Janet Dailey is one of my favorite authors amongst those who write feel-good romances and it has been long since I got an opportunity to read one of her works. Hence, I am ever so glad I got to read “Somebody Like Santa” which is the 5th book of her “Christmas Tree Ranch” series.
In this book, the author has adopted the familiar trope of a small-town romance featuring troubled protagonists who must learn to trust again and to battle their inner demons. Cooper Chapman, a freelance journalist, decides to move to Branding Iron, Texas, near his newly-wed sister, Grace, in an effort to mend his teenage son Trevor’s wayward ways. Trevor has been acting out since his mother dumped him at his father’s, to marry another man; Cooper is at his wit’s end trying to guide Trevor out of the destructive path he is hell-bent on taking and hopes this change will help his son.
However, Cooper happens to meet Jess Graver on his first day in this new place, courtesy of his sister, and instantly feels attracted to and intrigued by her. Jess, who is the youth counselor of Trevor’s new school, feels drawn towards both the father and the son. But the trauma of her past and her upbringing render her unable and unwilling to form deep bonds with any person in her life.
Do these emotionally-damaged people find the antidote to the emptiness in their lives? Are they willing to take a chance and open their hearts again? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Dailey takes us on a lovely journey, filled with a multitude of emotions, through these characters and she has managed to tell a wonderful story of second-chances that makes us fall in love with love again. All the characters, including the secondary ones, have been sharply defined and so well-written that they feel like real people, so much so that I was able to follow the pre-established dynamics of the characters appearing in earlier books quite easily, even though I haven’t read the other books in the series. The various emotional conflicts of the primary characters are well-drawn too; I must say I would have liked if the author had delved deeply into these conflicts, but since the novels in this series were written for a shorter format, that’s understandable.
This book is like a warm soup on a cold day. Be sure to check this out if you are looking for a lovely, light romantic story this Christmas season.
This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.