My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Stefan Sutherland (what a sexy name!) moved to Maplesville, LA to take care of his five-year-old nephew when the boy’s mom, Stefan’s sister, is called away to Afghanistan since she’s part of the Army Reserves. Stefan is on leave from the Navy because of an accident in the field (or rather air—he’s a pilot) so he agrees to watch over her son. He’s been in the Navy for 14 years but, instead of being rough and callous, he’s soft and sweet. War obviously hadn’t hardened him which is surprising. I wish we could have learned more about his past, his missions and all things Navy. The author breezed over his back story which irked me because military men are HOT!His nephew, Jacob, finds an injured stray cat that Stefan dislikes but he takes to the vet anyway. There he meets Calista Webber, a sexy vet that the little town of Maplesville pities because of a childhood trauma she suffered and her public divorce. Their romance starts as nothing more than a fling but soon turns into more. I love the addition of Sandy, the cat, because I’m a huge animal lover. She’s also the glue that holds this broken family together.
The only thing that annoyed me was Calista's constant inner dialogue. She kept thinking about leaving town to start over at a new vet practice and it got a little old after a while. It's like she couldn't think of anything else but that except for when Stefan was around to distract her.
Set at Christmas time, this heartwarming romance brought tears to my eyes. Stefan, Callie and Jacob are all suffering from pain and find comfort in each other. I love the author’s writing style, it followed beautifully, and I’m interested in reading the other novellas in the series.
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