By Lezlie Patterson McClatchy-Tribune News Service
“A Cold Creek Noel” by RaeAnne Thayne; Harlequin ($5.25, paperback)
This is a great Christmas romance.
Fans who haven’t spent time in RaeAnne Thayne’s Cold Creek during Christmas will definitely want to take the trip this year — and chances are extremely good that once you go, you’ll be looking to find earlier books in this addicting series.
Thayne is one of those authors who lures a reader to invest in her characters and settings.
She does a masterful job of blending romance and Christmas, offering holiday spirit and the sweet satisfaction of a touching love story.
Fans of the series are familiar with the tragedy that struck the Bowman family more than a decade earlier.
Previous books allowed police chief Trace and fire chief Taft to heal some of the emotional wounds when they found (or re-found, in Taft’s case) their true loves.
A bonus in “A Cold Creek Noel” is visiting the twin brothers and their family.
This time, though, the focus is on Caidy, the youngest sibling, the only sister and the only one with their beloved parents when they were murdered.
Since the Bowman parents were murdered during the holiday season, Christmas isn’t Caidy’s favorite time of year. But the sunny-natured, nurturing aunt makes the season festive for her adored niece, who she has helped raise with her brother Ridge.
Despite a negative first impression, the soft-hearted Caidy offers the new vet in town use of a cabin on her ranch for him and his children.
Ben is a widower who has moved his two children to Cold Creek to get them away from his nasty in-laws. He doesn’t want to start a new relationship.
Of course, he does.