, I get it, her mother died and she was vying for attention, but the author took it too far. This kid and her lousy attitude ruined the book for me. I was so annoyed with her rude comments and know-it-all ways, that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. If I didn’t know better I would have thought she was the spawn of the irritating McKenzie, Devin’s sister! *cringe*
Devin and Cole spent time together throughout the story, but in the same respect didn’t spend time together. I barely got to grasp onto the fact that they were a couple. Before you knew it, they were declaring their intentions towards one another and the book was over. I felt a little cheated. Instead of spending so much time with the children, I wish the author would have focused on Devin and Cole’s relationship, unfortunately I never really connected with them a couple. An epilogue would have been nice and gone a long way, but no such luck.
So, in conclusion, I think I’m done with this series. The first book, Haven Point, started out poorly, but I did love the hero, heroine and her daughter, it was the townspeople that annoyed me. Fortunately, the author salvaged the read and it ended on a high note. The second book, Redemption Bay, well it was Mckenzie’s book, enough said, I think you know how I feel about her. Now the third book had the frustrating and irritating Jazmyn, but I loved Cole for the most part and even Devin had some good qualities, I just wished she’d more backbone. I’ve read some amazing books from this author, the Hope’s Crossing series is a favorite of mine, as well as quite a few books in the Cowboy’s of Cold Creek series. But, for some reason this series is more exasperating to read than it is enjoyable, and I think I’m going to put it behind me. I’m sure there are readers that will love these stories, but I know when it’s time to walk away, so I’m done.
Even though this series didn’t quite cut it for me, I still admire and respect RaeAnne Thayne. There are so many books from her that I’ve enjoyed, and I know I can pick anyone of them up at anytime and get lost in the warmth and sweetness from her stories that I’ve grown to love!
My two top picks from RaeAnne Thayne: The Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle and my absolute favorite, Christmas in Snowflake Canyon! Enjoy!
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley*