|Image from Godreads|
It turns out Gabriel is also in the army, a doctor. He knows he's been slipping a bit lately, even going so far as to accidentally injure himself badly enough not to be able to work on a patient. Of course, Gabriel has his demons (what good hero doesn't?). His father was career military and very harsh to an artistic dreamer. Coming back to the States to visit Gideon and his new family seemed like a good idea even though Gabriel will also have to face Christmas with his parents (who have visited Blackberry Island!) as well.
But then he meets an umbrella-wielding Noelle. She was just trying to feed Felicia's puppy (Felicia is Gideon's fiancee) and didn't realize Gabriel was in the house. The two fall into a nice patter and Gabriel decides to help fill the void left by Felicia's college students (she has a Christmas store and they're more interested in skiing than in working) thinking that will be an excellent way to avoid family complications.
Usually Susan Mallery books are a firm three-stars for me but I really enjoyed this one and bumped it up to for stars. Why not five? The HEA was a little rushed and the ending was a wee bit twee, though Eddie and Gladys saved it from being over the top sweet.