Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne Release Date: September 25, 2018 Publisher: HQN Books Book #9 in the Haven Point series Number of pages: 384 Kindle Edition Source: MCL Contemporary Romance/Holiday M/F Rating: PG-13 Read 11/2/18 to 11/3/18
Dani Capelli seized a chance to start over in a small town with her daughters. Now, facing her first Christmas in Haven Point, she wonders if leaving New York was a mistake. Dani loves working alongside veterinarian Dr. Morales, but her two children aren’t adjusting to small-town life. And then there’s Dr. Morales’s son, Ruben—Dani’s next-door neighbor. Gorgeous, muscled and dependable, the deputy sheriff is everything she secretly craves and can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.
Ruben never pictured himself falling for a big-city woman like Dani. But beneath her prickly facade, she’s caring and softhearted and she needs all the love and protection he can give. When Dani’s teenage daughter starts acting out, Ruben draws on family traditions to show the girls just how magical a Haven Point Christmas can be. But can he convince Dani that she’s found a home for the holidays—and forever—in his arms?
I may be wrong, but I don’t really recall meeting Ruben in any of the previous books. I feel like he must have been mentioned at some point, but I also feel like I would remember such a sweetheart. My goodness, the way that man is with children just melted my heart.
In fact, I loved everyone in this story. Not only is Dani a strong and independent woman who lives for her children, but she’s also super caring and giving. Not everyone can see that since she puts up so many walls. When she’s around people she trusts, like Dr. Morales, her true nature shines through. Although her oldest daughter is teetering on the edge of being a bit of a delinquent, the goodness and kindness she got from her mom shines through. And the precious younger daughter is irresistible.
Ruben makes Dani nervous. She’s had some not-so-great experiences with law enforcement that have left her jaded. Once she actually has a few conversations and actually interacts with Ruben, Dani starts to realize her image of a police officer was developed at a young age in extreme circumstances. She also begins to see that Ruben is just a big softy. Again, Dani has many walls. This causes her to keep pushing away even when everything in her screams to pull forward.
While Dani’s fears about her past are legitimate to some extent, she is a bit of a pessimist about how people will react when they learn where she and her daughters came from on a familial level. At the same time, I agree with Dani’s assessment that Ruben tends to wear rose-colored glasses. A bit surprising considering his profession. But he comes from such a caring and stable family, he can’t help but see the good in those around him. It would seem a relationship wouldn’t work between these two personalities, but they end up complimenting each other and having an undeniable magnetism.
I love getting to know more people in the Haven Point community while getting to see peeks at those we’ve gotten to know throughout the series. With Ruben’s family now in the mix, there are so many possibilities with where this series can go.