The Secret Christmas by Mallory Kane & Deborah Cox

Can two childhood friends return the spirit of Christmas to this small town?

When Nicholas Frost comes back to Christmas Valley, he’s shocked. The town he fondly remembered as a Christmas wonderland is now completely barren of the season. He learns that his landlord uncle banned his business tenants—everyone in town—from openly celebrating Christmas after his wife died. When his uncle demands that he spy on the townspeople, Nick is torn. Should he choose family loyalty or his heart?

Christmas Valley restaurant owner Angela Corker isn’t happy to see Nicky Frost again. After his uncle banned Christmas, the residents have been struggling financially. So every year she puts on a “Secret Christmas” celebration for the town. Nick is beyond handsome and friendly, but can she trust him with her secret when his uncle is the town Grinch?

They both have secrets, but as they join forces to bring back the joy of Christmas, they discover so much more than they were looking for.

Title:  The Christmas Secret
Series:
Author:  Mallory Kane & Deborah Cox
Genre:  Christmas Contemporary Romance
Published:  November 9, 2020
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I freely admit that I will (and do) read Christmas Romance year-round, but with a fierce focus in the time leading up to the holidays.  I’ve not come across a romance quite like The Christmas Secret before… and please, please make this a yearly event where we can come visit Christmas Valley once more with Christmas in full bloom and that special magic of the holidays everywhere in sight.  Please.

But, not this year – at least not out in the open where the town Potter/Scrooge/Grinch aka Mr. Terrance Frost can discover the celebrations for he has banned any display or event even hinting at Christmas in the town he’s basically bought up and leased back to the businesses depending on Christmas cheer to make their holiday income… in a town called Christmas Valley.  When Mr. Frost’s wife passed away he stopped any and all mention of Christmas in the town he now completely owns, and any business that defies him will find themselves out of business, out on the street as Mr. Frost can and will break the lease and toss them aside.  So.  Obviously, the townsfolk cannot openly celebrate this wondrous holiday.  But what happens in the back rooms doesn’t have to be known by grumpy Mr. Frost – or so they all hope.

When the odious Mr. Frost injures himself while skiing he calls his nephew Nick Frost back to town to help him out.  Nick has his own business far beyond Christmas Valley but is tied to his uncle for the eventual trust fund, so in effect, his uncle is still holding the purse strings over Nick’s head.  The perfect way to get his nephew to do some spying for him since the injury guarantees he won’t be able to do that himself.  But Nick has far different memories of this town, once filled to the brim and then some by holiday decorations, music, events, and happy, joyful people.  Not so much now as everything and everyone is living under the cloud of his uncle’s grim ban.  Now Nick has to walk a very thin line between keeping his uncle in the dark and helping the town, and the woman he’s falling in love with, and a town celebrating Christmas… undercover.

Angela and the other business owners in town have no choice but to follow Mr. Frost’s demands.  But they secretly celebrate in the back room.  When Nick comes back to town Angela is thrilled and worried that her old childhood friend would give their secret away to his uncle… and also thrilled and worried that she seems to be falling in love with a man who has a life far away from Christmas Valley.

I had such a good time with The Christmas Secret.  Watching the townsfolk, as well as Angela and Nick circumvent Mr. Frost was funny, ironic, and gave me a ton of chuckles along the way.  Love will bloom anywhere, even in a crusty old heart.  You’ll want to discover this town’s future for yourself – I’m betting you’ll love every moment of the experience.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from Tule Publishing. 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 your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.

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