I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Shadow Creek Montana #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 7th 2016
Length: 151 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2017
After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn't in Big Sky Country any longer...but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.
Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend's wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she's home and he doesn't intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas...and forever.
Christmas with the Sheriff by Victoria James broke my heart over and over again. Seriously I had to sit it down at one point and have a good cry before I could continue. It’s heart-breaking, romantic, and one of those books you cheer for at the end.
Julia Bailey is a character that I truly found myself in. While I’ve never experienced the loss she has in this book, I empathized with her and put myself in her shoes…which explains why the book affected me the way it did. Julia is a strong woman, a young widow who in one night lost everything she held dear. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if I lost my husband and son the same day. I would be shattered and Julia is. But the book picks up 5 years after her loss and really shows how strong she is. Julia has closed herself off to love, but she makes it through each day. The memories of her son don’t cause her to break down the way she used too and her husband’s ugly secret….she’s coming to terms with that. Honestly this woman is a rockstar!
Chase Donavan *swoon* is the sheriff of the small town Julia grew up in and at one time was her and her husband’s best friend. This is the man that held Julia together after her loss and then she ran. Now that she’s back in Shadow Creek for the holidays, Chase has no intention of letting her leave again. This is the girl that got away for him. He was in love with her as a teen, but didn’t think he deserved her. Then she marries his best friend and now she’s single again. He has no intention of letting the chance to be with her slip by twice. I love Chase! He’s a single father doing everything he possibly can to make his little girl’s life as normal and happy as possible. Seriously, why wouldn’t you fall for him?! He puts his own happiness and needs aside for his little girl’s over and over again.
I loved the sweet romance that was just waiting to burst between these two characters. The alternating POV helped to speed it along as the readers knew where each character stood. My heart ached for what Julia has gone through and twisted for Chase’s loss as well. These are two characters who just needed a little push to jumpstart the chemistry that was already brewing and I loved how it played out on the pages. The small town vibe was just an added bonus. Not many authors can pull off such a large cast of characters and have them so well fleshed out. James does this beautifully. Even for characters that only have a few lines in the book, they feel real.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy small town romance set around the holidays, I highly recommend you grab a copy and enjoy 😀