Title: Christmas with the Sheriff (Shadow Creek, Montana #1)
Author: Victoria James
Publisher: Bliss, Entangled Publishing
Expected Publishing Date: November 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Rating: 3.25 Stars
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.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
Small town. Second chance. Single dad with a kid, and a sheriff to boot. Plus, it’s a holiday story. All the ingredient of heartwarming and lovely read.
The story might not start that way and the gloom vibe lingered through most of the narrative. But what I loved here was the affection and closeness the heroine and people she’d left behind still had. Adding to that the festive holiday feel, the never-fail-to-mention food, and a pup. Those sucked me right into the pages.
As for the characters’ relationship, the chemistry between Chase and Julia was so obviously there since the beginning. Yet, after awhile it got tiresome for me with Julia’s continued indecisiveness. I ended up not liking Julia so much with her being wishy-washy the other half of the story.
Having gone through slow pace, the story escalated with multiple things happened simultaneously. After seemingly so patient on the face of Julia’s skittishness, Chase’s sudden push for more was out of character. It felt to me as if – having running out of pages to conclude the story – the main roles make haste racing to the finish line.
Another thing that didn’t sit well with was Maggie calling Julia auntie one time, then using plain on other times. Perhaps it’s a matter of personal or community preference; but eight years old seem too young to call her elder by their name only.
Part of the closing chapter was rather interesting though, in which I see a promise of future story for Jack and Lily? Hopefully another second chance story that work better for me than this one. 🙂
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.