by Maureen Child

January 2004
ISBN: 0-312-98727-7
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

In the picturesque town of Christmas, California, the holiday spirit lives year-round. Embracing their yuletide namesake, the citizens have capitalized on it, creating a tourist-friendly atmosphere. To the cynical, their efforts may be overdone, but the effect is charming.

Author Maureen Child introduces us to this quaint community, and the Reilly family in Some Kind of Wonderful. This is an enchanting story that will tug at your heart.

Shop owner Carol Baker has come to Christmas to start over. She loves the tiny town with its quirky winter-themed streets, and opens Christmas Carolís gift shop. She has her dog, Quinn, for company, and dreams of a family of her own. She unexpectedly gets her wish when she discovers that the plaster infant in the town's nativity scene has been replaced with a real-live baby!

After taking the foundling to the clinic for a checkup, Carol agrees to act as a foster parent for the little girl while the authorities investigate. The authority in this case is Jack Reilly, a former LA policeman who has returned home temporarily to act as sheriff. He is cranky, surly, and drop-dead gorgeous. He is sorry he ever returned to his hometown, and just wants everyone - especially his family - to leave him alone. His past has destroyed his future, and he wants to wallow in his misery. Alone. The very last thing Jack needs is an abandoned baby investigation and to interact with the attractive, but way too perky Carol Baker and her four-legged protector.

Ms. Child sure knows how to write a book filled with powerful emotion. The characters have considerable depth and their struggles are well-documented. The reader is compelled to root for them, cry with them, and share their joy and pain. Jack and Carol both have plenty of baggage to overcome, but their concern for Liz overshadows their own issues. Some Kind of Wonderful is an emotional, heart-warming book that will enchant readers.

Reviewed in March 2004 by Paula.

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