Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Cold Creek Christmas & Christmas in Cold Creek by ReaAnne Thayne

Celeste Nichols has always preferred to keep to herself in her hometown of Pine Gulch, Idaho…until she becomes an instant celebrity! When one of her children's stories becomes a major success, she's suddenly the talk of the town. Celeste should be gloriously happy…but something, someone, special is still missing from her life. Could the return of her childhood crush be the answer? 
Flynn Delaney has moved back home for his daughter's sake. Yet all the millionaire's resources can't help the little girl heal from the tragic loss of her mother. Shy librarian Celeste and her stories do hold some indefinable magic, though. Flynn came home looking for support—can he find that, and true love, in the one who got away

Christmas in Cold Creek
She claimed to be a waitress and a single mother, but Rebecca Parsons doesn't look like any hash-slinger Pine Gulch Police Chief Trace Bowman has ever seen. And she doesn't seem particularly maternal toward her little girl, either. Still, one look in her vulnerable green eyes and his protective instincts go into overdrive.Attention from local law enforcement is the last thing Becca needs. She'll do anything to protect her little sister Gabi from their con-artist mother, even lie about their identities. When Trace shows up at their house carrying a Christmas tree and stirring desires she can't afford to indulge, she longs to surrender to the magic of the season with him. But Becca's past is catching up--"fast." Can her sexy police chief perform a Christmas miracle?
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: MLM Media Relations 

A Cold Creek Christmas Story
Cowboys of Cold Creek #14
Rating: 4.5

This was such a heartwarming little story. It truly had me smiling the entire time as Flynn and Celeste formed a relationship while helping his young daughter mend.
Here’s what’s going on. Flynn Delaney is back in town to clear out his grandmother’s house. He’s also there to help his young daughter, Olivia, heal from the tragic loss of her mother and the horrific event she has been through. He never expected to get involved with someone, but once Olivia discovers that Celeste Nicholas is the author of her favorite children’s book, Flynn finds himself being thrown into Celeste’s company and much to his surprise, he discovers there’s more than a spark between them.
While Flynn might be a stranger to some of the residents of Pine Gulp, Idaho, Celeste remembers the kindness he once showed her. Now that he’s back, she still feels the same attraction she felt for him all those years ago. When she finds herself falling for both Flynn and his daughter, she knows her heart’s in danger because Flynn intends to return to California and the life he had there.
This book was such a lovely little romance with all the lovable elements of an amazing Christmas romance. Compassion, love, healing, romance, and holiday cheer lace the pages.
Celeste has to be one of my favorite heroines. When she was writing stories for her nieces and nephew, she never thought that they would turn into a bestseller or that Hollywood would be interested in turning them into an animated movie. Although the Christmas Ranch her family owns needs the money, she’s a very private person content with working at the library. She has a lot to think about then Flynn comes back into her life and she can’t help the attraction she still feels for him.
One thing I really loved about Celeste is the way she bonded with Olivia. The tragedy that she endured when she was young allowed her to understand how to approach Olivia and help the little girl to mend her body and her spirit.
Oh, Flynn was lovable as well. He’s a fiercely protective father. Having almost lost his daughter, I really can’t blame him. Although he was almost too protective of her which started to hinder her recovery, so it was nice to see him finally relent to Celeste and allow her to gently coax Olivia back into the little girl she used to be.
The romance between Celeste and Flynn was so sweet. There’s an attraction and chemistry from the start but it took a while before figured out how to balance being a father to a child who has been through so much trauma with being in the dating world. My only problem with this was we never really got to see Celeste and Flynn dating. They went from an easy friendship to instantly in love and, while it worked for this book, I would have liked to have seen it drawn out a bit more.
Another thing was the conflict. There was minor conflict between Celeste and Flynn but most of the conflict came from Flynn’s internal struggle. He wanted to be with Celeste, but he was afraid it would interfere with his ability to care for his daughter.
While there was attraction and chemistry, this was one had no heat just a bit of kissing. So, if you’re looking for a Christmas romance without the sex but with an amazing plot, then definitely give this one a go.

Christmas in Cold Creek
Cowboys of Cold Creek #9
Originally Published in 2011
Rating: 3

I’m really starting to enjoy romances where the hero is in law enforcement and the heroine is in some kind of trouble with the law or is hiding something so I was rather pleased to see that trope in this story.
Here’s what’s going on. Becca is the new waitress at The Gulch, she’s also pretending to be her half-sisters mother. She’s claiming that they came to Pine Gulch for a change of scenery but Pine Gulch Police Chief Trace Bowman has a feeling there is more to the story. And, even though there is attraction between them, Becca keeps pushing him away.
I really liked Trace. He’s a very honorable hero who wants to do the right thing and look after the citizens of his little town. Ten years ago, his parents were murdered in a robbery gone wrong and it caused him to lose the Christmas spirit, so it was nice to see Becca restore that part of him.
When the book started, I liked Becca then I stopped liking her. She was trying to protect her sister from their con-artist mother although she developing an attraction to the town’s police chief. She allowed herself to grow closer to Trace then suddenly, instead of going to him for help as he told her she could do, she started treating him cruelly to drive him away. Although when she needed his help, she didn’t think twice about going to him. I really don’t like it when characters do that because it feels like they are using the people.
The relationship between Trace and Becca was a bit odd. There was an attraction but it felt as though it was lacking chemistry. Also, it seemed as though they went from some odd semblance of friendship to falling in love. Although unlike the first book, this one just didn’t seem to work and I think it had to do with the way Becca treated Trace.
There was a touch of conflict in this book but it could have been avoided if Becca would have told the truth and actually talked to Trace. What annoyed me the most about this one was the fact there was a rather important thread left dangling. It has to do with what happened to Trace’s parents and it really sparked my interest but, sadly, it was left open.
Overall, I’ve been eager to try RaeAnne Thayne’s romances and I have to say I was rather pleased. While A Cold Creek Christmas was definitely my favorite in the series, Christmas in Cold Creek was interesting although not fully developed.

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including four RITA® Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

What’s been your favorite Christmas/Winter read?

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