Sunday, December 06, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne

If she didn't have thirty children showing up in the next half hour, Celeste Nichols would have been tempted to climb into her little SUV, pull out of the Pine Gulch Library parking lot and just keep in driving. ~ Opening of A Cold Creek Christmas Story

A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin, 2015
Romance; 240 pgs

For some reason, my attraction to Christmas-themed novels has increased tenfold this year. I find myself hunting high and low for them. Maybe it's the happy ending I am after or the sentimental message that often accompanies such novels. That feeling of peace and good will toward men (and women)  that seems to be lost in recent weeks what with all the bombings and killing and other crime. Whatever it is, I was eager to dive into A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne as a result. It proved to be the perfect starting point. I just worry the other novels I have to follow won't live up to it.

A Cold Creek Christmas Story isn't all snowy evenings cuddling by the fireplace (I don't think they did that once in the novel). This novel actually tackles some pretty heavy issues considering. I think that is what I liked I about it most. RaeAnne Thayne did not shy away from real life issues just because this is a Chirstmas romance.

Our hero, Flynn Delaney, only wants what is best for his young daughter, Olivia. She is still struggling with her mother's death and her own injuries, both physical and psychological.  Taking his daughter back to the town where he spent part of his childhood, Flynn hopes she will find some peace, and maybe he will see some of her old self resurface. What he doesn't count on is the effect the local librarian Celeste Nicols has on not only his daughter, but on him as well.

Celeste is not very comfortable with her new celebrity status as a published children's author. If she had her way, she'd go on living a quiet life, helping her family out at the Christmas Ranch and working at the local library. When Flynn and his daughter walk into her life, she suddenly realizes something has been missing.

In true romance novel fashion, you can imagine what will happen at the end--which is exactly what I was hoping for.  What I most liked about this novel, however, was the depth of characterization, the realistic portrayal of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and just how much I would come to love the characters. Celeste is no stranger to childhood trauma, having lost her own parents at a young age. She's blamed herself for her father's death in particular all her life. She understands what Olivia is going through. Olivia is such a sweet girl, having gone through what no child should ever have to experience.

I enjoyed seeing Flynn and Celeste's relationship grow over the course of the novel. Neither are particularly looking for love, and they both know it isn't meant to last given Flynn is returning to California after Christmas. Flynn was very conscientious of his daughter and her welfare the entire time, which made me like him even more. And who wouldn't love a librarian? Celeste is such a well meaning character, thoughtful and generous, while also being realistic.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Cold Creek Christmas Story, and spending time with the Nichols' family. If only I was so lucky to have a family like that to spend the holidays with! I might even be willing to put up with the cold and snow.  I definitely plan to read more by RaeAnne Thayne soon (In fact, I have another of her novels waiting in the wings!)

Note: I discovered only after reading the novel that it is the 14th book in the Cowboy Creek series, but pay that no mind if you want to read this one and haven't read any other books in the series. It stands well on its own.

To learn more about RaeAnne Thayne and her books, please visit the author's website. You can also find the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: E-copy provided by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I think we could all use a sentimental book right about now.

  2. Somehow I'm just now seeing this review. Bloglovin is being kind of flaky on me for some reason. Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this! I loved Celeste and her relationship with Olivia and the whole Nichols family. I really want to go get the rest of the books and I want Faith's story. What's the other Thayne book that you have? Is it Snow Angel Cove? If not go get it! I think you'd love it.

    1. Katherine - I want to read Faith's story too. I really enjoyed this book and all of the Nichols family. The other book by Thayne I have to read is Evergreen Springs. I do want to read Snow Angel Cove.


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