Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnneThayne
Publication Date: October 26th 2021 by HQN Books
Annelise McCade is back at Angel's View Ranch after a decade
away, hired in as caretaker. She’s moved back to Wyoming to help her widowed
brother after a series of bad choices lands him in jail with no one to care for
his six-year-old twins. It doesn’t seem like a problem to have the twins stay with
her at the sprawling ranch since the Sheridan’s rarely visit. However, with the
passing of Wallace, the Sheridan’s patriarch, and they all descend with plans
to scatter his ashes at the place he loved most.
Without advance warning of the family’s visit there’s no
time to hire in more help and so Annelise and Tate Sheridan, her childhood
crush and new Sheridan leader, band together to accommodate and care for his extended
family. Tate, Annelise and the twins scramble
to turn Angel's View Ranch into a welcoming Christmas getaway to ease some of the
grief they all feel with Wallace’s death. Annelise as a young girl crushed on
Tate when he’d come visit over the Summers while growing up, and those feelings
come back stronger than ever as they work together.
Tate and his family endured the loss of his father in a
horseback riding accident on the Ranch years back. Visiting brought back all the
grief, so Tate, his sister and mother just stopped visiting. Coming back for
his grandfather’s service gives his family a chance to face the past, heal
wounds and overcome the guilt they’ve felt. Having Annelise’s help and support
is everything and Tate’s finds himself falling for her a little more with every
moment they spend together.
Sleigh Bells Ring was a heartwarming story with not
one, but two romances! Annelise’s twin niece and nephew were adorable, and
there were plenty of winter wonderland activities that filled me with joy! While there is romance, I feel like there was
a lot more going on. I enjoyed the imperfect journey of all the characters. Healing
after guilt and grief with the support of family and friends was a central focus
making for an uplifting, lovely holiday story! Definite Hallmark Movie vibes
None of the Sheridan family members has visited the gorgeous Angel's View Ranch in the entire thirty months Annie McCade has been the caretaker of the property, and she has no reason to believe this holiday season will be any different. After all, why would they visit? Annie knows Wallace Sheridan, the family patriarch who hired her, loved it here but no one else in the family did. They couldn't face their dark memories of the place. Annie certainly understands their pain--when, as a child, she lived on the ranch, she saw a young and frantic Tate Sheridan come galloping out of the mountains,, looking for help for his severely injured father, who would later die from massive injuries. Since then,with the exception of Wallace, the whole remaining family couldn't get away fast enough.
And actually, Annie is grateful to have the place to herself--her ne'er-do-well brother got himself thrown in jail over the holidays, and she took temporary custody of her little niece and nephew for Christmas. Until Tate shows up and she unexpectedly hits him square in the face with a snowball! She worries that she is about to get fired, but Tate, after confronting the ghosts of his past, realizes he wants Annie to stay. His big family and their entourage are arriving the next day, and he can't manage them--and the big, echoing ranch house--without her.
So Tate has a brilliant idea. He tells her she and the kids can stay, through the holidays at least--if she agrees to pretend to be his long-lost love, to keep his busybody matchmaking grandmother off his back.
Annie is at first outraged by the suggestions and then intrigued. How hard could it be to pretend she and Tate have fallen for each other? He's gorgeous, after all--and some part of her heart had never forgotten their long-ago friendship. The trick, she realizes, will be convincing her heart during the magical holiday season that it's only make believe.
RaeAnne Thayne is the #1 Publishers Weekly, New York Times, and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than sixty books. Her books have been described as "poignant and sweet," with "beautiful, honest storytelling that goes straight to the heart." She finds inspiration from the beautiful northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her family.
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