I was given a few holiday romance books from Forever and I can’t thank them enough for sending me such endearing and festive novels. One of these novels was Season of Joy by Annie Rains. Let’s start with the cover. How cute is that with a classic holiday red truck, a Christmas tree and adorable dogs? Oh and don’t forget that perfect red barn in the background.
But unlike the perfect cover, the love story between protagonists, Joy and Granger isn’t perfect. As they start off as friends since Joy teaches art to Granger’s daughters, Granger asks Joy to be his daughters’ caretaker after school until he finds a replacement for his immediately retired nanny. Granger’s family’s Christmas tree farm is facing money issues when half their stock was destroyed in an accidental fire in the previous summer and Granger is faced with finding other opportunities to keep the farm afloat. He then asks Joy to also instruct crafts for the visitors at the farm. Joy needs the extra income to be able to fund her deposit for an art gallery space to display her work and conduct art lessons in her own space. And so, what is a mutual beneficial business arrangement at first, begins to get a bit more complicated as Joy’s and Granger’s feelings towards one another grows deeper than friendship.
The twists and turns that happened in this novel kept me intrigued to find out what happens next. I loved how the relationship between Joy and Granger was messy and not without effort, because love can be messy, but it sure can be beautiful when two people work through the difficulty together.
I also liked how the story explores the hurdles that blended families sometimes experience. Granger’s two daughters missed their mom who abandoned the family seven years ago, but while they yearned for a mom in their life (namely Joy), Granger’s oldest daughter, Abby still wanted to ensure that their biological mom would come home and have her parents get back together. When this is revealed, I felt Joy’s hurt and mixed feelings. Things don’t get any easier when the girls’ mother comes back into the picture either. Being a stepparent myself, there are times that I find it hard to know where I fit in for a variety of reasons, but for most of the time, I know I belong. I’m sure a lot of other stepparents know exactly what I mean.
Overall, this holiday romance novel breaks your heart and mends it back together again with its characters and family dynamics.
Thank you Forever for the advanced reader’s copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Season of Joy comes out today, October 13th!
Tis the season for love.
For single father Granger Fields, Christmas is his busiest and most profitable time of the year. But when a fire devastates the Merry Mountain Tree Farm, he fears the season won’t be holly or jolly unless he can convince free spirit Joy Benson to care for his two rambunctious daughters. Yet while Granger wants to focus on saving his business, Joy seems determined to shake up his family’s Christmas with her festive ideas and merry making.
Joy is counting down the days until she can open her own art gallery. Babysitting Abby and Willow will help her reach her goal, and when inspiration strikes, Joy convinces Granger that her craft classes can bring even more holiday cheer to the farm. As crowds return and Joy’s creative side flourishes, life with Granger and his girls begins to feel like home. But with Christmas coming nearer, can Joy convince Granger to open his heart again? Or will their newfound happiness be as fleeting as the newly fallen snow?