Chances Inlet, North Carolina is the last place major leaguer Ryan McAlister wants to hide from the media to rest up his broken hand. He left his gossipy, Christmas-obsessed hometown in the dust over a decade ago. When he gets caught up in the town’s holiday antics, he finds himself responsible for making a little boy’s Christmas wish come true. The kid’s widowed mother, however—a blast from Ryan’s past—just might make his stay a bit more exciting.
Physical therapist Jane Sheffield loves her hometown. Especially at Christmastime. Since this may be her last in Chances Inlet, she’s determined to make the most of it with her young son. But after her childcare falls apart, she gets more than she bargained for when her best friend’s younger brother volunteers to help out. The rebellious teen she tutored in high school has grown up into a sexy charmer and so much more than the pretty face he pretends to be.
Can a stray dog, the Ghost of Christmas past, and a host of meddling townsfolk muster up enough Christmas spirit to convince Ryan and Jane to give their hometown—and each other--a second chance?
This book is the third book in a family saga but can be read as a standalone.
Tracy Solheim returns to this small coastal town for the highly anticipated third book in her Chances Inlet series. I fell in love with the citizens of Chances Inlet, and especially the McAlister family, while reading the first two books in the series and have been eagerly waiting for Ryan's book for the past three years. I'm very happy to report that Solheim gave me everything I could have wanted. And more.
This is a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and starting over that captured my heart. Ryan is such an endearing character. His family loves him but they rarely look beyond the pretty face, sports prowess, and carefree attitude for which baseball fans, the media, and most women value him. There's so much more to him but nobody ever looks for the depth. It's reached the point where even Ryan has stopped believing in himself. And then along comes Jane, a widowed single mom with more than a few challenges on her own plate. On paper, they shouldn't make sense. But they do.
I adored these two together. They have wonderful chemistry, great banter, and a soul-deep connection (even if it takes one of them awhile to realize it). I loved how they each brought out the best in each other; how supportive and protective of one another they were. I loved watching Ryan and Jane's young son together. Huck wasn't the only one who blossomed in that relationship. It was so satisfying to watch all three of them evolve throughout the story.
If you're looking for a feel-good, contemporary romance with great family dynamics, endearing characters you'll cheer for, humor, sizzle, food you'll drool over, tear-inducing declarations, and the heartwarming love and magic of Christmas, pick up a copy of Tracy Solheim's Second Chance Christmas. The e-book edition is a steal at the pre-publication price of $2.99.
Second Chance Christmas is written in such a way that it can be enjoyed as a standalone but I also recommend the first two books in the series: Back to Before (Gavin McAlister and Ginger Walsh) and All They Ever Wanted (Miles McAlister and Lori Buchman). Having already "met" the members of the McAlister family in the earlier books enhanced the depth of my enjoyment of book three even more.
Note: Solheim received so many comments from early readers about the delicious food in this book that she put together a collection of recipes for the dishes featured. Readers can obtain a copy of the recipes by subscribing to her newsletter at the following link: