BOOK REVIEW (86): Santa’s Playbook (Jersey Boys #3)

Santa’s Playbook

A little early for a Christmas-y themed title, but then this wouldn’t be the first Christmas book I read this year. Ahem.

What can I say? I love the spirit of the holiday — or most holidays because the gathering of family, friends and community. There’s just a sense of magic in festivities… -sigh- Anyways, as I’m sure you can tell, I loved Santa’s Playbook by Karen Templeton. The third in the Jersey Boys series, Santa’s Playbook features yet another member of the Noble family. Each book follows one of the family members to a HEA.

This book gives us HS football coach Ethan Noble’s tale. His is a sad story: he lost his wife and became a young father of four, and for the past sixteen years he’s made no attempt to re-connect with the female species. That is until heroine Claire Jacobs blows into his life like a nor’easter. The spunky, drama-English teacher is his work colleague, so it’s not like he can just ignore her either. Especially when his oldest daughter, Juliette, takes an interest in match-making the reluctant father and her young teacher, Claire.

So there IS a third POV in this romance, and it would be the perspective of  Juliette — be-fitting name for a teen who has a knack for the stage. Although she doesn’t get as much say as Claire and her father, Ethan, Juliette adds an objective plane to the story. It’s different, but in a great way! ^^

It offers a break from Claire and Ethan, both pretty introspective people and particularly when it comes to their romance. I mean, Claire doubts herself a lot. She’s already been married once and that ended because she was aloof to her ex-husband. But I liked that Claire was a spit-fire who was comfortable with the way she looked and what she liked to do, even if it didn’t always give others a great first impression; she could be also adorably awkward.

Ethan sounded…um, hot. I think it was also because he was playing super-Dad. That’s it.

Overload on hot dads (and cute kids) yet?
But honestly Ethan sounded like he needed a happily ever after, and STAT. The poor guy would be lost once all his kids flew the coop… Now if only he could get over the decade-and-half of defense walls he built up.
One thing, the “language” was a bit jarring. Sometimes it felt weird when Claire would best into ‘Jersey’ speak…if you know what I mean.
But after a few pages I got used to it. It came with the characters, and I sorta knew what I was signing up for (the story is set in a fictional NJ town and the series is called Jersey Boys).
If you want to know how Ethan and Claire’s story ends, you have to pick up Santa’s Playbook. I promise it’s one Thanksgiving/Christmas story you won’t want to wait for until the holidays.
My verdict:
(5 stars)

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