Review: The Reluctant Santa by Sylvia McDaniel

Posted December 17, 2012 by Shari in Reviews / 2 Comments

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Review: The Reluctant Santa by Sylvia McDaniel
The Reluctant Santa

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Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance
Released on November 21, 2013
Pages: 268
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The story starts off with two angels, one for the good side and one for the not so good side. The bad angel, Devon, is trying to make quota and stay out of the pit, while Gabriella, the good angel, is saving souls from Devon in between costume changes. Gabriella shows up to her scenes in some pretty weird outfits as she goes around saving souls. So both angels are after Colin McDermott’s soul.

Colin McDermott has had a hard life. His mother couldn’t hold a job long, his dad died before he was born and finally he was raised later in life by his grandmother. He has known hunger and abandonment. During college he met and fell in love with Brooke. One night of drunken frivolity and a condom breakage, he doesn’t have a clue why Brooke would run off not leaving him any way to contact her.

Brooke met and fell in love with Colin. After their night of passion, she ends up pregnant. When she approaches Colin about having children, he tells her in no uncertain terms, he doesn’t want children. Unable to tell him she is pregnant, Brooke runs home to her family to have and raise her daughter, Olivia, by herself.

Now six years later, Colin is on his way to making his first million in sales. He donates one day a month to the charity work, but doesn’t have much in the way of relationships. On the edge of getting all his dreams of being financially safety, he just needs to pull in the most sales in a three week period. When he shows up at a hospital where Brooke works, he feels the instant heat from years ago and wonders once again why she ran, but Brooke is trying to keep him out of her life.

When the Santa shows up drunk, they are desperate for a replacement…that replacement ends up being Colin. Colin is a good sport and plays Santa, meeting Olivia not knowing she is his daughter. She wants a puppy so bad! To the point I was even wanting to tell her to shut it.

But Devon steps in and causes a bus accident where Olivia is critically injured. They can’t find Brooke, but Colin’s listed as the father on the birth certificate and he just so happens to be in the hospital. And so begins the deeper part of the story where Colin learns he has a daughter and Brooke learns she isn’t ready to give up single parenthood.

Overall, I like the story but the angel kind of weren’t needed. They mostly got on my nerves. Gabriella…so many costume changes as she went around saving souls. Devon…he was just plain evil. I don’t feel the two lent much to the story.

Olivia is like most five year old girls. She wants a puppy for Christmas and doesn’t want to let go of the idea. Then she throws in she wants a daddy. While she isn’t a bad child, she is tenacious.

Colin and Brooke, I am not sure I bought their love relationship. But that is what Christmas miracles are all about. Just having faith.

A delightful story of love lost and reclaimed, with a child you didn’t know you had or wanted.


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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Sophia Rose
8 years ago

It does sound like that there might have been two separate story lines going on there making it too busy for one book.

Interesting plot though. Thanks for sharing, Shari!