She’d been in survival mode for too long. But now she had as many wants as needs, and Alex was falling into both those categories.
Published: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Forever Publishing
Pages: 330 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Sweetwater Springs #3
People did get second chances at happily ever afters. She could have a second chance.
Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn’t spoken a word since his father’s death. This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.
Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father’s hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy’s mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father’s cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger — including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn’t about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.
Happy Holidays, my loves! I’m here with a delightful little contemporary romance review just in time for Christmas! Forever Publishing, my best friends in romance, were kind enough to send me a copy of Snowfall on Cedar Trail, the newest addition to Annie Raines’ contemporary romance series set in the most adorable small town in the mountains of North Carolina. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I adore this series and look forward to the new releases any time Forever shares info about it!
I did receive this book back in October when it was released, and I talked a little about this in my last TBR post, but I saved this novel for my December reading because I like to keep holiday/wintery reads to December because I find that my seasonal depression is worse this time of year and I need a little boost. This was the perfect Christmas read and was the adorable little boost I needed to get me through the holidays happier, so thank you so much to my friends at Forever.
Snowfall on Cedar Trail follows Sweetwater Springs police chief Alex Baker, one of the three central best friends that are followed in the first three novels, as he begins to act on his feelings for local florist and single mother, Halona Locklear. Halona has a lot of personal strife centered around her relationship with both her son, Theo, and her deceased ex-husband, Ted. Similarly, Alex has a lot of personal strife in the family department, front and center is his father’s unsolved murder. This book tackles both their relationship together, Halona’s relationship with her immediate family, and the central mystery of what happened to Alex’s father. Trope Alert: best friend’s little sister!
I really liked this novel and I thought it was great that the author added in some mystery aspects and is able to interweave all these community ties, intense personal history, and steamy romance in one central story. The plot here wasn’t lacking at all, in fact I was really sucked in by both the romance and the murder mystery. I think the thing that made this a 4-star instead of a 5-star for me was Halona. I just didn’t connect with her and it’s not really her fault, I just don’t usually connect with single-parent or parent MCs in general because, well, I’m not a parent.
Alex, however, was a great male lead for this novel. He had a really nice arc throughout the novel and you could see, perfectly, how love changed him for the better. I think Halona also came around through the book but she wasn’t the character who needed the arc the most. Theo was really changed by the end of the novel, and that was something that both delighted and confused me. His issues didn’t really seem to be worked out fully and yet at the end they were magically solved, it was just a weird thing for me and I didn’t feel like it was something properly addressed.
All in all I really enjoyed this novel; it was feel-good and festive and very picturesque. It wasn’t my favorite of the series, but I definitely had fun while reading! You can totally read them out of order, but I think that there are a lot of overlapping characters and so these are best read in order. If you’re interested, you can find my review for the first novel here (also a holiday read!) and the review for the second here!
Sweetwater Springs Series