A retiring soldier with no family of his own, Sergeant Joe Carter reluctantly agrees to spend the holidays in picturesque Silver Pines to transition to life after the Army. He’s a drifter now and has no business getting involved with his buddy’s family-especially with the sweet little sister who pretends she’s frumpy to ward off attention from men. He should let her be, but something about her loneliness reaches out to his.
The only introvert in a large family of extroverts, Lisa Rhodes finds her peace by fading into the background as much as possible. She lives a quiet life, wearing her shapeless clothes and boring hair like armor to atone for a past she’s not proud of. But there’s one problem this Christmas-her brother’s guest keeps seeing her. She’s never had trouble escaping a man’s notice -especially one who could have any woman he wants. But the harder she tries to hide, the more determined he is to seek.
When It’s Love is the third book in the Silver Pine Series, but may be read out of order.
A feel-good holiday romance!
I really enjoyed Lisa and Joe’s story. The fourth child in two sets of twins and the only introvert in the bunch, Lisa’s used to fading into the background. After the disaster of her last relationship, she actually welcomes it…until “Sarge” Joe Carter notices her, and then she’s not too sure…
Joe’s childhood was about as far away from Lisa’s happy and warm family home as it could get. The Army gave him a substitute family, but now that he’s retired he doesn’t know where to go or what to do. Invited to spend Christmas with the family of one of his former soldiers, he accepts, but once the special order classic car he’s bought is ready, he plans to be on his way…to…well, somewhere. He’s not quite sure yet.
When he sees Lisa, though, he’s suddenly even less sure about his path. He’s sure he’s too old for her and not at all the kind of guy she deserves. But fate, Lisa, and her family have other plans.
Lisa and Joe were an adorable couple. I loved how he refused to let her keep on fading into the woodwork, and that he was able to help her to get rid of the ghosts of her last disastrous relationship. And for the record, I sincerely hope that Stella’s able to convince at least one of them into adopting a dog 😉
Speaking of Lisa’s almost-cousin Stella, there’s a teaser for her book at the end (All I Need) that definitely grabbed my interest. A made up boyfriend who’s suddenly your boss? I’m so there! The fact that we’ll probably get to see more of Lisa and Joe (and find out how Lisa’s mom is doing) will be a nice bonus too. Can’t wait!
Though this is book 3 in the Silver Pines series, it works just fine as a standalone. (Actually, book 2 in the series takes place in the 1980s, so at this point only books 1 and 3 take place in the same decade, until book 4 comes out.)
4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.