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snowfall on haven point book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

The Bailey family has established a tradition in Haven Point. For generations now, they’ve been a protective service family: police, sheriff, etc. Recent patriarch John was injured while on duty and died several years later from the injury. Four of his five children followed him into the family ‘trade’: son Wyatt was also killed while in the midst of a rescue operation some five years ago. Last year his twin sister Wynona was shot while trying to protect Andrea Montgomery, a new resident in Haven Point, who is herself the widow of a law officer killed while trying to save the life of a suicide.

Andrea and her two children, Chloe and Will, sought peace and a new life in little Haven Point, but soon she was attacked by a stalker from her past, who is now in prison: both for his vicious attack on Andie, and his subsequent attack on Wynona. Once she recovers, Wyn’s fiancé Cade Elliott, the Chief of Police, pushes her to change occupations. Wyn had been close to earning a degree in Social Work, so she heads to Portland to finish her schooling.

In the meantime, John’s widow Charlene has married Mike, her former brother-in-law (a mechanic by trade!) and they are now off on their honeymoon. For one of the only times in his life Sheriff Marshall Bailey is the only Bailey left in town, and wouldn’t you know, he’s become the victim of a hit and run driver, resulting in a severely broken right leg, resulting in surgery, a cast and crutches. Like it or not – and he doesn’t! – he finds it very difficult to fend for himself in Wyn’s home, where he’s been living while she’s in Portland.

Wyn’s home is almost exactly across the street from that of Andie and her family, so Wyn asks if Andie would please be kind enough to drop in on her brother – daily or even more often – to check on food and anything else Marshall might need until she can come home for the holidays – or her mother returns from her honeymoon next week.

Of course, Andie cannot say no, nor does she really want to. Haven Point has been her salvation, and she is eager to help repay the town’s kindness to her and her kids. She does not expect to find a huge grumpy bear of a guy, however! And that’s just what she encounters. Marsh is upset because he does not like being nearly helpless–he can’t drive, or run errands by himself, although he can certainly order food to be delivered. And snow removal can be done by the surly teenager who’s just moved in to live with the elderly couple next door. Turns out, Christopher is their grandson. His Mom had died a couple of months ago, and Mom’s first husband has claimed that the boy wasn’t his, so he has washed his hands of the boy.

Andie is determined that this year her kids will have a happy Christmas, so she encourages them to help decorate Wyn’s house for the discombobulated sheriff. They are winning kids, as is their little rescue dog, Sadie. Slowly they chip away the ice in which Marsh has embedded himself, and much to his surprise, he finds himself telling Andie all about the boy next door who is his son, even if no one in the world knows this other than himself, of course.

In the meantime, Marsh is still trying to figure out who deliberately set him up in a lonely location and then ruthlessly ran him down in the so-far unidentified SUV. There is an irritating undercurrent in his office that he cannot decipher while he’s absent. Eventually, all the missing pieces to the puzzle fall into place, ensuring a wonderful and happy Christmas for all these engaging characters. They’re all entirely believable, perfectly representative of small towns everywhere, not just in the paradise of Haven Point. Snowfall on Haven Point is book five of this series, but it works well as a stand-alone book, too. However, if it’s your introduction to Haven Point, don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for the previous four! You’ll enjoy them, too!

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First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HQN Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.