Sugar Pine Trail: A Small-Town Christmas Romance (Haven Point)
by RaeAnne Thayne
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (October 1, 2017)
Genre: Clean, Romance, Small Town
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
An unlikely attraction brings comfort, joy and unforgettable romance this holiday season!
Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she's been living. She's made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn't one of them. Julia's looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker's latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia's care for the holidays, she'll take any help she can get—even Jamie's.
Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that's much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can't last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…
Julia appears to be a quiet and seemingly unexceptional young woman (by her own assessment). She is a caring and conscientious librarian and a good friend. She has agreed to help a friend by allowing her brother, Jamie, to rent an upstairs apartment in the big family home she has inherited.
Jamie is a sexy pilot who turns the heads of most women in town. Jamie tends to foster carefree relationships. He has a past experience that caused him to believe he doesn’t deserve to have a true relationship with any ‘good’ woman. Julia tries to be immune especially since she doesn’t want to be heartbroken as his next conquest.
Julia finds two young boys in the children’s section of the library. She sees them there several days and makes friends by sharing her lunch with them. One day she insists on taking them home in the cold weather and learns that they are living alone. Julia ends up fostering the two boys and is glad when Jamie steps in to help.
The boys, Julia and Jamie become close during the Thanksgiving and days leading up to Christmas. Jamie begins to see the beauty under Julia’s quiet exterior. When he accidently finds her ‘bucket list’ he decides to help her fulfill some of those dreams. Julia sees a caring, family side of Jamie and wonders if maybe there could be ‘kisses under the mistletoe’ like she put on her list.
Ms. Thayne has the ability to create real characters and carry them through warm, and sometimes obstacle ridden, scenarios. I enjoyed the push and pull between Julia and Jamie which was set off nicely with the addition of handling two young, frightened but adventurous boys. Both characters have a certain fragility to get beyond if they want to find a happy Christmas together.
I enjoy Ms. Thayne’s writing which makes for warm and easy reading. I recommend this to readers who enjoy sweet to sensual, small town romance.
I received this through NetGalley and it qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.