This novella contains three stories revolving around lovable animals in need of good homes and the way that the spirit of the holidays affects the potential animal owners. It was a real treat to find out that the stories are connected by the mingling of characters. The first story, Holiday Haven by Vicki Lewis Thompson, is about the owner of the animal shelter. The second story, Home for Christmas by Catherine Mann, is about volunteers at the shelter. The final story, a Puppy for Will by Kathie DeNosk, is about the couple’s pet adoption. With this attention to detail, this book sets itself apart from other novellas in which random stories are loosely thrown together.
Each couple has significant emotional baggage and the animals serve as a catalyst for change in their lives. In Holiday Haven, Tansy’s life is about her shelter animals. Even though she is attracted to Ben, she won’t build a life with a man that doesn’t have pets. Ben’s childhood pet trauma is still a huge hurdle in moving on and starting a life with Tansy. In Home for Christmas, a married couple is on the verge of divorce. A last ditch effort, in the form of transporting animals to their foster homes in time for Christmas, confines them to a car and gives them the opportunity to really talk about their feelings. Puppy for Will is the shortest story. Readers will find the couple struggling to overcome hurts from past relationships and unfortunate bad food. Each story would have benefited from more pages to delve deeper into the emotional aspect of their relationships but all the pets are as adorable as the book cover animals.
Holiday Haven by Vicki Lewis Thompson
All Ben Rhodes wants for Christmas is to be left alone. And yet, in a fit of Christmas-cheer-induced insanity, he agrees to help beautiful shelter director Tansy Dexter find homes for all her rambunctious animals. Little does he know that the one truly in need of a loving home this season…is him.
Home for Christmas by Catherine Mann
Shelby Conrad has had more than her fair share of silent nights. But even though her husband, Tech Sergeant Alex Conrad, is coming home in time for Christmas, Shelby isn't sure he's in time to save their marriage. Can a road trip to deliver three shelter dogs to their new homes teach the couple that the most precious gift of all is hope?
A Puppy for Will by Kathie DeNosky
Will Parker hasn't exactly had all his hopes and dreams met, but work has filled the gaps in his life. Or so he thinks…until an energetic and large Saint Bernard foster puppy and Will's cute neighbor Macie Fairbanks introduce him to the best thing about Christmas and life—unconditional love.