cover image It’s a Christmas Thing

It’s a Christmas Thing

Janet Dailey. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (296p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4561-8

Dailey (My Kind of Christmas) delivers a heartwarming Christmas tale ideal for fans of sweet contemporaries. Veterinarian J.T. “Rush” Rushford moves to Branding Iron, Tex., from Phoenix, Ariz., after his ex-wife reveals that she’s having an affair—and her lover is the genetic father of Rush’s four-year-old daughter, Claire. Widowed judge Tracy Emerson wants to cancel Christmas. Eighteen months after her husband, Steve, died of a brain tumor, she’s having an impossible time moving past his loss. A pregnant stray cat brings Rush and Tracy together, and their togetherness increases when Rush needs to take in Claire while his ex deals with a family emergency. The bubbly, princess-loving little girl and some mischievous kittens bring Rush and Tracy out of their pain and nudge them toward a bright future. All of the love scenes stop at the bedroom door, but Dailey still ably portrays the passion between Rush and Tracy and their love for a sweet and precocious little girl. Readers fond of chaste small-town contemporaries will want to return to this charming small town often. Agent: Richard Curtis, Curtis Agency. (Oct.)