Sleigh Bells Ring, by RaeAnn Thayne, book five in her Catalina Cove series, is a sweet holiday romance that deals with the importance of family, responsibility, addiction, understanding, trust, and love. Annalise, Annie, McCade has to take care of her twin niece and nephew while working at Angel View Ranch for Christmas. Then the owner of the Ranch, Tate Sheridan, comes unannounced, telling Annie that all of the Sheridan family, who have been absent during the year Annie works there, are coming to give a memorial to Tate's grandfather, Annie's previous boss before Wallace died. Annie used to know Tate and his sister, Brie, when she was a child, before she had to move to California after her parent’s divorce; and she had a crush on Tate back then. Both Annie and Tate are amazing, honest, hardworking, thoughtful, and caring people; clearly prioritizing their families. Tate is kind and helpful, working with Annie to make the ranch presentable for the family. Tate was romantic and caring while Annie was a hard worker, dedicated to her brother and his children; there was no way NOT to fall in love with both of them. There is a secondary love story, staying in the background while focusing on Annie and Tate’s story; that of Brie and Levi. I felt there was not enough focus on this couple and was left needing more. There was clearly a story behind Levi’s brooding cowboy exterior, his divorce, and Brie rebellion before becoming sober. I was drawn into this book and found myself not wanting to put it down; I needed to know what would happen next. I loved the twins and couldn’t help but ache for little Alice and Henry as they have had a pretty awful past 18 months; it was time they had something to look forward to and put a smile back on their faces. These two added an additional dimension to this story. I enjoyed Tate and Annie’s romance, especially with all the holiday magic and I highly recommend Sleigh Bells Ring to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I read holiday stories all year long. However, this is a book I would definitely reserve for the Christmas season! I has all the endearing spirit of the holiday season that I have come to expect from a Rae Anne Thayne book. Her characters are realistic, lovable, charming and yet flawed. They are all people that could live on your street or be people you know. That's why I relate to characters in her books and love them! Her settings are also fabulous. Lots of snow and mountains and all things holiday-centered. This story is also emotional in many ways as Tate Sheridan and his entire family, plus extended family make one last trip to their mountain ranch to say goodbye to a beloved grandfather who recently passed away. The family has been fractured for awhile but they are going to grant this wish of the grandmother who wants to have everyone together for the holidays. Tate is a busy executive who is now taking over for his grandfather and feels the weight. Annie McCade is the ranch manager and is very surprised when the family shows up. She already has a lot on her plate. Her brother is in jail. His children are in her care and now she has to deal with Tate's entire family at the ranch. Tate and Annie were once childhood friends but it's been many years since they've seen each other. They decide to make this last Christmas one to remember! And, oh how special it becomes - for everyone! I also loved each of the other characters. Their stories were just as important! Such a fabulous story! One to be re-read every Christmas!
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Yet again, RaeAnne Thayne has given us a book that warms the heart and stirs the soul. I did find several similarities between Sleigh Bells Ring and 2020's Christmas at Holiday House, which was fine because I loved that novel. From decorating the home for an elderly person, a large gathering of people, a heroine with child(ren), to a dashing well-to-do young businessman, this book has it all. RaeAnne's stories are always entertaining. Similarities or not, I always look forward to her tender, uplifting Christmas novels. Having enjoyed every minute of Sleigh Bells Ring, I did not want it to end. I recommend this novel wholeheartedly.