I can read Christmas stories any time of the year, but closer to the holidays it’s even better. Add in that A SOLDIER UNDER HER TREE is published by Harlequin and I couldn’t wait! This is the eighth book in the SWEET BRIAR SWEET HEARTS series, and I look forward to reading all of them. (Note, this is the first book in the series I’ve personally read and the first book by Ms. Douglass.)
Sweet Briar is a small town in North Carolina, and it’s going all out for Christmas. Hannah is a clothing designer and has her own boutique, but due to things that have happened to her in the past at Christmas, she’s now a Scrooge. When her path crosses with Russell, there are definite sparks. But she’s guarded because he let her down once before.
Russell is related to two of her good friends, who are royalty in their small town, and is a soldier in the United States Army. But he’s got secrets, as do Hannah and her dysfunctional family. When Russell comes to her rescue more than once, takes her on a few fake dates to fool her family, and moves into her guest room to keep his early arrival in town a secret from his family, things get interesting fast.
There’s a nice flow to the story and beautiful descriptions of the town. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching some of their walls come down. Watching Hannah and Russell bond but then take a few steps back was heartbreaking, but I loved the way they started to communicate. There was closure but the story ended too abruptly for me, as I prefer an epilogue. I love the cover, and I truly enjoyed the story.