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Christmas in Mustang Creek by Linda Lael…

Christmas in Mustang Creek

by Linda Lael Miller

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This was a heartwarming holiday story with just the right amount of sizzle. Charlie grew up in Mustang Creek, raised by her aunt after her parents were killed. But she wanted more than the small town life, so she headed for New York City as soon as she could. She's spent seven years living the life in the big city, but lately she hasn't been as happy as she was. The job isn't as great as it used to be, she doesn't really have any friends, and the dating scene stinks. There was one man that had promise, a veterinarian, but when he had to go back to Idaho to help his sick dad, she wasn't ready to give it all up and go with him. Now she's headed back to Wyoming to take care of Aunt Geneva, never expecting what is there for her.

Jax had really fallen hard for Charlie, and has missed her since their breakup. Now that his dad is doing better, Jax is no longer needed in Idaho. When he finds out that his college roommate, Nate Cameron, lives in Mustang Creek and is looking for a partner in his vet practice, Jax jumps at the chance. Now all he needs to do is convince Charlie that they belong together.

Fate being what it is, Charlie and Jax end up arriving in Mustang Creek at the same time and in the middle of a blizzard. Jax has the last available hotel room because finding Nate's house in that weather would be impossible. Charlie doesn't want to disturb her aunt's mysterious housemate that late at night, but find no room at the inn - thanks to the last person she ever expected to see in Mustang Creek. Jax is, of course, sweet and chivalrous and offers to share the room with her. The sparks are still there between them, but Jax is determined not to rush things and maintains his distance. Charlie isn't sure what to think, other than the need to keep herself under control.

The next day, Charlie meets the mysterious Mrs. Klozz, who knows far more about Charlie than Charlie knows about her. Mrs. Klozz also seems to have a knack for knowing just what Charlie is thinking or needs. While Charlie is off to the assisted living center to see her aunt, Mrs. Klozz manages to get Jax to the house and invites him to stay there while looking for a place to live. Of course, he knows that Charlie isn't going to be thrilled with the idea, but he's willing to see how it plays out. He was right, but Charlie finds herself succumbing to Mrs. Klozz's gentle bulldozer tactics.

Mrs. Klozz is quite the matchmaker and finds any number of ways to throw Charlie and Jax together. Add in her happily married friends, Hadleigh, Bex and Mel, and Charlie quickly gives up resisting the sparks. I loved their ski weekend together, as they started the process of getting to know each other again. Jax tries to be patient and not push too hard, but he wants Charlie in his life.

I liked Jax a lot. He's really a sweet guy with a big heart. It was fun watching him work his way into the hearts of all the ladies, from Charlie to Mrs. Klozz, just by being his charming self. I liked how he was up front with Charlie about his feelings for her. I enjoyed seeing how easily he slipped into life in Mustang Creek.

I liked Charlie, but there were also times that she frustrated the heck out of me. I really liked that she had no problem dropping everything to take care of Aunt Geneva. There is a lot of love and respect between the two of them. Charlie is also quite stubborn, and when she sets herself on a path, it takes a lot to change her direction. She had a hard time admitting, even to herself, that city life wasn't everything she had expected it to be. Even back home, she was still focused on trying to find another job in the same field. Even though multiple people told her the same thing about what she could do, she didn't want to listen.

I really enjoyed the rekindling of their relationship. Jax is steady in his resolve to win her, and finds little ways to win her over. Charlie has a hard time resisting the sparks, but can't see a way past the obstacles she sees in their conflicting dreams. She spends a bit too much time overthinking everything rather than listening to her heart. I loved the various ways that Jax and others showed her that she belonged there rather than in the city. Once she finally saw the light, there was no stopping them. I loved the epilogue and the peek into their future.

Secondary characters are always good in these stories, and this was no exception. I loved Mrs. Klozz and subtle and not-so-subtle ways of getting them to do what she wanted. There was a hint of holiday magic about her that added an extra something to the story. I also loved Aunt Geneva. She loved Charlie so much, and wanted t make sure she didn't make the same mistakes. I also loved her practical viewpoint of the challenges of her life. I also enjoyed seeing the couples from the other books in the series again. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Apr 4, 2017 |
Christmas at Mustang Creek by Linda Lael Miller is a 2015 HQN publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This light and charming story is exactly what you want from a holiday read.

Charlotte- aka- Charlie is a city girl through and through. She has a career in advertising, lives in New York, and loves the hustle and bustle of city life. So when her boyfriend, Jaxon, makes the decision to leave the city, she can't see herself adapting to small town country living. So, sadly they go their separate ways….

But, as fate would have it, Charlie gets laid off from her job and discovers the aunt who raised her like a daughter, is having some health problems. So, Charlie heads back home to Mustang Creek to care for her aunt. But, wouldn't you know it… her 'young man' Jax is the new veterinarian in town.

Charlie moves back into her childhood home with her aunt's mysterious friend, Mrs. Klozz, positive her stay in Mustang Creek is only temporary. But, Charlie never stood a chance with Jax, her aunt, Mrs. Klozz and a few delightful and adorable pets,working double time to persuade Charlie she could have all she ever wanted in Mustang Creek.

As the holiday season approaches, warm and fuzzy, light and easy romances are always on the menu. This story should put you in the holiday spirit with snow, skiing, pets, wonderful homemade meals and cookies, with just a touch of magic thrown in.

I enjoy the big city versus the small town trope, but I also like a story that demonstrates making the best of what you have, sort of like making lemonade out of life's lemons. Charlie just needed to consider her options, and stop looking at her situation with blinders on. Compromise is always the key and this story proves it works, but might need a lot of patience and love to pull it off.

Any story that features pets will always rate high with me and this one has its fair share of cute fur babies to up the sweetness meter a few notches.

There is nothing too deep or overly dramatic, and it's pretty much standard holiday fare, but the dialogue stands out more with this story, written by a seasoned author, and I loved the touch of whimsy and magic, with Mrs. Klozz coming through for Charlie and Jax.

Cute story, recommended to fans of this author and to romance lovers looking to get a jump start on their holiday reading. This book is a great choice to start your holiday reading with. 3.5 rounded to 4 ( )
  gpangel | Oct 5, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373779089, Hardcover)

No one does the holidays like Linda Lael Miller, whose Christmas novels have warmed the hearts of millions of readers the world over! 

Charlotte Morgan grew up in Mustang Creek, Wyoming, and couldn't wait to escape to the big city. But life in New York isn't as fabulous as she'd like to admit—she's lonely, doing a job she doesn't love and dating too many frogs she meets online. 

There was one potential prince, though—Jaxon Locke, a veterinarian with definite possibilities—but his move to Idaho to fill in at his dad's vet practice ended things just as they were getting interesting. What Charlotte doesn't know is that he misses her, more than he expected… 

Meanwhile, Charlotte's great-aunt Geneva—the woman who raised her—needs to enter an assisted-living facility. So, just before Christmas, Charlotte moves back home. When Jax catches wind of her move back West, he's determined to get to Wyoming and do whatever it takes to win her back. 

Christmas in Mustang Creek is a magical time in a magical place, not least because of a mysterious visitor named Mrs. Klozz. She knows that love is the greatest gift of all, and she's ready to help out Santa by giving these two a push in the right direction!

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 25 Jul 2015 20:55:20 -0400)

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