A Texas Legacy series is a series of four books, of which this Christmas tome is the last. I read this without reading the previous three books and did not have any problems following the storyline. I could see that there was some history hinted at, but the missing parts did not in any way detract from the book. In addition, this author is well known and has written about 50 books altogether. Her usual genre is Christian suspense filled with tension and terse relationships. While A Texas Legacy Christmas was not built on that foundation, it certainly contains great well-rounded characters the reader can relate to. It is also a historical fiction like the other books in this series. But it is still capable of standing alone.
Unlike many of the other Christmas stories I have been reviewing, this is not a short story or an in-between story. It is a full length novel and completely developed from beginning to end. It contains not one, but two sweet romances. The two main characters were once childhood friends, attending the same one room schoolhouse, living in the same community, Kahlerville. Zack Kahler’s family is vast and the town was named for them because they were the founders. Growing up, Zack developed a passion for the newspaper business. After a stint as reporter for the New York Times, he returned to his home town and purchased the local newspaper. He had great dreams of what he was going to do with this icon in his hometown. Before he moves back, Zack has a run-in with a set of twins living on the streets. To make a long story short, he ends up adopting them and bringing them back while he established himself in business. It was a stretch, but he felt this was what God was leading him to do.
Chloe Weaver had a difficult time as a child. Her mother, part Native American, died when she was very young. Her father took to the bottle in his grief and never recovered. His neglect of his daughter caused her to be teased by other children in school, while she never had clean clothes and enough to eat. Her embarrassment was complete when she received charity from others in town in the form of blankets, clothing and such. One boy in particular stood out. Zack Kahler would share a sandwich with her on the sly. Without his help she would often go without food. She is now grown and keeping the account books and serving customers at the village’s only boardinghouse. When she hears that Zack has returned to town with two children in tow, her heart beats faster; she still loves him, but has he changed since adulthood? Was he married? Where was his wife?
Zack could stay with his parents, who would love to have their grandchildren around more, but he chooses to stay at the boardinghouse with Curly and Charlie. There they all become better acquainted with Chloe whose presence helps he adjust to having children to care for. As he searches for a home for himself and the twins, his relationship with Chloe seems to pick up right where they had left off, upon graduation from school. Their romance is sweet but slightly complicated by Zack’s new business, the twins and a rival for Chloe’s affections and time.
While the storyline does not have many twists or turns, and is a bit predictable, it is a lovely romance with a few complicated elements that delay our expectations a bit. I loved the historical elements, the emerging of modern inventions like the automobile and towns moving from settlement to growing, vibrant communities. The author’s writing is smooth and connected and gives us the full experience of community and its growing pangs. I highly recommend this book for those who love historical romance as a genre, and this author in particular.