Christmas on Reindeer Road
by Debbie Mason
Highland Falls - Book 2
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
Mallory Maitland knows all too well what it's like to feel abandoned, which is why she's sworn never to give up on her two stepsons -- her late husband's children. But when the teens land in hot water, she's got a whole new problem: how to resist the caring and incredibly hot Chief of Police Gabriel Buchanan. All Mallory wants is to give the boys a magical holiday. She doesn't need the distraction of wondering what it would be like to kiss Gabriel under the mistletoe.
After his wife died, Gabriel left his job as an adrenaline-chasing New York City homicide detective to focus on raising his three sons. But back in Highland Falls, he doesn't have to go looking for trouble. It finds him -- in the form of a beautiful neighbor and her troublemaking stepchildren. With Gabriel's mother-in-law looking for any excuse to gain custody of his sons, Gabriel can't risk getting involved with Mallory, even though she's the only woman capable of making this Christmas -- and all the rest to come -- his best ever.
If this book doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will. It's like a cozy blanket, twinkling Christmas tree, and mug of hot chocolate - with marshmallows - all wrapped up in one delicious bundle. I adored every single word.
Mason has populated her fictional community with a plethora of characters ranging from quirky to mischievous to downright meddlesome. I loved some and wanted to kick others off the nearest cliff but isn't that the way in most small towns? I really enjoyed getting to know Gabe and Mallory better, learning their back stories and watching them navigate the numerous - and often hilarious - pitfalls awaiting them. It was also fun to catch up with Hunter and Abby from book one, Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge. And then there were the boys. They made me laugh, made me cry, broke my heart, then filled it with happiness. I fell for all five of them but Gabe's youngest, six-year-old Teddy? He's something special, one of my favorite kids in a romance, ever. He stole my heart...and every single scene he was in.
There's so much emotional depth in this story. It has *all* the feels. Honestly, I just wanted to wrap my arms around these characters and hug them tight. I loved them so much. But, along with the emotion that accompanies some serious issues, Mason has also laced the story with a heartwarming, lighthearted touch. She's an author who transitions seamlessly from heart-wrenching to hilarious while immersing readers in the lives of her vividly and realistically depicted characters. She had me sobbing on one page, snort-laughing on the next, and eagerly looking ahead to whatever awaited me around the next turn.
I've been reading Debbie Mason since her debut and more than a few of her books have been 5-star reads for me but this one, this one is special. I had already pre-ordered Christmas on Reindeer Road in e-book (because I have limited space) but after reading it - twice - I ordered another copy in print. It's joining my holiday shelf, the one containing those books I can see, touch, and curl up with in front of my Christmas tree every year as I once again revisit beloved characters and lose myself in their journeys to a happily ever after.
I highly recommend Christmas on Reindeer Road for your holiday romance reading. As Teddy Buchanan says, "This is what love looks like on Reindeer Road."
Do you have a shelf of holiday romances you reread every year?
What are some of your favorite Christmas romances?
Have you read Debbie Mason yet?