Likeable characters drive story

Lezlie Patterson / McClatchy-Tribune News Service /

“Single Dad’s Holiday

Wedding” by Patricia Thayer (Harlequin, $4.99, paperback)

Christmas may be just over, but there’s still time to enjoy another holiday romance.

This is an easy read, a sweet story and a satisfying romance with engaging characters confronting issues that compel you to care for them.

Jace is the single dad, who is stressed about completing a construction project that will give him the financial stability he needs to gain full custody of his daughter.

Lori is the estranged daughter of the town millionaire, who died and made her his heir with the stipulation that she live in the small town of Destiny for at least a year.

It wasn’t what Lori planned, but she feels a responsibility to the town and the people employed by her father’s business, who would suffer if she didn’t comply with the stipulation.

While Jace is a complete jerk to Lori during their first meeting, he does quickly make amends.

This is the typical I-really-care-about-you-but-we-can’t-get-together-because-the-timing-isn’t-right story.

They do the get-close-push-away thing, which does get annoying. And toward the end it really gets annoying when Jace lets Lori think their relationship is over, without revealing the positive possibilities.

But then again, that all does set up a nice ending.

Note: Fans may recognize the town of Destiny, as well as a few characters from Thayer’s previous books about the Keenan family.

This is a solid book with some annoying behavior by the hero and heroine, but overall a satisfying romance with likeable characters.