I always hoped I’d see her again after she rocked my world last Christmas. I never thought she’d have my baby in her arms.
I also didn’t see myself dressed as a deranged bear the first time I held my daughter, or even that I’d have a daughter. Navy SEAL life isn’t great for fatherhood, but seeing Jessie with Joy hits me like a happy holiday thunderbolt.
Jessie’s not sure she trusts me, and who can blame her? Maybe if we’d swapped more than ten words before falling into bed that snowy night, we wouldn’t be strangers. But I can’t regret our fling, just like I can’t ditch a military career I’ve spent my whole life wanting.
But maybe there’s something I want more. Jessie. A bond with our baby and heaps of happy, mixed-up holiday memories we’re making as we bond over giftwrap gaffes, sexy dreidel games, and kisses hot enough to melt mistletoe.
I just need to prove we belong together, preferably before one of us hops a flight and gets gone for good.
This is the first book I’ve read in the Juniper Ridge series and for the first few pages, I was worried I was missing key background to fully enjoy this story, but that wasn’t the case at all. Joe drew me in right away with his love for his family and willingness to be a Nutmeg Bear but even if he hadn’t, I was a goner when he met baby Joy. Jessie is so conflicted and vulnerable because she was truly thrilled to see Joe again after this hot man rocked her world and disappeared, but as Joy’s father he’s also a threat because he’s the only person in the world who could lay claim to her child and disrupt the life Jessie has built for them.
Despite the heavy subject matter, this book is more humor than angst so it’s a fun read but still has emotions sprinkled through. Jessie and Joe are so good together but his lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to nurturing a marriage and family. All he’s ever wanted was to be a Navy SEAL and he’s lived that dream for a decade, but now he wants something else too and there’s no good way to reconcile those desires. Jessie has her own internal battle due to her own dangerous, demanding job. She gave it up a single mother but she misses it and isn’t ready to walk away from her work. Their careers make life complicated but they fit perfectly in every way. This is a short, sweet HEA with a lot of laughs that I really enjoyed. I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.