Saturday, January 7, 2023

Review: Guiding the Grouch by Shanna Hatfield

Series: Summer Creek #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Wholesome Hearts
Released: Dec. 15, 2022
354 pages
About the Book:

He's a billionaire set on escaping the holidays and his demanding family.
She’s a single mom with a sunny smile who keeps her heart safely hidden.
When she makes him her personal Christmas project, what could possibly go wrong?

Gabe Gatlin would do anything to evade the obligatory family holiday hobnobbing that is nothing more than one horrible business event after another, all wrapped up with a gaudy Christmas ribbon. Then the opportunity arises to explore a property in the small town of Summer Creek, Oregon, and gives him the idea to run away for the holidays. This year, he’s skipping Christmas. All he has to do is hide out until January in the quirky little town where the residents have dubbed him Grinchy Gabe. But when a delightful woman starts making his sleigh bells jingle, he might find it impossible to avoid losing his three-sizes-too-small heart.

Single mom and waitress, Dani Latham, has two priorities: give her son the stable life she never had, and spread joy to her friends and neighbors in Summer Creek. When a stranger with a grinchy attitude sits at her table, she makes it her personal mission to make him smile. As she guides him into a flurry of Christmas festivities, she starts to wonder if this grouch’s heart will ever return to normal size. And even worse. . . if it does, who is going to save hers from breaking when he leaves?

Will a little Christmas magic and wonder bring these two lonesome people together?

My Rating & Thoughts:    

I really enjoyed this story, it was heartwarming, fun and perfect for Christmastime. Gabe is a billionaire who is tired of his sister dictating his holiday schedule. Upon learning that his family business has been maintaining a property in Oregon but no one knows why he decides he will go there to escape and research the house. At 42 years old he runs away from home only telling his assistant where he is with strict instructions not to say anything. In Summer Creek he meets Dani, who is a waitress at the local restaurant and a single mom to a 15-year-old son. Dani overhears Gabe muttering about the Christmas schedule his sister is trying to force on him and she jokingly called him Mr. Grouch to lighten the mood. This begins a friendly banter between the two with Gabe starting to call Dani Miss Christmas. Dani starts teaching Gabe about the fun of Christmas, decorating a tree, stringing up lights, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies. Gabe has never experienced these Christmas traditions before, and it was fun to see him embrace Christmas and the town. Gabe might be rich but he was really down to earth and personable with everyone he came in contact with. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Gabe, Dani and her son, Seth. I also loved reconnecting with the other characters of Summer Creek from the previous books, including the goat Ethel adding entertainment. I loved the ending, especially with the kids stepping in. This was a wonderful Christmas story and I highly recommend reading it. Wonderful reminder that Christmas is about spending time with loved ones making memories. 

Favourite Quote: 
“Give people a chance and reserve judgement.”

(I received this a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Other books from this author that I have reviewed:   


The Christmas Bargain (Hardman Holidays #1)

The Christmas Token (Hardman Holidays #2)

The Christmas Calamity (Hardman Holidays #3)

The Christmas Vow (Hardman Holidays #4)

The Christmas Quandary (Hardman Holidays #5)

The Christmas Confection (Hardman Holidays #6)

Crumpets and Cowpies (Baker City Brides #1)

Thimbles and Thistles (Baker City Brides #2)

Corsets and Cuffs (Baker City Brides #3)

Bobbins and Boots (Baker City Brides #4)

Lightning and Lawmen (Baker City Brides #5)

The Christmas Cowboy (Rodeo Romance #1)

Wrestlin' Christmas (Rodeo Romance #2)

Capturing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #3)

Barreling Through Christmas (Rodeo Romance #4)

Chasing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #5)

Racing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #6)

Garden of Her Heart (Hearts of the War #1)
Home of Her Heart (Hearts of the War #2)

Valentine Bride (Holiday Brides #1)


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