Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Maverick's Christmas Homecoming - Teresa Southwick (HSE #2230 - Dec 2012)

Series:  Montana Mavericks: Back in the Saddle (Book 6)

Guess who's coming for Christmas dinner?

The fine citizens of Thunder Canyon have always gone out of their way to make the holidays special. But Christmas this year promises to be one no one will ever forget. You know that handsome celebrity chef everyone's been talking about, Shane Roarke? Don't tell anyone, but it turns out he has a remarkable-and shocking!-connection to our town. And not everyone is going to be happy about it....

Gianna Garrison has been looking downright radiant, however. Is it true that the Gallatin Room waitress has been sneaking under the mistletoe with the mysterious maverick? Hang on to your spurs, merry readers, because the surprises are just beginning. Wait till Gianna finds out who her sexy boss really is! 

Very good book.  Gianna's had a crush on Shane ever since he arrived in Thunder Canyon.  She doesn't expect anything to come of it since she's just a waitress.  But after sharing a meal in the restaurant kitchen one night things are heating up between them.  As they get closer Shane tells Gianna what brought him to Thunder Canyon.  Shane is looking for answers but those answers are going to shock him to his bones.  He's not sure if they will bring Gianna closer or drive her away.

I really liked both Gianna and Shane.  Gianna had come home to Thunder Canyon feeling pretty low.  The business she started in New York went bust, none of her romantic relationships worked out, and she was homesick.  She has come to enjoy her job at the Gallatin Room and the scenery isn't so bad either.  Besides his looks, Gianna is impressed with his abilities as a chef and his down to earth attitude.  When they share a late night meal there are definite sparks between them, and Shane follows up with an invitation to dinner at his place the next night.  It goes very well and Gianna feels the attraction between them intensify before Shane suddenly pulls back and pretty much ignores her for several days.  Gianna is hurt and first and then gets angry and confronts him.  When he apologizes and explains what happened and why she is surprised.  I loved her support for Shane and how she makes sure she is there for him through all the steps of his search.  She's the one who encourages him to talk to his potential half-brother and is there for him when it doesn't go well.  The more time they are together the stronger her feelings for Shane grow.  She is fighting a bit of an inferiority complex comparing her own problems to Shane's success so she sometimes wonders where they are headed.  I loved her poise when his family suddenly showed up at an awkward time and how well she got along with them.  

Shane came to Thunder Canyon looking for his birth parents. He has felt a deep connection to Thunder Canyon ever since he arrived.  Finding out that his father is the most hated man in town and is in prison is devastating for him.  He has heard the rumors regarding him and a woman who could be his mother but that news would bring pain to the woman's family.  He is attracted to Gianna and nearly kisses her the night he cooked for her but is worried bout what her reaction would be to the identity of his father.  So he pulls away, but can't get her out of his mind.  When she calls him on it he apologizes and they start over.  Telling her his secret is hard and he's surprised when she doesn't pull away.  Shane is determined to find out who his mother is and appreciates Gianna's unwavering support.  When they figure it out Shane is really hesitant to talk to his siblings because he knows it's going to rock their world.  I loved the way he faced up to it anyway and didn't back down, but his unhappiness over the result was obvious.  It made him think that perhaps he wouldn't be staying in Thunder Canyon after all but he didn't want to leave her.  I loved his invitation for her to visit his parents with him on Christmas Day and her counteroffer for him to come to her family on Christmas Eve.  I loved seeing him fit in so well with her family, especially with the children.  I loved the meeting with his new brothers on Christmas evening and the difference it made to Shane's whole outlook on his life.

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