Early Book Review: Texas K-9 Unit Christmas by Shirlee McCoy and Terri Reed

Texas K-9 Unit Christmas is a pair of christian romance novellas; Holiday Hero by Shirlee McCoy and Rescuing Christmas by Terri Reed. A new edition of this pairing is scheduled to be released on November 5th 2013.

In Holiday Hero by Shirlee McCoy readers meet Emma Fairchild, who has returned to her childhood home in order to care for an ailing Aunt Bea. One night Emma is trying to paint and prep her new restaurant for its upcoming opening when she is attacked and left for dead. Emma's childhood friend, and current K-9 officer,  Lucas Harwood finds her and starts on a search for justice. Can  he get to the bottom of the attack, and perhaps find love along the way?

Holiday Hero was a cute story with some suspense. I enjoyed the reuniting of childhood friends, and first loves, becoming more. However the story did not stand out as fantastic for me. I liked Aunt Bea's character and the care that Emma has for her. I also liked Lucas for the most part. Emma was a decent character and I loved the danger and suspense that she faces, but for some reason I just could not connect to her. I think that it might have been because of my frame of mind while reading rather than any fault in the writing.

In Rescuing Christmas by Terri Reed, Lily Anderson is a K-9 dog trainer that has managed to escape a kidnapping but has a killer hot on her heels.  Jarrod Evans was supposed to be her student, but after a fateful meeting he has declared himself her bodyguard until the threat has been dealt with.  Now, more that just her life is at risk.

Rescuing Christmas was a novella that just struck me as a little too short. I wanted a little more about Lily and Jarrod. I know novellas are supposed to be short, and this is part of a longer series, but I felt like I wanted to know the characters better. I am fairly sure that these two characters, and several of the side characters, have significant background stories in the series, but since I have only read one or two books, I feel like I was missing some of the most interesting background and future details. My other annoyance is stemmed from the mystery, because there was no way for me to know who the big bad was. Every suspense or mystery should include a chance for the reader to actually solve the mystery, that is half the fun!

I did enjoy reading Texas K-9 Unit Christmas, and for the most part felt satisfied when it was over.  I would recommend it to readers that have enjoyed the other books in the series or the other writing from either of the authors. For readers (like myself) that typically avoid christian romance, I will say that the religious moments were very well done and very in character for the most part. There were a couple moments that I felt like I was being reminded that I had to add the term "Christian" to any discussion to the book, but for the most part it was natural. The mystery and suspense portion was very well done, aside from the moment of frustration I mentioned above, and there were some very high action moments that worked very well.
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