Evergreen Springs (Haven Point #3) by RaeAnne Thayne
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Christmas is the last thing Cole Barrett is thinking about this year. He's barely hanging on trying to care for his two grieving children since his ex-wife died in a tragic accident. For the reclusive Cole, this is no time for gift-giving and celebration - and certainly not for a sunny-natured optimist to blow into his screwed up life. In the years since her cancer treatments, physician Devin Shaw has researched the curative powers of Lake Haven's mineral waters. Unfortunately, the hot springs are on Barrett property, forcing Devin to strike a bargain with the ranch's attractive gruff owner: she'll give Cole's children the magical Christmas they deserve and Cole will allow her patients access to the springs. But can she work her holiday magic to heal the Barrett family's battered hearts - and her own? (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: RaeAnne Thayne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and I really enjoyed getting to know Devin in the previous book
My Impression: Once again Thayne proves why she's on my auto-buy list. This was an incredibly sweet and Christmas-y story. While the romance is a major plot point the story is so much more than that. This is not just a romance but a story of hope, healing and forgiveness.
Devin is just so nice. She's good, she's kind and optimistic as well as being smart and capable. It made sense how she became involved in Cole's life before she had really gotten to know him. Cole's reasoning for allowing Devin into his world also made sense. At the beginning he's so overwhelmed and is so pulled to pieces he really has no choice but to take Devin up on her offer even though he's not super enthusiastic about it.
This isn't a hot and spicy romance though Cole and Devin are very much attracted to each other from the beginning. In fact most of the story revolves around Cole, Jazmine, and Ty learning how to be a family and become part of the community. It's also nice to watch Devin start to feel that she's part of a family even though she really resists it. For me, the very best kind of romance is the kind when the characters make each other better and are able to really bring comfort to the other person and that was definitely the case with this book. Devin and Cole just work even though superficially they don't have very much in common at all.
There were a few flaws with this one. Cole thinks something about Ty's parentage at one point that feels really out of left field and is never mentioned again. It felt really unnecessary to the story. As well the story did drag a bit in the last quarter. I kind of felt like we were going over the same issues over and over again with not enough progress. Cole thinks he isn't good enough for Devin, Devin wants Cole to forgive his father, Cole isn't going to forgive his father and repeat. However, the ending was so satisfying that I can definitely forgive a 30 or so page lag! In addition it was just lovely to visit Haven Point again.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes! I've got another book by Thayne that's part of a different series coming up soon and I can't wait to read it. In addition I'm already looking forward to my next visit to Haven Point.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes! If you love a Christmas-y feel good book this is a series that you must read.