About the Book:
Title: Santa’s Sweetheart
Author: Janet Dailey
Series: The Christmas Tree Ranch #4
Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2021
Publisher: Kensington Books
Synopsis: “Love is the only cure for the holiday blues … Sheriff Sam Delaney is shouldering a lot as the lone lawman in the small Texas town of Branding Iron–and the widowed single father of six-year-old Maggie. Especially since Maggie’s determined that what her daddy needs this holiday season is a girlfriend. Suddenly Sam is hustled off to a meeting with Maggie’s schoolteacher–and surprised to discover the demure Grace Chapman is unexpectedly alluring. Then he’s roped into playing Santa at the annual Christmas ball, with the pretty Miss Grace by his side. It’s enough to make Sam even grumpier than usual–if not for the feelings sweet Grace stirs up inside”
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A little more than a year after his wife’s death, Sheriff Sam Delaney Determined to find the perfect girlfriend for her beloved dad, Maggie does her best to match him with her teacher, Grace Chapman. Neither Sam nor Grace are looking for love. Sam still mourns the loss of his wife, and Grace has a disappointing history with the men in her life. But neither of them can deny their growing feelings. As Christmas approaches, Grace and Sam see more and more of each other in their small town. Will they take a chance on love and make Maggie’s Christmas wish come true?
Sam and Grace are both relatable and likable characters, and I enjoyed their budding romance. They both have reservations about initiating a romantic relationship, and they struggle with their feelings throughout the story. I like how patient and understanding they are with each other, as well as how they both reflect on and deal with their past and feelings.
Another great character is Maggie. She is so adorable and quite mature for her age. At only eight years old, she is often wiser and more astute than the adults, and she often tries to take care of others. I love her kindness and compassion, and her enthusiasm for the holidays is infectious.
The holiday spirit permeates the story with tree picking and decorating, party planning, and other holiday traditions. This, as well as the small-town charm, add to the optimism and hopeful tone of the book. However, the story also deals with some more serious issues like grief, loss, fear of abandonment, alcoholism. and other real-world problems. It is well balanced and shows realistic issues that many people face, which makes the story so relatable.
The story is sweet and charming, and it’s the perfect holiday romance to read when curled up next to the fire this winter. I enjoyed the likable characters, the small-town charm, and the lovely, clean romance and think the story will appeal to readers who like light and touching Hallmark-esque stories. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Janet Dailey, and Kensington Books for a copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance.
- Maggie. She’s adorable.
- The small town, holiday setting.
Readers who enjoy Hallmark movies or clean and touching romances will enjoy Santa’s Sweetheart.