All I Want for Christmas Is You by Miranda Liasson
Series: Angel Falls
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 29th, 2019
ARC from Netgalley
| Book Review |
There’s no doubt in my mind that fans of the Angel Falls series have been clamoring for Rafe and Kaitlyn’s story – myself included. I fell for them from the beginning, and thank God Miranda Liasson gave us their story with All I Want for Christmas Is You! This is the third book in the series, and yes. You could read it out of order and be just fine; that’s how I read it. But I will say that Kaitlyn and Rafe’s flirtation in the previous books was so wonderful, and I think reading them in order will give the reader a much sweeter payoff.
Having lost his first love in an accident years ago, Rafe Landgon is no stranger to tragedy. It’s taught him to distance himself from people, and to shut his heart off to finding love. His one exception is his family, who he absolutely adores. Rafe was such a wonderful man. The adoration he showed his family was mutual; he was so sweet to his sisters, a doting uncle who loved being around his nieces and nephew, and a hero with his work as a firefighter. There was a particular scene with his step-mother in this book that showcased how loving Rafe was, and it was enough to tug at the heartstrings. He is just such a loving man, and to see him hold himself back from that was heart wrenching. Kaitlyn has been friends with Rafe’s sisters for as long as she can remember, and she’s had a crush on Rafe for almost as long. While her family may have been smaller, it was no less loving. But the lesson she inadvertently learned from her mother wouldn’t allow her to ask for help or even allow it when it was offered. So when Rafe and Kaitlyn get carried away one night and it results in an unplanned pregnancy, she’s adamant that she can do this by herself if she has to. This is where Kaitlyn’s hard-nose for independence comes through. This man, who she has known her entire life, who has always been there for his family, and for her – she can’t help but continuously give him an out. Which, of course, Rafe never takes. It was getting frustrating for me, and I had to keep reminding myself that Kaitlyn wasn’t privy to Rafe’s thoughts like I was. I also had to remind myself that it was an inherent part of her character based on things that happened in her life, and her character arc really was wonderfully written. There was a lot of push and pull in this book, which was fitting based on Rafe and Kaitlyn’s pasts, and it killed me. They were so in love but just could not get on the same page at the same time. And when they finally do – man. It’s that amazing payoff that I was talking about earlier! The way Rafe just didn’t want to let Kaitlyn go but found it so impossible to open up was devastating to me. I was so rooting for them to find their happily ever after!
We finally get to meet Kaitlyn’s mother here and her troubled niece who has come to stay with him, and I really enjoyed this part of the story as well. That Kaitlyn’s mother recognized her inability to accept help before she did really spoke to how well she knew her daughter, and I like that Kaitlyn saw pieces of herself in her niece. There was also a stray puppy in this book that (mild spoiler) Rafe wouldn’t allow himself to connect with despite his adoration for the pup, and it was a brilliant way for the author to showcase just how much he’d shut himself down. Oh, and my favorite part of this story was Rafe calling Kaitlyn ‘Katie.’ He was the only one who did, and every time he did, it melted my heart. That he was in love with her pretty much from the beginning of this book was so evident to everyone but them. Obviously we get to see a lot of Rafe’s family in this book, as they have collectively played a large part in each installment of the series. I do wish that there had been just a bit more focus on Rafe’s past relationship since it played such a prominent part in who he was today, and based on his past, it was fairly predictable to see what the main conflict was going to be between him and Kaitlyn, but that didn’t make All I Want for Christmas Is You any less enjoyable for me.
Overall, I have found the Angel Falls series to be so poignant and delightful. Highlights for me have been seeing the Langdon kids still dealing with the loss of their mother even all these years later as adults; it just felt so real. Also, the way they are with their Nonna was so precious; this author has created a beautiful family that I think anyone would love to be a part of. I am very sad to see this family go, but the epilogue in this one left me feeling happy for them. If you love small town romance and close knit families, I can’t recommend this series enough. I know I’ll be returning to Angel Falls many times over with re-reads!
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