Title: Finding Christmas
Author: Jeannie Moon
Series: – –
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Small town Holly Point wasn’t big enough to hold the dreams of golden girl Maggie Benson. So when she left at eighteen, she flew right through college and into the adrenaline-pumping life of a navy fighter pilot. But without warning, a devastating crash destroys the career she loves and sends her back to her overly protective family to heal. Maggie can’t imagine how she can reconnect with the woman she was until the hot local high school basketball coach steps up to show her the way.
Former NBA star Will Fitzgerald knows how an injury can derail more than a career. Still, he’s happy with his life as a teacher and coach at Holly Point High School, until his quiet life is upended by the beautiful, brilliant, and hurting Maggie. Blindsided by the intense attraction, Will wonders if pursuing the woman of his dreams will answer the question of what’s been missing in his life.
Can Maggie trust enough again to let Will past her wounds, inside and out, so that they can both find the Christmas magic they’ve been searching for?
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
I enjoyed so much about this book. It has a touch of Christmas magic, true, but it also deals with loss, recovery, family and love. It’s like a big ol’ hug of fiction and I loved reading it.
Maggie is a woman who’s been through a lot – losing her leg and her career and all confidence in any hope of a future for herself – but she’s not beaten yet. I loved her strength and her determination, and I also liked her ability to cry, to know that things aren’t going to be the same. Sure, she has a the odd wallow, but she’s also capable of picking herself up, dusting herself off and moving forward again. She’s great.
As for Will – I adored him. He’s good and kind and sweet and understanding and awesome. The way he sees and treats Maggie is wonderful, but considering how he is with kids and teenagers and pretty much everyone he meets, I wasn’t surprised.
So why not five stars? Well, this story has such a great, steady build up that I found the ending a bit of a disappointing rush. Maggie has a moment, all is sad, then… well, it just felt a bit off for me. I would also have liked to have known more about Will’s own struggle with his injury and how he built a life for himself, while maybe hearing Maggie planning for the future. I know she’s got enough going on just coming to terms with her injury and returning home, but there’s very little looking ahead done. It might also have been nice for more of a balance to have been struck with her family and friends, they’re either firmly against things or suddenly all for them. Some middle ground would have been nice.
So it’s not perfect. Instead it’s a lovely, warm, thoughtful read that takes care and time to make Maggie’s issues real and life altering, without robbing her of hope or strength. It has a hero that is worth falling for and a romance that was as touching as it was heart-warming. If you’re looking for a moving, beautiful romance this Christmas, then this is definitely worth a look.
Finding Christmas is Out Now!
Visit Jeannie Moon for more details.