Welcome to Cozy Read Wednesday. Oklahoma Christmas Blues is the prequel to Maggie Shayne’s McIntyre Men series and is not only cozy but a very quick read. Since it’s a prequel, you don’t need to be familiar with other books in the series to enjoy this belated Christmas romance.
I loved the opening line of this story as it took my back to the 60s and the days of Gunsmoke on TV, “The Long Branch Saloon didn’t open for another hour . . .”. Sophia (not Sophie) has returned to Oklahoma to get away from a complicated, tense, disastrous life — a stressful job, a drug addict fiancé misusing her prescription pad, the possibility of losing her doctor’s license, and a police investigation as to whether she’s an accessory to her fiancé’s crimes. Sophia’s cousins have hired Daryl as bouncer at their dad’s saloon, The Long Branch where Sophia is tending bar. He has had a varied career in law enforcement and is working his way around the continental US for a year. She finds the small town of Big Falls relaxing. He finds it disconcerting. She has trust issues; he has “Christmas” problems.
This is not by any stretch a unique plot or setting. It is actually rather reminiscent of a Robyn Carr series. That said, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a fun, easy read with more surprises than I would have thought. The writing is good, the characters interesting, almost no sex or violence (sorry if that disappoints some of you), and lots of Christmas season faith and hope. And a happy ending. Perfect for in between those huge tomes that don’t even fit on your iPad. * * * 1/2
Cozy Read Wednesday is a new meme. No list of rules — just leave a comment with a link to your Cozy Read published on Wednesday and feel free to use the Cozy Read Wednesday icon on your site. I look forward to your recommendations.