This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on December 17, 2020
The youngest Shannon sister has her heart tested when her secret crush ropes her into his struggle to give his niece and nephew a safe and magical Christmas season none of them will ever forget. I thought I was ready for all the expected feels between the holiday time and the romance, but these two children and the romance pair who selflessly gave of their hearts to them gave me a delightful gift wrapped in a beautiful bow.
A Convenient Christmas Proposal is the second in the Shannon Sisters series and is a standalone story though I was glad to have gotten it after the first which introduced Kelly’s family and Mick’s brother’s family in the earlier book.
Patrol Officer Kelly Shannon is struggling with guilt. She didn’t cause the accident on a DUI situation that killed Mick’s brother, but her doubts that she might have prevented it leave her vulnerable when Mick involves her in helping him keep an eye on his vulnerable niece and nephew. He doesn’t want the kids put in the system and strong arms Kelly to help him work to keep that from happening. They lost their dad and their mom’s struggle with alcohol and minimal parenting has gotten worse.
Mick is a newspaperman and he is willing to take on the kids, but Sharon won’t give him custody and he knows that her destructive habits make for a troubling and potentially dangerous situation. Instead, he can only keep an eye on things and once in a while take the kids for a respite. Mick was raised rough and didn’t have any good Christmases so he is determined that the kids get one loaded with all the traditions and excitement. Kelly willingly helps.
Somewhere in it all, the pair learn they are a good team in quasi-parenting and for each other, but their pasts hold them back and then there are the kids who must come first. Will the promise of family and the magic of Christmas be enough to bring them together?”
The children and their mom’s situation was heartwrenching. I wanted to pity Sharon for not being able to cope, but the author carefully made it clear that this went beyond grief for a lost husband and father and into habits that had been there all along. The home life and behavior of Sharon and the kids was spot on. My career was in family social work and I saw that situation way too many times.
Mick has a past not unlike what his brother’s kids are going through so he has a strong aversion to going through the proper channels involving officials who may decide to put the kids in the system rather than grant him custody so he is hard on Kelly. Kelly wants to do it by the book and grew up safe and stable so trusts the system to do the job and makes sure the kids are where they need to be. Mick sees their different upbringing and the way the town treated their two very different families over the years and current family reputations as a barrier to them being more than friends. Kelly doesn’t care about all that, but she was scarred by a father who left the family after each child was born and left for good after her and she is the last born after two very talented and strong-charactered sisters so doesn’t see what she has that would interest a driven good-looking guy like Mick. This added a tension and conflict that spiced up what was already a sweet and adorable series of romantic encounters and new-forming family moments.
Sidenote, those who enjoyed the Bitterroot Mysteries will spot a snazzy crossover moment. I thought that was a great surprise.
Charlotte North continued as series narrator and once again, I loved how she voiced the characters and got to see her talent extend past women and men to young children. She put so much feeling into the story without over- doing it. Definitely want to check out more of her work.
All in all, this was a beautiful, touching holiday romance and more. I will definitely be re-listening to this one and can’t wait for the audio release of the third story. Those who enjoy heart-felt small town holiday romances should grab this one up.
My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to the book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #200
Literary Pickers #99 Mexico
COYER Quarantine #189
About the Book
She’s the Christmas light in a world that seems so dark….
When Patrol Officer Kelly Shannon answers a suspected DUI call that results in the suspect’s death, she has to deliver the grim news to his young family, including his brother – her friend and crush, Mick. Kelly convinces herself that she’s only making amends when Mick begs for help looking out for his niece and nephew as his sister-in-law grieves and neglects her young children. But as Christmas approaches, Kelly admits the truth. She’s falling in love.
Journalist Mick Mizzoni spent his life trying to keep his younger brother out of trouble. When he gains temporary guardianship over his niece and nephew, he crosses the professional line he drew years ago and turns to Kelly Shannon for help. As she embraces him and his new family, she gives him hope that this Christmas could be different.
With their happiness hanging by a thread, Kelly hopes for a Christmas miracle, but Mick, who’s not as jaded as he thought, wants so much more.
Contains mature themes.
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