From the New York Times bestselling author of A Dog Named Christmas comes this heartwarming Christmas story about the power of family and the strength and love that comes from our pets.

In this fourth installment of the poignant stories of the McCray family and their lovable canines in rural Kansas, matriarch Mary Ann McCray is determined to shake up Christmas by accepting the role as Crossing Trail’s first woman Santa Claus. Mary Ann, always a bit of a rebel, is looking to offer a more progressive voice in the staunchly conservative town at Christmastime and has a few ideas up her red velvet sleeves.

Noelle continues the series by Greg Kincaid about the McCray family and of course dogs in case you didn’t get that from the cover, 🙂

If you read A Dog Named Christmas then you should recognize a few of these characters both human and canine.

Kincaid showcases his talent through this multi-story novel and as its title suggests Noelle the dog gets a chance to win you over with her human like personality. She’s a little rough around the edges, one of those that too many people might pass over because she doesn’t fit the Hollywood created mold of the perfect dog. Noelle is smart and has figured out how to play the game so her positive qualities get a chance to shine.

Christmas traditions get a little makeover and upgrade as Mrs. Claus takes center stage over Santa throwing people off.

Another story teaches about disability, though the much needed details aren’t quite fleshed out probably because they were in an earlier book but I don’t remember, and the successes that can come through hard work, determination and the right kind of support. It’s always great when love can change a person’s life and look beyond the imperfections.

Sometimes love isn’t enough and the collapse of a family gets told though this one feels like there could be more to come so maybe we’ll see it resolution in the next book?

I think Kincaid normally does a good job but it felt a bit like he was going for quantity over quality in this one as if he was trying to throw a lot of characters and plots at the reader instead of focusing on just a few and really developing them into something more. The stories aren’t bad I just wish there were more to them.

The overall message you get from the book is perfect for the holiday season and as a dog lover and owner I thought their inclusion was adorable and done well. In many ways it felt like those Hallmark Christmas movies that begin flooding the network this time of the year – that’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the state of the world.

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