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“You know what sucks, Tess? People have treated you like trash for so long, you believe it. You buy it. You don’t think you deserve someone who treats you decent, who sees your goodness, who loves you!” – Lucas Flynn

What did I tell you? I knew Jenny was what ruined the first book for me! If it was just the writing style, the case would have been the same with The Christmas Wish . But I rather enjoyed this one – too much, if I may say so myself.

Tess Branson – the waitress from By Proxy with the low moral limits – does not believe in wishing to stars. But Lucas Flynn, the ex-con working as a short-order cook, makes her change her mind on the matter. Can a Christmas wish bring these two broken souls happiness? Or are second chances in life too much to ask after all?

I dare say this was much more like the Christmas romance I was hoping for when I started the Heart of Montana series with By Proxy. First, a tortured, sweet heroine who is misundestood. Then, an equally sweet guy who wishes only for happiness,nothing showy or complicated . The kind of heartwarming romance that brings you joy and hope by the end of the story to one day find someone who will love you as much as these two ended up loving each other. Without prejudice, without caring of what the others see when they look at you.

Speaking of misunderstood, anyone else getting the sense of Gardiner actually being rotten in some parts – at least where most of its citizens were concerned? I mean, seriously, they all treated Jenny (who unfortunately had a cameo appearance in this one) like their God-sent princess, but they were the worst when it came to Tess – who Jenny of course didn’t like. Yet, between the two, Tess was the one who was truly pure at heart – her innocense reaching the level of naive sometimes, only because she had been deprived of love for as long as she could remember and didn’t know how else to get some affection. Talk about Jenny’s small-town “family” being judgemental to the core…

Which is why I loved Tess’s story. She was so amazing to read about. Her thoughts touched me more than once, and her simple wish showed how much of a sweetheart she really was. Lucas was a great match for her. He wasn’t perfect in appearance, the way heroes in romantic stories are, but his heart was made of gold, and his “knight in shining apron” persona was greatly appreciated because, let’s face it, Tess really needed one. 

49 pages of pure, unadulterated love between two characters who deserved it the most. A clean romance that leaves you certainly wishing the next book was out sooner – so that you can feel even better by immediately indulging in Erik’s story! And two characters that strive for happiness in the most joyful holiday of the year – the time when most wishes come true.

“For Christmas I wanted to give you…Christmas. Lucas, you’ve said a lot of beautiful things to me, but it’s hard for me. I want to believe you so much. That you could want me. That you could possibly… Want me. But I’m going to trust you. I’m going to try. And I just wanted to say…for however long you stay, for as long as you’re here in Gardiner, I just want to be with you. J-just you, and, I mean, I just wondered if…if you’d let me. I love you?” – Tess Branson


***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***