on November 7th 2016
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After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn't in Big Sky Country any longer...but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.
Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend's wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she's home and he doesn't intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas...and forever.
Bittersweet, very vanilla and full of angst that turns into teary HEAs would be what I always will associate Victoria James with and this aspect of her books – like a Hallmark or a Lifetime movie – suits the festive season perfectly with the themes of joy and hope it espouses. James’s small town romances are filled with picture-perfect views, secondary characters who are lovingly and sweetly meddlesome (but never cloyingly gossipy and murderous) and welcoming smiles from the charming locals who take care of their own. There’s a communal love-fest waiting to happen, as second chances emerge after a tragedy splits family and friends for five long years, though not without hiccups and rather predictable running away.
The start to this new series is interesting though – and begins on a season high – and with a perfect set-up for the next book at least, I’m cautiously optimistic to see where this is all going.