Evergreen Springs (Haven Point)
About the Book:
Christmas is the last thing on Cole Barrett's mind this year. He's barely hanging on trying to care for his two grieving children since his ex-wife died in a tragic accident. For the reclusive Cole, this is no time for gift-giving and celebration—and certainly not for a sunny-natured optimist to blow into his screwed-up life.
Physician Devin Shaw has long researched the curative powers of Lake Haven's mineral waters. Unfortunately, the hot springs are on Barrett property, forcing Devin to strike a bargain with the ranch's attractively gruff owner: she'll give Cole's children a magical Christmas, and Cole will allow her patients access to the springs. But can she work her holiday magic to heal the Barrett family's battered hearts—and her own?
I love it when RaeAnne Thayne takes me to visit friends in small towns. This Christmas story takes us back to Haven Springs and we meet Cole, a rancher with a past, as well as a future as the single father of two small kids; and we meet Devin, a doctor and a survivor. However, survival had a heavy cost and there are times when Devin realizes what it cost her. While the summary above makes it seem like the springs are the focus of the story, they really aren't. What brings Devin and Cole together originally is that his sister, who is pregnant with twins and estranged from her huband, breaks her ankle and then goes into pre-term labor. Devin is the doctor on duty at the hospital and an old friend of his sister.
Besides the old tried and true romance formula the story explores the themes of misunderstood intentions, family forgiveness and of course, the gift of Christmas love.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Like Thayne's other books, it is almost squeaky clean--no bedroom scenes or suggestions that they happened offstage. There were a few four letter words, but in the context, they were appropriate. Grade: B+