12 Days of Christmas Books
For the next 12 days I am highlighting Christmas Books. There are new releases, some of my favorite rereads, and some new to me reads. There are a lot of quick reads and a few full-length novels. I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts and find some holiday books to enjoy!
12 Days of Christmas Books: Day 12
New Year’s at the Graff by Marin Thomas
Holiday at the Graff, Book 3
Tule Publishing (December 12, 2017)
After being banned from celebrating the holidays with his stepfamily, San Diego businessman Lucas Kendrick arrives in Marietta, Montana, in time to attend the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Graff Hotel. The rodeo-theme party isn’t his style but he’s drawn to the pretty cowgirl running the dice table. When the clock strikes midnight and they ring in the New Year with a kiss, Lucas almost forgets he’s in Marietta on business and not pleasure. He believes he’s found the perfect property for his prized client. There’s just one problem—the pretty cowgirl has her sights set on the same piece of real estate.
Now that single mom Ava Moore has earned a business degree, she wants to help other struggling women get back on their feet by opening a co-op on Main Street. The last thing she expects is competition from the handsome city slicker whose New Year’s kiss she hasn’t been able to forget. Lucas isn’t only stealing Ava’s heart he’s bonding with her daughter. Can Ava convince Lucas that the best business deals are made with the heart and not money?
“Marietta has always been home; it just took a while to find my way back.”
This book offers so much to the fans of Marietta books. It’s centered not only on the two main characters but also the town’s remodeled hotel – The Graff. The writer captures the charming town of Marietta with its small-town flair and residents, but also weaves in the history of the Graff. One of my favorite parts (and there are many favorites) is the glimpse into the town’s matriarch Mable Bramble past life. She is as feisty, crusty, and proper as ever but we see that years ago she was a caring resident who looked after others in town. Another favorite is the small town feel of residents looking out for each other, even strangers.
The two main characters had a believable immediate connection to each other. Ava stays strong, independent, and true to herself while falling for Lucas. She keeps in mind that he’s here temporarily; that he has a life in another state and tries to avoid heartbreak for her and her daughter.
Lucas is a charming character who has good values and is very caring. Some of my favorite scenes involve Lucas and Ava’s daughter Sophie. He was inserting himself into Ava’s life and Sophie was getting attached. He liked the feeling of being a family yet he has just reconnected with his father and feels the need to prove himself to him. He’s torn because he also knows he has found the perfect women for him in Marietta.
I would put 4-year-old Sophie right up there as a main character. Writing a child in a story is sometimes tricky and many are just side characters or a distraction. The author has Sophie shining through in this story in all her Princess glory and is a big part of the appeal of this story. Ava and Lucas include her and you’re never left wondering where’s the child.
This book of full of well-liked and well-developed secondary characters. I really enjoyed the relationship growth of Lucas and his father. Ava’s eccentric mother- in- law gave us ghostly glimpses into the past and present of some residents. We see more into the relationship of Judge Kingsley & Sandra Reynolds from a prior Marietta read. While there are previous characters from other books, this can be read as a standalone book and you will not be lost.
A love at first sight romance done right! Left me with that happy, content feeling. Definitely will be a reread in future years. Well done!
Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (January 6, 2018)
Read an excerpt from New Year’s at the Graff:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A small-town girl goes off to college to play basketball only to discover by chance that she likes spinning stories as much as she loves shooting baskets. Then real life happened; she married and entered the workforce. It wasn’t until she gave up her career to stay at home and raise her children that she rediscovered her love of writing and set about penning novels that open the heart and heal the soul.