The Christmas Keeper

Happily Ever After, Book #2

By Jenn McKinlay


Author Website: jennmckinlay(.)com

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


The second Joaquin Solis saw Savannah Wilson he knew she was destined to be his wife. Unfortunately, Savannah’s sights are set on a happily-ever-after of another kind: skewering the boss who got her fired. Until then, she won’t act on the scorching sexual chemistry that is brewing between them, leaving Joaquin scrambling to find a way to capture her heart.

When the opportunity arises to use his ranch to boost Savannah’s publicity career, Joaquin doesn’t hesitate to invite her into his world at Shadow Pines and woo her with all of his Christmas loving mojo. It’s a gamble since the holidays aren’t really Savannah’s thing and helping her might also mean losing her as she plans to shake the dust off of their quaint town in North Carolina and head back to New York City the first chance she gets.

But Joaquin believes in the magic of Christmas and he knows with a little help from his friends at the Happily Ever After Bookstore, he can convince the woman of his dreams that he’s a keeper…. (Goodreads)


The Christmas Keeper, the second Happily Ever After romance by Jenn McKinlay, can definitely be read as a standalone.  It is a sexy opposites-attract tale full of Christmas spirit.

Publicist Savannah has come to North Carolina to help her friend launch her bookstore, and, in doing so, restore her own professional reputation.  A real city girl, she cannot wait to get back to her life in New York City and wants nothing to do with Christmas loving cowboy Joaquin.  Quino is enamored with Savy from the moment he lays eyes on her and is determined to make her his wife…by Christmas.  Brought together by their friends and a common goal, the pair finds their attraction irresistible and holiday magic hard to ignore.

The Christmas Keeper is wonderful to read anytime but perfect in the days leading up to Christmas.  It is replete with everything needed for a perfect holiday experience…festive decorations and traditions, a sleigh ride, favorite movies and foods.  What could easily pass over into Hallmark movie cheesiness is tempered with real life problems and ghosts from the past.  I really enjoy all of the seasonal merriment.

I admit that it took a bit for me to really get into Savy and Quino’s story.  I liked Quino from the beginning.  What is there not to like about a handsome, genuinely kind man who puts his family first?  He is not too perfect to be relatable, and he grows and learns to accept change as the book moves along.  I am a bit in love with him.  It took me much longer to warm up to Savy, but she becomes much more appealing as she loosens up and decides what is important to her.  Quino’s sister Desi is a sweet addition, and romance author Destiny is fabulous.

Romance is not always my preferred genre, but I devour author Jenn McKinlay’s mysteries.  Her style here is breezy but with substance, and her gift for writing engaging characters and witty dialogue shines here.  No matter what, McKinlay’s books are fun, escapist reading, and The Christmas Keeper is no exception.  Highly recommended.