Title: Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
Haven Point Series Book Five
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
There’s no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember
It’s been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie’s friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who’s recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.
Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie’s gentle nature is a salve, and her kids’ excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.
With a heartwarming small-town setting, two adorable children and a wonderful pairing of a widow and a sheriff, Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne is an absolutely charming holiday romance. This fifth installment in the Haven Point series can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novels as well.
The past two years have been quite challenging for Andrea “Andie” Montgomery but she is determined to make this Christmas memorable for her children, six year old Chloe and four year old Will. A policeman’s widow who was betrayed in the worst possible way by her late husband’s partner, she refuses to let the events of the past define her. When her good friend Wynona asks her to help out with her injured brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, Andie is reluctant to spend time with the gruff man who makes rattles her every time she sees him. With her kids by her side to act as a buffer, she quells her nerves long enough to deliver meals to her housebound neighbor. Watching the gentle way Marshall interacts with Chloe and Will provides Andie with a new perspective of the taciturn sheriff and she is shocked to discover she is attracted to him. Is there more to her sudden interest in Marshall than just attraction? If so, will Andie risk her heart on another man in law enforcement?
Andie has had more than her share of tragedy in her life but she has proven to be surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity. Nothing is more important to her than her kids and their happiness and she hopes this Christmas will help them recover from the traumatic events from a few months earlier. Although she is good friends with Wyn, she and Marshall have not spent much time in other’s company. Despite her anxiety when she is around him, Andie refuses to be intimidated by his insistence he does not need her help. This provides her the opportunity to really take charge of her fears and as a result, she truly begins to heal from the misfortune she has experienced and she becomes much stronger and secure. However, she refuses to relinquish her desire to protect herself from future heartbreak so Andie refuses to give in to her growing feelings for Marshall.
Marshall is a workaholic whose devotion to his career is admirable but his long hours leave him little time for friends or family. Not wanting to admit to any weakness, he never stops trying to push Andie away but she gently yet firmly ignores his request to let him deal with his injury on his own. Suddenly and inexplicably, Marshall finds himself looking forward to visits from her and the kids but he is sure this is due to the extended amount of time on his own. He has plenty of distractions to keep him occupied but Andie is never far from his thoughts.
Despite the somewhat rocky beginning to their relationship, Marshall and Andie have a mutual respect for each other and their uneasy friendship is underscored by an unexpected mutual attraction. Andie is quite observant and she sees more than Marshall is comfortable with, but she quickly becomes a trusted confidant as he tries to work through the complications in both his personal and professional lives. As Andie spends time with Marshall, she realizes that she will eventually begin dating again, but she clings to her assertion she won’t become involved with another cop. There is a little bit of a push/pull between them as they grow close only to have their unresolved issues prevent them from fully committing to one another. Marshall is the first to envision a future together but will he convince Andie to give him a chance despite her fears?
Snowfall on Haven Point is an absolutely marvelous addition to the Haven Point series. The characters are multi-faceted with realistic strengths and weakness. The novel is well-written with a slight suspense element in addition to the developing relationship between the lead protagonists. The romance between Marshall and Andie is believable and despite the obvious chemistry between them, their interactions are limited to some very steamy kisses. Old and new fans of RaeAnne Thayne are going to love this sweet holiday romance that takes place in a wonderfully inviting, close-knot community.