Federal park ranger Carter Williams dislikes kids almost as much as he dislikes Christmas. He chose his career to escape human contact, not embrace it. And no matter how much his husband Owen tries to sway his opinion, Carter is a grump who would rather ignore the holiday. Owen’s efforts are put on hold, however, when they get a call about six missing foster kids lost in the park.
Christmas Eve takes a turn for the worse when Owen injures himself rescuing the children. Stranded in a snowstorm until dawn, Carter has to keep Owen awake and healthy while simultaneously watching six runaways. What he thinks is a nightmare come to life is actually a beautiful gift in disguise—the kids transform the ranger station into a Christmas wonderland. And before it’s all said and done, they might transform Carter’s heart as well—if he can keep his bah humbug attitude in check.
This story had three of my huge bugaboos in any book I read: 1. It was in first person. 2. It was present tense. 3. It sounded like a laundry list most of the time. I went here. I did this. Then I did this… However, the 3 star rating had little to do with those. While I liked Carter, and I loved his naming the kids Lion, Seabiscuit, and Tiny Tim, the story was so out of the reality it was set in as to be totally unbelievable. I saw the ending early on and it just didn’t work for me.