A single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O’Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O’Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake, a place for the family to reconnect and rediscover the special gifts of the season.
One of the guests is a newcomer to Willow Lake— Darcy Fitzgerald. Sharp-witted, independent and intent on guarding her heart, she’s the last person Logan can see himself falling for. And Darcy is convinced that a relationship is the last thing she needs this Christmas.
Yet between the snowy silence of the winter woods, and toasty moments by a crackling fire, their two lonely hearts collide. The magic of the season brings them each a gift neither ever expected—a love to last a lifetime.
Neither Logan nor Darcy is looking for love. In fact, Darcy has pretty much sworn off, after finding out her ex was cheating on her with his ex-wife. She’s sworn off kids, too, given her experience with loving and then losing her stepchildren. Logan is more focused on making the best of his holidays with his son and surviving the times when they’re apart. But when life offers both Logan and Darcy a second chance, they have to decide whether to open their hearts to love.
This isn’t a romance about perfect people or even perfect endings, though the ending is quite satisfying. Nor is the romance fraught with danger or major misunderstandings. Instead, it’s a gentle romance about the quiet unfolding of love between two people, and about the circle of people who care about them. Susan Wiggs is terrific at showing families and friendship at their messy, complicated, and loving best, and these underpin and uplift the entire novel. From Logan’s impulsive offer to help out when his son’s best friend’s mother needs a hand, to Darcy’s instinctive understanding of what a young boy most want — and needs — for Christmas, the genuine goodwill and caring in this book warmed my heart and put me in the holiday spirit.
Rating: 3.75 stars
Categories: Contemporary small-town romance
Series: Lakeshore Chronicles
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (hardcover)
Book source: ARC received from the publisher
About the author: Susan Wiggs self-published her first book when she was eight years old. Since then, she has acquired degrees at SFA and Harvard, taught math, and published over 35 books, including contemporary fiction, historical and contemporary romance, a children’s book and a book on planning your wedding.