Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Date of Publication: November 4, 2015
Number of pages: 147
Small town Holly Point wasn’t big enough to hold the dreams of golden girl Maggie Benson. So when she left at eighteen, she flew right through college and into the adrenaline-pumping life of a navy fighter pilot. But without warning, a devastating crash destroys the career she loves and sends her back to her overly protective family to heal. Maggie can’t imagine how she can reconnect with the woman she was until the hot local high school basketball coach steps up to show her the way.
Former NBA star Will Fitzgerald knows how an injury can derail more than a career. Still, he’s happy with his life as a teacher and coach at Holly Point High School, until his quiet life is upended by the beautiful, brilliant, and hurting Maggie. Blindsided by the intense attraction, Will wonders if pursuing the woman of his dreams will answer the question of what’s been missing in his life.
Can Maggie trust enough again to let Will past her wounds, inside and out, so that they can both find the Christmas magic they’ve been searching for?
This is such a great quote, because it shows not only where Maggie's head is at, but also that her family is behind her.
“So, what do you think of Will Fitzgerald?” Mom’s question was supposed to be casual, nonchalant. It wasn’t. She was fishing.
“He seems nice. Why do you ask?”
“Because you invited him to Thanksgiving dinner!”
“Is that a problem? He doesn’t have any place to go.” She never expected to be questioned about inviting someone to the house. Being alone on a major holiday sucked. Having been through a few recently herself, she could relate.
“No, not at all. But I was wondering, are you interested? Is that why you asked him? He’s very attractive, and such a lovely man.”
Interested? Romantically? She had to knock that out of her mother’s head right now. “I was just being nice, Mom. Don’t read anything into it.”
Her mother winked. Winked! “But you do think he’s handsome, don’t you? I mean that jaw, those blue eyes. That body.” Mom put a hand over her heart. “He’s a panty-dropper, that one.”
“Mother! It is not appropriate to describe your son’s basketball coach as a panty-dropper.”
“Why? He is. You and Sabrina always used that term. I hated it when I heard you using it, but I think it applies in Will’s case. What do you think?”
“I can’t believe you said that.”
“I’m not dead, you know.” She paused, leaned in, and kissed Maggie’s forehead before rising from the bed. “And neither, my darling, are you.”
“Mom, it’s not happening. I’m not getting a happy ever after. Not with the way things are now. I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with… with my issues.”
“Burden? Mary Margaret Benson, you are many things, but you will never be a burden to anyone but yourself.”
When I saw this book title, it reminded me of the song "Where are you Christmas?" by Faith Hill. A song that has become one of my favorite holiday tunes. So I took a look at the blurb and that totally hooked me in. It's not often that we get a wounded female military hero. I had to request this as one of my holiday reads.
I don't think it's being too spoilery to say that Maggie suffers from some PTSD, especially as the author mentions it in the acknowledgements. But she also is an amputee, and unfortunately, we are seeing more and more of our women soldiers coming back from serving with this challenge. I thought that Maggie, and her afflictions were handled brilliantly. We see that it's not just Maggie who has to adjust to her new normal, but her family and friends as well.
Will was an amazing guy who quickly won my heart. It's easy to forget in the search for the next great bad boy biker billionaire alpha male, that there is a reason most of us choose the nice guy in real life. I am so glad that Will was that nice guy.
Maggie and Will's romance stretches from Thanksgiving through the Christmas holiday. I know what your thinking, 6 weeks? That's not very long. But when you count the fact that the holiday season can add plenty of stress to a relationship, especially in a small town, it seemed like just the right amount of time. This was a perfect Christmas love story and I gave it 5 stars.
Thanks to Netgalley and Tule Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.