by Jenna Lawrence

October 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7807-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Omega, Colorado –September 1885

Recently returned from studying medicine abroad, Doctor Analise DeLery has survived a broken heart, and shattered spirit, and is now ready to make a fresh start joining her family in Omega, Colorado. Planning the opening of her life’s dream of a clinic for women and children is all Analise can concentrate on. Nowhere in her structured plans has Analise left room for a man, or so she thought until the handsome new church Deacon, Mr. Tyler Goodfellow arrives in town!

Pinkerton agent Tyler Morgan is a master of disguise and his arrival in the peaceful town of Omega as “Deacon Goodfellow” gives him the cover he needs to investigate a robbery that led to the death of a fellow agent. The leader of the outlaw gang he is pursuing was last seen near Omega and the trail leads right to Dr. Analise DeLery’s door. All of Tyler’s training as a skilled agent shows that there is no way this proud, and dedicated physician could knowingly have anything to do with the likes of the Malone gang. Still Tyler must not trust her until he can prove beyond doubt that Analise is innocent of any wrong doing. Analise is opinionated, outspoken, brave, and very beautiful, but most of all she seems to be an honest woman. The faith that both these two broken people lost on Christmases past, may just be found once again within the comfort and joy of each other’s arms.

Rookie author Jenna Lawrence’s first novel, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year starts very promising with an interesting premise, and introduction of intriguing characters. However midway through the book takes a downward spiral that it just cannot recover from. Inserting the customary “bad guys verses good guys shootout” early on leaves nothing to have the protagonists fight for and you the reader to look forward to. Afterwards the plot looses development and structure with Analise turning into a whiney mush dreading having to tell her fiancé Tyler of her past. What happened to that brave woman that faced down a ruthless gang of outlaws almost single-handed? As for Tyler, he uses his disguises one to many times and does not learn from the first time out that he cannot fool Analise. As for the book’s supposed Christmas theme that comes only in the last twenty or so pages, and by that time you won’t be that much in the Christmas spirit.

Reviewed in December 2005 by Bonnie.

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