I must admit that I was a bit confused by the cover of this story because I had downloaded the prequel to it and it had the same cover. The prequel is also about John Moretti and his first love, Emily. It sets the stage for this story, A Christmas Bond. John is now the head of the Covenant School where he helps teen boys try to rebuild their lives that border on juvenile detention. He teaches them job skills, manners, and how to make good choices. Still the teens are often on the edge of falling back into trouble-making. Annie has had a terrible experience with troubled teens and only wishes to protect her grandmother who lives next door to the school. After several encounters with the boys and their guardian, she is confused by the bad memories that they evoke, the attraction she feels for John, and the spiritual need to let go of the past and be at peace. This story is predictable, but does set the stage for the four boys who have their own stories in the Sacred Bond series. The romance is clean, but does involve some passionate kissing. After reading the prequel which involved Emily, I was happy to see John develop a loving relationship with Annie. Now I am interested in reading what happens to each of the four boys, Rock, Daniel, Boone, and Zeke, in their own stories. Oh! Before I forget, let me add a spoiler- baby Jesus was found, in more ways than one, which made for a nice Christmas story!
Goodreads Exerpt-The Christmas Bond:
War hero John Moretti sees the delinquent boys he mentors as the sons he never had, and he wants to give them every opportunity to reform. Crime victim Annie Bauer views them as dangerous threats to her elderly grandma, who lives next door to the boys’ residential school. When the Baby Jesus is stolen from Grandma’s yard nativity scene, the boys’ potential involvement may send them straight to hard-core juvie, and break the fragile connection that’s building between Annie and John. Until the so-called delinquents join together to make a sacred bond .
Note: I actually purchased this story in the Home for Christmas set featuring seven Christian authors. For $0.99 this was a great deal!