After a painful divorce from her high school sweetheart, triplet Jenny Weaver returns to River’s Edge with her young son. While happy to be reunited with her sisters and working at the family’s marina, she has no intention of jumping into the dating pool, especially going into the holidays. Then Gabe Dawson, once a shy nerd who tutored her in history classes, arrives home transformed into a handsome hunk who makes her pulse race.
Archeologist and history professor Gabe Dawson thought he’d long ago outgrown his teen crush on Jenny. Back in town for a few months to help his mom post surgery, he can’t resist reaching out to Jenny. She’s as beautiful, warm, and funny as he remembered and soon Gabe is reconsidering his future.
Gabe is determined to seize this second chance, but can he convince a very wary Jenny that a globe-trotter is ready to come home for good this Christmas?
Each new book set in Nan Reinhardt's River's Edge continues to get better and better and better. Each couple's story feels fresh and new - able to be enjoyed on its own - while also evoking a sense of home and familiarity gained through the previous couples' journeys. We're ten books into the series and I haven't even begun to tire of it. That's due in no small part to the fact that the author has separated the books into three mini-series: one quartet and two trilogies. That enables series fans (like me) to revisit beloved characters and follow along with their evolving relationships while allowing new readers to jump in at a variety of points without feeling lost or confused. As for me, a reader who started with book one, I'd be blissfully happy if Reinhardt continued to write about River's Edge characters for the rest of her career. I love them that much.
In Christmas in River's Edge, the third book in the Weaver Sisters Trilogy (they're triplets!), Reinhardt brings us a second-chance romance between Jenny, a divorced single mom, and Gabe, a hot college professor with a nerdy core. I loved these two so much. Each character is fully developed, with intriguing layers, relatable life challenges, and heart-tugging charm. It was enjoyable to watch Jenny evolve into a woman of courage and strength with the determination to follow her dreams after too many years in a miserable marriage.
Gabe flat out stole my heart. This man needs to be protected at all costs. The love and respect he has for Jenny, how he nurtures their relationship, encourages her dreams, and is always at her side if needed, supporting but not trying to lead. That's especially crucial in her dealings with her ex-husband, the father of her young son, Luke. I loved Gabe's relationship with Luke but I also appreciated how Gabe handled the relationship between Luke and his father, Jenny's ex, Ryan. There was an easy direction the author could have taken their relationships with Ryan as well as Ryan's own personal journey but she chose a different path, one that took the story to a deeper emotional, but hopeful, level. I'm curious to know if we'll see him again. I'm always up for a good redemption story.
All of this is set within the charm and holiday atmosphere of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in River's Edge. There's plenty of good feelings, love, humor, family ties, emotional depth, and happy endings all wrapped up with a festive bow. I loved it.