Mistletoe Justice

Mistletoe Justice

Book - 2015
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Someone has framed Darci Tucker for embezzlement--and she's pretty sure it's her boss. The real criminal will do anything to make sure she doesn't talk, from breaking into her home to hacking her computer. Her only hope for regaining control, and protecting her young son from danger, is Conner Stevenson. Desperate for answers about his sister's sudden disappearance, Conner is determined to uncover why the bookkeeper was named a target. Now Darci and her son have become pawns in a deadly game, and as Conner races to protect them, he finds he wants more than justice. He may want a family for Christmas after all...if they live that long.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Harlequin Love Inspired,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780373447121
Branch Call Number: FIC POST
Characteristics: 217 pages ; 17 cm.


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FindingJane Jul 29, 2016

The Christian thread in this book is sneaky—I certainly didn’t see it coming. When the heroine first thinks of God, the reader thinks it’s in the throwaway fashion that lots of humans do, without any particular piety attached to it.

The female lead has had a child out of wedlock (at least that’s what we infer; when her ex shows up, her never states that he’s her husband only that the child is his). So we know that she’s already a sinner. But who cares about that in modern romances? The novel’s main concerns would seem to be the importance of family and the nature of the criminal net that is slowly but surely closing around Darci because of a corrupt boss. However, when belief in the Almighty becomes a reoccurring theme in a book, then you figure that this is a big deal.

The criminal plot is actually engrossing, the tension mounting credibly. The danger seems very real, unlike such plots I’ve read in other recent romance novels. However, the religious subplot is distracting and rather slipshod, manifesting itself in Darci’s nature by more of a boundless optimism than anything else.

So is she a sinner? Is Darci to be condemned for her relationship with the charming but useless rascal Doug, the man who caused her to move from her religious groundings? But, if she hadn’t been with Doug, she wouldn’t have had her child Jayden, whom she cherishes with a mother’s fierce love. Is Connor a sinner because he’s a fornicator? But, if he hadn’t slept with Nikki, a casual fling of his who remained a staunch friend after their affair, he wouldn’t have been able to call on her for crucial help with Darci.

The book neatly dodges such conundrums, which is odd, given Darci’s unshakable belief that God is watching out for her. There is no room for philosophizing in a romance novel with supposedly a Christian message. The closest the book gets to reinforcing the importance of such values are the reiteration of prayers and the chasteness of the two romantic leads who never have sex with each other during the course of its story.

If you don’t mind religiosity mixed up with your romance, this book’s inclusion of the godly element is light enough to be inoffensive. If you want the usual steamy sex that you expect with current Harlequin offerings, best to forego it and look elsewhere.


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