Mathias Blackstone has a reputation of being a ruthless business man. He procures things for people – anything they want, however difficult. But every year around Christmas, he also secretly grants wishes. And a client of his wants to meet the famous children’s author and illustrator Jack Rabbit. Mathias has been looking for Jack for a long time and finally succeeds in finding the elusive author’s true identity – Jacqueline Randell.
He uses subterfuge to get onto Jacq’s radar and comes to realise that the colorful Miss Randall may be the only one who can light up his own bleak world. But will Jacq, who has been burned in the past herself, react positively once she finds out the whole truth? And what role will her cut-throat family play, in shaping Jacq’s future?
When I first started reading Romance novels, Her Secret Santa was one of the few which really made an impression, and became one my all-time favourites. A few weeks ago, I got the chance to read it again, and the fond memories I had, proved themselves right.
The story is charming and heartwarming, without being melodramatic. Jacqueline is a free-spirited, quirky character whose interactions with Mathias are fun, cheeky and to the point. Mathias, despite having an intimidating reputation, is quite a likable, normal guy who does a fantastic job of keeping up with Jacq’s spontaneous nature.
Though the book has the usual ‘falling in love almost at first sight’ scenario, it doesn’t seem improbable or stereotypical. The progression of the relationship, though quick, entertains with its naturalness and lack of excessive drama.
Another thing that made such a strong impression on me, is the dragons. I love dragons and the way Day Leclaire treats them is the major reason I fell for this book. They are Jacq’s recent subject for her children’s books, inspired by none other than Mathias. They also form a significant part of the story-line and the relationship.
Written in the ’90’s (hence the simplicity and charm), it’s a happy (sometimes hilarious), quick and light read, which stays with you after ending.