Guest Review: Texas Christmas by RJ Scott

Today we have a lovely guest review from Barb. *unicorn hooves stomp happily in welcome* :D

Six men with lives linked to the Double D... Danger comes to the Double D from Liam's past and threatens everything Jack and Riley hold dear.

Centering on Jack and Riley, parents, lovers and friends.

Eli and Robbie have their home on Double D land. Their love is rooted in the Texas soil and they weather as many storms as can be thrown at them.

And Liam, a young men with a head full of dreams and sleep full of nightmares, finds that all things are possible when Marcus decides to interrupt his solitary existence.

(Warning: This book is part of a series, and the below review may contain spoilers!)

RJ Scott has taken the Campbell-Hayes saga and wrapped it in a glorious red Christmas ribbon which, when it unfolds, gifts us with a wonderful finale for the many memorable characters whose lives have intertwined with Jack and Riley in this series. 

Three couple’s stories intertwine throughout this book – the story of Jack and Riley and their quest to become a family of six – from adopting Max, to parenting their new twins, hiring a nanny, and finishing the addition on their home.  Eli and Robbie have more of a supporting cast role in this story but we have a chance to watch them move into their new home and reinforce their love and commitment to one another.   The main storyline is about Liam and Marcus and Liam’s personal growth from his previous trauma.  Over time, with slow and patient love and support, Marcus wins Liam’s affections and ultimately the two become fully committed, both physically and emotionally. 

As the story opens, Jack and Riley are putting the finishing touches on their house renovations and still working on Max’s adoption, while the series of delays and setbacks caused by minor issues was maddening for them.  They persist because Max, a sweet little autistic five year old who always carries around his Thomas the Tank Engine, has their hearts completely engaged.    One sentence, while shopping for their perfect Christmas tree, really struck me as so sweet and perfect for the Christmas memory bank:  Riley noticed Max was singing a Christmas tune under his breath and Riley noted that, “Max had a cute little voice to go along with his cute little heart.” 

Liam’s story is the main focus in this book as he is pursued with a single-minded focus by Marcus who continually presses him for a dinner date.  But Liam is still suffering from the trauma he suffered at the Bar Five, where he was raped by the owner’s oldest son when he was only sixteen years old, and he keeps refusing the dinner invitation. When Jack receives a call from the owner telling him that he’s hired a thief, he confronts Liam about why he left that ranch so suddenly. The emotional overload of being a disappointment to a man he respects and of losing the only place he feels safe, has Liam breaking down and telling both Jack and Robbie what really happened.  This emotional dump opens the door to his healing process.  He finally gives in to Marcus’ persistence and decides to go out to dinner with Marcus.  At the end of that date, after allowing a few minutes for kisses that he fears will never be his on a long term basis, he tells Marcus the truth about his past.  He figures that if Marcus doesn’t want him, it’s best to find out now, but Marcus doesn’t react the way Liam fears he will. Instead, Marcus is supportive and loving and committed to starting a relationship with him.   I love Liam’s bravery and the strength of character he shows by struggling through this very difficult confession.  I’m happy that the author later shows us Liam’s decision to seek psychological counseling and to consider contacting the police about the incidents on the Bar Five.

There’s more drama for both Jack and Riley and for Liam himself later in the story but both incidents serve to stress the importance of love and commitment and family support.  Ms. Scott has left me feeling very emotionally fulfilled and very positive about the future for each of these couples and their extended family.  Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too, RJ Scott. 

I highly recommend this book to all who have read the Texas series and if you haven’t started it yet, don’t delay.  Make it your #1 New Year’s Resolution!

~ A Guest Review by Barb ~rede-2-read~ ~

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