Title: Christmas in July by Debbie Mason
Christmas, Colorado Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it’d been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort – because Jack has no memory of his family.
All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn’t wait to leave town. Now he’s a local hero with a wife and son he doesn’t know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.
Christmas in July by Debbie Mason is a beautiful love story that is poignant, romantic and heartwarming. In this second installment of the Christmas, Colorado series, Grace and Jack Flaherty’s reunion encounters numerous complications as they try to pick up the pieces of their marriage. Amnesia, guilt, secrets and interference from well-meaning friends and family are just a few of the issues facing them when Jack safely returns home seventeen months after he was declared MIA in Afghanistan.
By the time Jack returns home, Grace is firmly rooted in his hometown of Christmas. While she is overjoyed at his safe return, their reunion is overshadowed by their last parting and at first, Jack’s amnesia is a blessing in disguise. When he does recover his memory, they have barely begun to work on rebuilding their troubled marriage when a secret Jack has been keeping is revealed in a very public setting. At the same time, a vengeful revelation hurts Grace’s reputation and puts her marriage on even shakier ground and she is faced with trying to save not only her relationship with Jack, but her bakery business. From this point on, they overcome one crisis only to have another challenge takes its place.
By all appearances, Jack and Grace are a mismatched couple. Jack is a thrill seeking, adrenaline junkie while Grace is a bit uptight with a few control issues. But they perfectly complement one another and each brings out the other’s hidden qualities. Underneath Grace’s prim, proper exterior, she is wildly passionate and she has an incredible sense of humor. Jack is a typical Alpha male but with Grace and little Jack, he is pretty much nothing but a softie with an incredibly tender and loving heart.
In addition to the external conflict they are struggling to overcome, Jack and Grace are also dealing with their emotional baggage from their individual pasts. Jack’s wild child reputation comes back to haunt him and he resents living under the small community’s watchful eye. Grace carries a heavy burden that has its roots in her childhood and she is further stressed by Jack’s inability to figure out what he is going to do about his military career.
Despite the many crises that Jack and Grace must endure on their way to happily ever after, Christmas in July is a delightfully angst free novel. The characters are vibrantly developed and the problems they must overcome are believable and true to life. The small town of Christmas is realistically depicted with a wonderful spectrum of caring and somewhat colorful townspeople. This incredibly heartfelt and deeply moving romance is an outstanding addition to Debbie Mason’s Christmas, Colorado series that old and new fans do not want to miss.