Title: Christmas in July
Series: Christmas, Colorado #2
Author: Debbie Mason
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Published: June 24th 2014 by Forever (first published January 1st 2014)
ISBN: 1455527696 (ISBN13: 9781455527694)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it'd been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort - because Jack has no memory of his family.
All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn't wait to leave town. Now he's a local hero with a wife and son he doesn't know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.
Life wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t meant to be. If you didn’t go through the bad times, the sad times, you wouldn’t appreciate how incredible the good times were.
Christmas in July by Debbie Mason is a light, fun contemporary romance perfect for any time of the year. It’s the second installment in Debbie’s Christmas, Colorado collection. Each of the books in this series work perfectly well as stand alone reads which is a good thing as I’m unintentionally reading them out-of-order. The series is addictive. Once you read one, you’ll want to devour them all!
This is a second chance of love tale featuring Jack and Grace Flaherty. As the story opens, Grace has despaired of ever seeing Jack again. Their parting had been heartbreaking as she’d threatened him with a divorce as he left for another tour of duty. You should know that he’d previously promised her that he would not leave again for another tour. Even so, she’d immediately regretted their last words and had tried to call him – but, he refused her calls. Then, he went MIA in Afghanistan for seventeen months leaving Grace with a newborn to raise on her own. Fast forward to present day. Grace can no longer handle the stress and worry, and with no positive news of Jack’s survival, she has made the decision to move on. It’s breaking her heart, but she needs to let him go. Just as she’s made the decision, there’s good and bad news: Her husband has been rescued, but, Jack has amnesia with no recollection of either her or their son.
Jack is eager to kick up his heels after spending seventeen long months in captivity. He has an eager, willing woman – she was actually a POW with him - and he can’t wait to be alone with her. Imagine his shock when he learns that he is a married man with a wife and a son he cannot remember in Christmas, Colorado – his hometown that he was happy to leave and a place he’s not eager to return to.
Jack is a war hero and a man’s man. Grace is a general’s daughter, a skilled baker, a perfectionist and an independent business woman. I liked both characters from the start though I wanted to shake each of them a few times as their story transpired. It’s a given that they’re going to butt heads. But, can their troubled marriage be rebuilt? They have a lot to cope with both past and present complications. Still, I held out hope that love would find a way. If you have read other books in the series, you will enjoy catching up with previous favorite characters with lots of love, laughter, and tears along the way.
There’s a bit of a love triangle herein as Jack harbors a large secret. He’s an honorable man and trying to do the right thing – but the correct course is not always clear nor does it leave loved ones unscathed. I will share that Debbie tackles some weighty, deeply emotional issues in this read from the perspective of our military and their families including dealing with the stress and worries of the families while their loved one is serving to the myriad of problems faced when their loved one returns. The families have had to learn how to survive without them; how do returnees fit back into their family unit when they come home?
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Christmas in July:
“If we weren’t already married, I’d propose to you right now.”
“Tease,” he rasped. His slow, dangerous smile promised payback. Kissing the chocolate from her lips, he unhooked her bra. “You’re not the only one in this family who’s an artist, you know. I was real good at finger painting. And don’t worry,” he said, drawing his chocolate-coated finger between her breasts and down her quivering stomach, “I clean up my messes, too.”
“Is there anything she’s not good at? Please tell me there is, because I’m seriously thinking about not being friends with her anymore. It’s too hard on my self-esteem.”
Can these two resurrect their love after so much has transpired? You’ll have to pick up Christmas in July to find out! The surprise ending is teeming with warm fuzzies. If you are looking for a heartwarming escape read with a bit of sparkly magic in the lovable, small community of Christmas, Colorado, look no further than Christmas in July!
Suggested Reading Order:
The Trouble with Christmas (Book #1)
Christmas in July (Book #2)
It Happened at Christmas (Book #3)
Wedding Bells in Christmas (Book #4)
Snowbound at Christmas (Book #5)
Kiss Me in Christmas (Book #6)
Happily Ever After in Christmas (Book #7)
Miracle at Christmas (Book #7.5)