Part of Locey’s Laurel Holidays series, The Christmas Rescue is a story that allows the author to explore her love and knowledge of the realities of farm life and winter in the Pennsylvania hills through the characters sweet holiday romance.
The barns and farm living is realistic, accepting of the early hours and hard work that’s required to make things run. But you get the wonderful insight into the animals that make such a living a passion. The chickens , a duck, the goats, even a blind farm cat. And then there’s the setting. Cold, bitter at times, snowy, and gorgeous.
The manure and the magnificent. It’s both there.
Both are an important part of the story and integral element of Acosta Melios, owner of the farm rescue facility, Happy Laurel Farm. Acosta and his rescue farm are my favorite elements here. He’s so believable in his personality and abilities to exist within that environment.
I also felt that his background added the right amount of pathos and family uniqueness to give him extra depth.
Decker Fitzgerald, younger son of a highly successful Pittsburg business family, Fitzgerald & Sons Well Services, is the lesser character.
I liked him but felt he had a bit of a weakness with regard to his foundation. I throughly enjoyed reading about his journey as he explored Acosta’s farm and got to know the animals and life there. There was a odd bit about a homophobic encounter in town that seemed out of place but the real issue here is his family.
Decker’s mother’s side is Greek. His best memories are of his grandmother. However, his family is dysfunctional in the extreme. They are horrid for horrids sake. One note characters with little basis other than greed for their actions.
The Melios, a first generation Greek family, is on the other side of the spectrum. They are the inviting, warm, accepting , quick to welcome a man so clearly in need of loving support. Especially when Decker is so clearly showing the pain that comes from his family dynamics.
The ending comes about quickly. And there’s no satisfying scene with Decker’s family that feels realistic.
The epilogue left us with a wonderful holiday feeling and a great sense of the future for the couple.
I’m definitely recommending this for all fans of the author and contemporary romance holiday stories.
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com › showThe Christmas Rescue (Laurel Holidays #4) by V.L. Locey
A city boy is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas from a man with a heart as big as the snow-covered farm he calls home.
Decker Fitzgerald is all about the job. Which explains why he’s out cruising around the snowy hillsides of the Allegheny Plateau looking for a rundown farm in the middle of a whiteout. If not for his need to prove to his father—and himself—that he is worthy, he could be down in Rio with his friends over the holidays. But no, he’s creeping along winding country roads in search of some two-bit farm animal rescue parcel that Fitzgerald & Sons Well Services is desperate to contract. Seems the owner, some long-haired hippie sort, is refusing to allow them to set up a natural gas fracking pad on his acreage. Foolish tree-hugger types. Why anyone would choose a three-legged goat over thousands of dollars of royalty checks is beyond him.
He quickly finds himself stuck in a ditch and at the mercy of the elements as the snowstorm shifts into blizzard status. It’s then that a lanky stranger with a beat up tractor comes to his rescue. When the greeting and handshake reveal his rescuer is Acosta Melios, the peculiar hipster who owns the farm rescue facility he’s here to sweet talk into signing a contract, the instant pull of those cordial gray eyes falters. That is until Decker is forced to spend several days with the genial and outgoing husbandman. Between the gentle warmth that is Acosta and the loving pull of the abandoned farm animals, Decker is finding it harder and harder to persuade the outgoing farmer into allowing his father’s company to have access to his land. What isn’t hard is falling in love with the man and his throwaway charges. That, it seems, is as easy as falling off a cranky, diabetic llama.
The Christmas Rescue is a standalone small-town gay insta-love Christmas romance with forced proximity, two incredibly opposite men, a barnful of rescued farm animals, oodles of snow, strings of popcorn on a cockeyed tree, and a festive happily-ever-after.