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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
Police officer Max St. James and his partner, Maggie Kyle, are supposed to be taking down gun-runner Bobby King but a bomb threat at a coach terminal throws them a curveball. The bomb turns out to be fireworks rigged to explode, and there is only minor property damage. It might have been brushed off as a prank, if not for the connection to a recent library robbery and two homeless little boys. The oldest bolts and flees the city before the police can question him, leaving his brother behind. Max, drawn to help the kids, sets off to find the 11-year-old, leaving Maggie to work the case back in Toronto. She gains temporary custody of the 8-year-old, Henri, but she is upset at being pulled from the King case. Her rising frustration at being left behind by Max and their long-simmering attraction strains their partnership and friendship. Their relationship, both personal and professional, reaches a boiling point, but a strange connection between the boys and the King case may change everything.
Last Blue Christmas by Rose Prendeville is a well-written holiday romance novel. Max and Maggie are great characters, realistic, and full of depth and complexity. I thought that Max and Maggie's relationship was well-done. They are relatable, likable characters, with flaws and layers still to be explored. But it is the two young brothers who will really touch readers’ hearts with their homeless plight and tragic backstory. It is impossible not to root for a happy ending for them. Fast-paced, full of action and emotion, this holiday thriller is a must-read.