After serving in the Army, Luke Harlow returns home in time for the holidays to help his brothers raise their twelve-year-old half-sister. With his new job as Marietta’s police officer, Luke finds himself in the middle of a festive mystery that the entire town will want solved before Christmas morning.

Mary Best is Marietta Courier’s most promising young reporter. When she starts spending time with sexy Luke Harlow to write an article about his heroic military service, she begins to suspect there’s more to this new police recruit than meets the eye. He’s kind, generous, and very mysterious. When anonymous gifts start appearing around town for people in need, Mary knows there’s a story there. A magical one. It doesn’t take long for the breadcrumbs to lead right back to Luke.

As the gifts pile up, so does everyone’s urge to unmask Marietta’s secret Santa. Luke is deeply private, and Mary is deeply curious- opposites who’ll find themselves tumbling toward each other amidst the snowy backdrop of a town fully embraced in the spirit of Christmas. But when Mary uncovers Luke’s secret, will she be able to bury her reporter’s instincts for the sake of love? And will Luke finally be able to trust someone with his heart?

Titles in The Harlow Brothers series include:  Tanner’s Promise – Luke’s Gift

Title:  Luke’s Gift
Series:  The Harlow Brothers #2
Author:  Kaylie Newell
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  November 1, 2018
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I’ve never hidden the fact that I love anything even remotely related to Marietta, Montana – it is my ideal fictional small town where amazing things happen year round.  But I have to confess to being so touched by the very realistic messages I’m finding in The Harlow Brothers series by Kaylie Newell.  In a world filled with negativity the Harlows – Tanner, Luke, Judd and their half-sister Maddie – put forth all that is still good, decent and realistically believable to an increasingly jaded audience.  I simply wanted to acknowledge that and thank the author, and the publishing house, for stories that (with or without intent) give a good feeling, a decent message  that readers do notice and appreciate.

It’s Christmas time once again in Marietta, and more than the annual Stroll has its residents talking, wondering and watching.  To the families facing hard times the anonymous gifts that appear in their lives are nothing short of a miracle in a time of true need.  No one knows who is leaving them, but rumors abound… enough to catch the news nose of one reporter on the edge of leaving her small home town for the big city and bigger opportunities.  Mary has her suspicions, and while revealing those ideas for the sake of a headline story are very tempting… what she could lose in the process is even more important.

Luke is a caring, compassionate man, one who has seen such heartache during his time in the military.  Now home, helping to raise his half-sister along with his brothers, Luke is settling into civilian life – for the most part.  As a Marietta police officer Luke has been singled out for a story about his “heroics” while in the military.  He has never seen himself as a hero, but a man who acted when it was necessary.  Still that story will put him in close contact with Mary… and that is one assignment he doesn’t mind one bit.  Except for those times when she asks too many questions…

Mary and Luke are polar opposites in personalities.  Luke is private, believes in doing not talking about it.  Mary is curious, has expectations of people and trusts very few.  For Mary knowledge is to be shared, even when that makes life uncomfortable.  Both are products of their upbringing in many ways.  Still the attraction is strong enough that they will both take risks that they hope to not regret one day.  I loved the interaction between Luke and Maddie, goodness she is so wise beyond her years at times.  Mary and Luke work, they are believable in their responses to each other and to the mystery in town.  Once again the Harlow family wrapped me up in their lives and now I need Judd’s story.  If you enjoy a really good love story, a touch of kindhearted mystery, realistic situations and just good people… then you’ll enjoy Luke’s Gift.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle