Kathi Daley’s Christmas in Paradise takes up where the previous book, Bikinis in Paradise, left off. As the previous book concludes, TJ receives a letter that threatens to change everything without stating the contents of the letter. Now we learn that a naval captain has written to TJ claiming paternity of Gracie, TJ’s 6-year-old sister over whom TJ has had custody for the past year. With TJ’s heart breaking over the possibility of losing Gracie, she invites Jake to spend mid- November through early January with them in Serenity. “Uncle Jake” gets off to a terrific start with everyone from the beginning but especially with the children.
Then on Thanksgiving, they have a huge celebration with many in Serenity, including Bonnie, the mother-in-law of Jenna, TJ’s best friend, and her new fiance, Bob. No one trusts Bob but tries to be civil to him for Bonnie’s sake. But when the dinner is over, they find the body of Bob, murdered, and Jenna’s husband is the chief suspect. So to avoid letting her son get arrested, Bonnie confesses to the murder.
The book takes a number of interesting turns, from several angles. We learn unique and surprising facts about Bob. We also see the way Jake joins the community wholeheartedly, leaving some fears in TJ that he may try to steal Gracie from her. And then we watch the slow redevelopment of a potential relationship with Hunter, her first love.
Colleen Marlo performs the audio edition of the book. This series is very enjoyable, and the narration just serves to enhance that.
Christmas in Paradise is a really enjoyable book with a creative conclusion. I enjoyed the ambiance of the book. I give it five stars.
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