Review: Season of Wonder

I am now all caught up on the Haven Point series by Raenne Thayne, which makes me so happy. This series was one of the first I picked up as I made my transition into reading romance, and I’ve grown to love it so much.

Season of Wonder by Raeanne Thayne

Book 9 in the Haven Point series

Published September 25, 2018

HQN Books

4/5 Stars

I received a copy for review from Little Bird Publicity. Thank you to them. All opinions are my own.

 

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Plot Summary:

He’s giving her children a season of wonder…

Dani Capelli seized a chance to start over in a small town with her daughters. Now, facing her first Christmas in Haven Point, she wonders if leaving New York was a mistake. Dani loves working alongside veterinarian Dr. Morales, but her two children aren’t adjusting to small-town life. And then there’s Dr. Morales’s son, Ruben—Dani’s next-door neighbor. Gorgeous, muscled and dependable, the deputy sheriff is everything she secretly craves and can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.

Ruben never pictured himself falling for a big-city woman like Dani. But beneath her prickly facade, she’s caring and softhearted and she needs all the love and protection he can give. When Dani’s teenage daughter starts acting out, Ruben draws on family traditions to show the girls just how magical a Haven Point Christmas can be. But can he convince Dani that she’s found a home for the holidays—and forever—in his arms?

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My Thoughts:

I am very new to the world of series. I have only completed two series in my life, both being since I have started reading romance. I am now caught up on the Haven Point series since finishing Season of Wonder, and not going to lie! With this one being the ninth book in the series, my main thought going into it was, “What could she (Raeanne Thayne) possibly have left to write in this series?” I quickly gathered my bearings though and let the master do her thing.

Raeanne Thayne did a wonderful job writing Dani, the main character. Dani grew up in the foster system, had her oldest daughter in her teens and fell in love with the wrong guy. She is tough. She packs up her two girls, flees their life on the east coast and settles in Haven Point where she takes on the job as a veterinarian. Dani is a very intelligent, street smart, single Mom just trying to raise her daughters.

The veterinarian who hires Dani has a son named Ruben and you pick up pretty instantly that Ruben is smitten with her but with the way she was raised, and who her ex husband was and what he did, Dani doesn’t want to let anyone close to her out of fear of being judged.

Throw into the mix that her oldest daughter is caught by Ruben spray painting homes and belongings in the neighborhood. Nothing like a rebellious teenager to complicate the situation even more! Ruben is a police officer, Dani’s neighbor and is also the guy who catches her daughter in the spray painting act.

I loved that this story represented what it means to start over. How sometimes we get in our own way and stop our own selves from moving forward. Dani is so fearful of people knowing that she is the ex wife of her ex husband that she goes to a lot of trouble to keep her distance from the town people. In each book I’ve read from this series so far, the main character always ends up some way interacting with the group of ladies from the previous books, but not Dani. She truly does a good job of going to work followed by home with her girls. Thayne captured so well that almost isolating feeling from choosing to keep to yourself.

She also did a great job of capturing that moment when you realize someone else has come along to take some of the burden away from you. I adored Ruben and his patience with Dani and I loved his interaction with her girls. Dani really had to let go of the things she’d been through and honestly..stop tripping so much, and only until she did that, could she finally recognize what was standing in front of her.

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Mid-Year Book Tag

Hello Friends! I have decided (just a tad bit late) to do the Mid Year Book Tag. What I like about this tag is that it kind of forces you to reflect back on what you’ve read so far this year, so let’s go!

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The Questions:
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018: This is tough, because I feel like 2018 has been a really good reading year for me. The book I feel has stuck with me the most this year though, is Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. I loved the Cuban history sprinkled throughout. I loved the deep running Granddaughter/Grandmother relationship you could feel bursting from the pages and there is something about the story line of your great love not being the love you spend your life with that I am a sucker for.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018: First and foremost, I am shocked at how good I am doing with series this year. Only a year ago, I wouldn’t skip a beat in telling you, “They aren’t my thing!” but ever since I started reading romance I see how easy it is to get addicted to them. My favorite sequel this year is Redemption Bay by Raeanne Thayne. This is book 2 in Thayne’s Haven Point series and after reading Snow Angel Cove, I didn’t know what to expect from the rest of the series. I was honestly hesitant to continue reading it, but after a while, I missed Haven Point and the people in it. So glad I kept going.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to: I have two I’m really excited for. The first is one I actually own, The Cottages on Silver Beach which is the 8th book in Raeanne Thayne’s Haven Point series and Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber which releases on October 2nd.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: I am really anxious to get my hands on Becoming by the Queen herself, Mrs. Michelle Obama. I have been excited about this book since seeing a photo of it on Instagram a few months ago.

5. Biggest disappointment: This book makes me cringe every time I think about it and it’s Starlight by Debbie Macomber. The love interest, Rand, in this book understandably had his reasons not to trust people easily and to be a tad distant, but I felt he was such an asshole to the main character ALL THE TIME and she just dealt with it. At some points, I felt she did a good job of calling his bluff and sticking around, but he said things to her that I just couldn’t vibe with. This is the perfect example of “Sticking around and he’ll eventually come around,” but I just didn’t think it was worth it.

6. Biggest surprise. The book that was the biggest surprise for me was The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. This book is long and is such a slow burn romance, but oh my heart!  How everything wrapped up was perfect. It was well worth it in the end.

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you): I will definitely have my eye out for anything by Jasmine Guillory.

8. Newest fictional crush: This is a toss up. I read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me at the exact same time I read The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and found myself swooning over the love interests in both. Aidan was not my favorite person when I started The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but he gradually grew on me and oh my, when he did, I found him irresistible. And Michael from The Kiss Quotient gets the award for the Most Patient Man ever, he was everything I didn’t know I needed.

9. Newest favorite character: Hands down, my new favorite character is Elle from An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole. Elle was so brave during such a dangerous time for women of color, and so intelligent. I love her and highly recommend if you’re looking for an intense read with a strong female lead..and swoon worthy romance.

10. Book that made you cry (Saddest book you have read): The book that made me cry was The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. This is such a beautiful story of female friendships, and how they can grow unexpectedly. This story also shows what it’s like to  be given another chance at life but still living very hesitant–being afraid to let people get too close, in the case there is more bad news. I cried the last 30 or so pages of this wonderful story.

11. Book that made you happy: I could go on and on about Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan. This story of friendship and a very sexy romance with the back drop of Manhattan was such a fun read.

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year:  I think the only film I’ve watched this year that was adapted from a book is The Black Panther which was amazing.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year: This wasn’t a review, but I am proud of the post I typed about how reading romance is good for my mental health.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received): All of the covers on the books in the Haven Point series are beautifully done in my opinion.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?: I have been hauling some gothic romances, and I would love to binge read them all in the next few months and have them all finished and reviewed by the end of the year.

What about you Friends? What has been one of your favorite reads so far in 2018? What’s been the biggest surprise?

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