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5++ stars for Saturday Santa by @MooreKate0 #romance #batb #holidayromance #bookreview

Title: Saturday Santa

Author: Kate Moore

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a twist of suspense

Book Blurb:

Set in 2015, Saturday Santa is the final installment of the Canyon Club series about three contemporary princes of privilege, united by an episode in their school days that sends each out into the world in need of redemption and love. Jack’s story, is a “Beauty and the Beast” tale with a touch of “Die Hard,” thrown in.

Under the spell of an ugly past that has left scars on his heart and body, millionaire former arms consultant, Jack Ryker, returns to L.A., determined to stop an enemy he has unleashed from a distant part of the world. Christmas is the last thing on his mind when he takes refuge in a prison-like house above the sea. From his window, trapped in a specially made chair, Jack watches a woman coax a faltering old man on a daily walk.

Mari Lynch’s salt-of-the-earth Irish fisherman family doesn’t approve, but Mari enjoys her job directing events at the upscale Coast Plaza Mall. Her Christmas cheer is dampened when a stroke stops her Grandpa Connor from being a Saturday Santa at the mall. Even worse, Jack’s fortress house, which Mari and her grandpa pass on their afternoon walks, stirs memories that upset Connor. When Mari confronts Jack, she’s stunned to discover a beautiful, wounded stranger.

As their worlds collide, Jack upends Mari's idea of dating, while she thaws his frozen heart and teaches him the joys of ordinary life. Only the truth about Jack’s past stands between them. When Jack’s enemy comes after Mari in the mall crowded with shoppers and kids waiting to sit on Santa’s lap, Jack realizes that he loves her and has everything to lose in ways he never expected.

My Review:

Beautiful inside and out, Mari meets and falls in love with a beastly recluse, Jack, but can Christmas solidify their love, or is it doomed from the start? Mari loves walking with her grandfather along the Strand every day. He’s failing in health, but the time together is special to her. They walk past a cement house, as she calls it, and for some reason, this house aggravates her grandpa. When she meets the owner, she understands why. Calling himself Jack, the owner is beastly to her but there’s something that draws her to him. She can’t put her finger on it and is determined to stay away. But she can’t seem to help herself when he asks her out. Each encounter with Jack is confounding yet her heart goes out to him. He’s a prisoner in his own home and his injuries frustrate him. Yet, the more they’re together, the more she understands him and starts to fall for him. Crazy, right? He’s controlling, doesn’t say much, and struggles with a war within himself. When Jack comes clean about who he is and why she’s in grave danger, her heart cleaves in two. She loves Jack but he doesn’t love her. Or does he? It’ll take a criminal after Jack to realize she’s willing to risk it all to keep him safe.

Saturday Santa is an unputdownable contemporary holiday romance you need to read. While there are parallels to one of my favorite fairy tales, it’s so much more than that. This book deals with a lot of societal issues such as an aging grandparent who suffers from dementia, PTSD, veterans issues, privacy, helping injured soldiers, Christmastime traditions, brain injuries, modern dating, falling in love, and more. The hero is a wounded man who suffers from scars both mentally and physically. His body rebels against his simple commands while his brain moves at a rapid pace. The heroine is your average woman who has a big heart and is tired of the dating scene. Both have been hurt in the past but together, they navigate through their circumstances. As Jack’s friend opines that Mari is exactly what Jack needs, I also think Jack is what Mari needs. The plot is quite complex with a lot going on, but I was able to follow along without any trouble. The suspenseful subplot was intricate and fascinating. The setting is in LA, along the Strand, and Kate Moore describes it so well, it’s like being there. The romance between these two is slow-paced but so satisfying. It’s a realistic look at falling in love with a wounded soldier who suffers daily. It’s also a very real look at how love is in this day and age of social media. The Christmas season subplot drew me back to times when I would work at a local mall. Such great memories and Kate Moore captured them perfectly. The writing is exceptional and one of the best books I’ve read this year. I can’t wait to read more from Kate Moore. If you’re looking for a holiday romance with depth, pick up Saturday Santa. If you like your holiday reads to contain some suspense, pick up Saturday Santa. If you want to be whisked away, you’ll want to read Saturday Santa. I can’t recommend this book enough!

My Rating: 5++ stars

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Author Biography:

How did I ever become a writer? I was not orphaned. I never had to work in a shoe-blacking factory or live in an isolated country vicarage. Other than the threat of atomic annihilation, my childhood was an agreeable one. I grew up in a lively extended family that crammed into station wagons, tents, boats, and cabins for adventures to woods and waters along the California coast, and magically on the island of Oahu. My people were storytellers, fascinated with history, news, and gossip; our house was full of books; and we were left to imagine and dream. In Jane Austen’s works I found the world I knew and began to write stories of falling in love standing up (mostly fully clothed) in the midst of family and friends. Twenty-one books, and a few awards, later I’m still telling stories.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N

1 Comment

Barbara Bettis
Jul 15, 2022

What a stellar review! Congratulations, Kate. And best of luck with your new book.

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