Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Secret Christmas Wish by Cathy McDavid

Posted November 10, 2021 by meezcarrie in Cathy McDavid, Christmas, contemporary, giveaway, romance / 12 Comments



A Secret Christmas Wish, On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A SECRET CHRISTMAS WISH by Cathy McDavid
SERIES: Wishing Well Springs #3
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2021
PAGES: 384

The magic of Christmas
Could make her wish come true!

A small-town Christmas wedding. What could be more romantic? Unless you’re a plus-one for hire like single mom Maia MacKenzie. Too bad handsome cowboy Brent Hayes is her new coworker—and completely off-limits! Neither of them can afford to lose their job…or invest in a relationship. But when she sees Brent’s adorable connection with her young son, Maia can’t help wishing for a Christmas miracle.

 

Other Books In This Series

 


Let me say first that Maia’s toddler son TJ steals the show in A Secret Christmas Wish – so get ready to melt at his adorableness any time he’s on the page! And when he’s being adorable and Brent is enabling that adorableness, well just forget about your heart. It will be swallowed up by these two cowboys for sure.

Maia and Brent each have a unique part-time job… they are hired out to be someone else’s ‘plus one’ at weddings, etc. With alias names and different backstories to learn with each new job, it’s no wonder that they thought the other was taken at their first meeting – at a wedding, of course. That didn’t stop the sparks from flying though & readers can definitely feel that initial romantic tension leaping off the page.

As we get to know Maia and Brent individually, and as they get to know each other, we start peeling back some of the layers that have led them to where they are today: a single mom champion trail rider who’s trying to balance it all & a sidelined rodeo star who is struggling with depression. I completely appreciated the way McDavid approached Brent’s depression, even more so considering that male characters who struggle with this mental health issue are rare in romance novels. The author gave us a sincere look at how it plays with your mind, with your energy, and with your relationships, and yet she did so in such a way that it increases our compassion without putting an oppressive damper over the tone of the story.

While I connected easily with each protagonist individually, it was a little more difficult for me to stay connected to them as a couple in the middle of the novel. Because of this inner battle that Brent is waging, those romantic sparks I mentioned earlier come and go frequently, and I often struggled to stay on the same page as their relationship. Is it hot? Is it cold? Why are they suddenly kissing? (Note: I did not complain about the kissing!! I just had a difficult time keeping pace with the relationship shifts lol) Two things, though, prevented this from taking away too much from my appreciation of this novel: 1) again, I think it’s an accurate portrayal of the effects and the unpredictability of depression; and 2) the epilogue was so sweet and swoony and that’s all I’m saying about that 😉

Bottom Line: A Secret Christmas Wish by Cathy McDavid is more than “just” a story of two people falling in love. It’s also an honest look at depression (in a male character for a change, which I loved!) and how it affects your life – while at the same time not being too heavy for a romance. The parallels between Brent & Maia’s horse Snapple were not lost on me, and I thought this juxtaposition was poignant & well done. The romance is light and sweet, and the wedding-date-for-hire concept added an extra layer or two to the mix. A sweet Christmas romance to curl up with!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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In the third grade, NY Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western, owning a stagecoach pulled by six mules, and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 50 titles in print and 1.3 million-plus books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins is married to her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world six years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting broncs, and sweeping gals off their feet — oops, no. Make that winning the hearts of feisty, independent women who give the cowboys a run for their money. It’s a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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One winner will receive a coffee mug, author bling, and $20 Starbucks gift card (US only)

Ends November 17, 2021

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