Wishing Tree, Book 2
From the publisher:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes a witty and heartfelt story of two friends who unexpectedly find the person-and the place in which-they belong this Christmas.
With twinkling humor and heartfelt Christmas spirit, two friends find love in a town called Wishing Tree…
Until Camryn Neff can return to her “real” life in Chicago, she’s in Wishing Tree to care for her twin sisters. She’s not looking for forever love, not here. But handsome hotelier Jake Crane is a temptation she can’t resist, so she suggests they pair up for the season. No golden rings, no broken hearts. At his side, she sees her hometown through Christmas-colored eyes. The cheer is cheerier, the joy more joyful. She thought she had put her future on hold…but maybe her real life was here all along, waiting for her to come home.
New in town, River Best is charmed by Wishing Tree’s homespun traditions and warmhearted people. When she’s crowned Snow Queen, she’s honored but wary. Dylan Tucker, her king, seems like the stuff of sugarplum dreams, but she can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something big. As they perform their “royal” duties—tasting cookies, lighting trees—Dylan’s good humor and melty kisses draw her to the brink of love. But she can’t let herself fall until she uncovers his secret, even if her lack of faith means losing him forever.
“Mallery’s second book set in Wishing Tree (after The Christmas Wedding Guest, 2021) is just as charming, with two gentle romance story lines and a reminder that family ties can bind a little too tightly, but it’s still family. The perfect holiday confection for fans of Jill Shalvis and Sarah Morgan.”—Booklist
“Mallery’s second installment in this heartwarming and humorous holiday romance series (following The Christmas Wedding Guest) brings readers back to Wishing Tree, WA. Hand to readers who enjoy romances featuring tight-knit small-town communities with heartfelt holiday traditions and friend groups that are more like found families.”—Library Journalhttps://amzn.to/3CNPTGW
This is my new favorite holiday series, even though there are only two (and a half – the first book was a novella) out so far. Mallery is just a great storyteller, and I love this small town that is all about Christmas. I don’t know if there are such places in the real world, but the romance novel world abounds with them.
This is a two-fer romance; Camryn and Jake, who are the primary characters, and River and Dylan, the secondary romance. They are all friends, which adds to the fun.
Jake’s family owns the lavish resort in town and while he loves his mother dearly, her interference in his life has reached new bounds. She interviews Camryn as a possible bride for her son, and Camryn is none too pleased. She decides that Jake should probably know about this, and even though they are not especially close, they’ve known one another since their school days. Jake and Camryn have chemistry that practically leaps off the page, but so do River and Dylan.
River is fairly new to town but has been embraced by this small circle of friends and is loving that. When they stuff the ballot box she gets elected Snow Queen for the holiday festivities, along with Dylan, her “king”. Dylan and Jake have been best friends since they were kids, and Jake’s mom practically raised him since his parents just weren’t involved or interested.
The two couples are thrown together repeatedly and it is so much fun watching their relationships heat up. There are some definite hurdles to get through, but in the end, love wins out. And Christmas, of course. I’m just sorry I have to wait until next year for the next installment.
10/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS by Susan Mallery. HQN; Original edition (October 4, 2022). ISBN: 978-1335449986. 400p.