The Holiday Gift by RaeAnne Thayne


The Holiday Gift by RaeAnne Thayne


With two kids and an active life, widow Faith Dustin only wants peace and quiet for Christmas. But her snowy Pine Gulch ranch is nothing but chaotic. All that keeps Faith going is her helpful neighbor, cowboy Chase Brannon. He’s always been “good ol’ Chase,” her faithful friend. Until he kisses her under the mistletoe… 

Years ago Chase blew his chance with the woman he’s loved since childhood. Now he’s determined to step out of the friend zone…and into the role of husband. But the scared and stubborn Faith won’t let herself fall. With Christmas just days away, Chase will need all the magic of the season—and the help of her two matchmaking children—to unwrap a second chance at love.

The first thing I will say about this book is that it is a part of a series, and that is the Cowboys of Cold Creek. There are many other books in this series and you will enjoy this book a lot if you are familiar with the setting already. I, however, did not know this so I will admit to you all that I struggled with this book because it was so many characters and I kept feeling like I was missing something.

I was drawn to this book because of the Christmas theme, and I also love the concept of being near the Teton mountain range. I’ve visited this part of the country and this book definitely made me feel like I was right back there. The author creates stunning visual imagery for her readers and I felt like I was right there with our characters in Idaho.

If I’m being truthful, I really did not care for Faith much. I understood her hesitation over a relationship with Chase, but at times she was so obtuse. And I think the fact that she was purposefully obtuse just started to drive me a little crazy at times. This is one of those moments where I feel like having read other books in the series would have made this book more enjoyable. There is so much overlap in characters, I can safely assume that Faith has popped up in past books. I think I would have felt more favorably for her had I gotten to see her in other settings before this.

Chase was a great character. The way he continued to step up to help Faith, even when I didn’t think she necessarily deserved it, was admirable. I also respected that Chase respected Faith and what she had been through. He truly did know Faith well and his actions showed that. I think his actions is what made their love believable. The fact that Faith had to keep talking herself into it made it hard to see her as really in love with Chase. But his actions showed why she SHOULD be in love with him.

I can’t say I would recommend this book if you haven’t read other books from RaeAnne Thayne, or aren’t already familiar with this series. The book is well written and the story is complete. But for someone who wasn’t familiar with the rest of the series, I found it a bit hard to keep up with all of their characters and all the backstories that were going on. I would still rate this book highly; there isn’t anything wrong with it. But my personal thoughts are that I would have loved this book vs just liking it if I had been more familiar with the series.


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