Heat Factor: There is some not-very-explicit sex but the tone is quite chaste
Character Chemistry: Him: I need to resist you. Her: Why?
Plot: Twin boys wish for a mom for Christmas
Overall: Christmas special warm fuzzies in book format.
In one of those cheesy oh-fer-cute plots, Zeke and Zach Taylor–six years old and worried about homework in First Grade–decide at the beginning of the school year to give Santa plenty of time to grant their Christmas wish. They would like a mom for Christmas. When they meet the new high school music teacher, it seems that their wish has been granted, and they immediately fall in love with Nell.
Nell had a terrible year in New York, culminating in her position being cut in her school. The arts are always the first to suffer, amiright? So Nell moves to rural Western Maryland where the high school music teacher has retired. And she loves it.
So Zeke and Zach love Nell, she loves them, she doesn’t want to go back to New York…but Mac, Zeke and Zach’s dad is skittish. His ex wife got pregnant to trap him into marriage (it’s framed slightly more palatably than that, but that’s basically the deal), and peaced out once she realized how hard being a parent of twins was. He lives in a small town where everybody is in everybody’s business, and he doesn’t want his kids to get attached to a woman just to have her leave again. Short story, he’s running low on trust, and the thought that Nell might run back to New York once the charms of rural living pall is his lifeline as he avoids his feelings for her.
The nice thing about this story is that, even though it’s short, it takes place over four months, from September to December, so it feels reasonable that Mac and Nell have real feels. Their interactions are in interludes that occur over time as the months progress, so we’re not receiving a super distant narrative recitation of what’s going on to get insights into their love story, as sometimes happens in novellas that try to accomplish a long timeframe in few pages.
It’s also just a sweet story. The drama is entirely about Nell and Mac navigating their relationship, and the stakes are pretty low. They boys perform their function of being cute plot moppets. The warm fuzzies have that wholesome Christmas romance vibe. If you’re looking for a holiday special in book format (or audiobook format), you could do much worse than this throwback.
Buy Now: Amazon
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