Title: The Second Noel
Author: Chautona Havig
Major Themes: Adoption, Diabetes, Dogs
Synopsis: When the diabetic alert dog sent to help Toby proves to be a dud, the entire town of Fairbury, led by Breanne and Mark, works together to raise funds for a replacement—can Breanne and Mark work out their own differences at the same time?
I remember, when I first read The Second Noel a few years ago, really enjoying it. Last week I read it again, and found it just as good. Although I end up reading a lot of Christmas stories for review purposes, I’m not really into “Christmas” stories as such, but this one is a favorite in that genre. Chautona Havig has a way of coming up with unique scenarios that make any genre a favorite of mine while I’m reading it.
As the story began, the Martingales had just gotten a diabetic alert dog to watch over their adopted son Toby. His blood sugar levels were so far out of control that it was life-threatening, but the dog would alert them whenever he needed help. At least, that was the idea. It soon became apparent that the dog had not been trained and they were the victims of fraud.
The town of Fairbury had helped them raise the money to buy the dog. Now, Breanne Homstead was asking them to donate more money to replace the dog. How could she convince people to donate a second time for the same thing? And when one man gave a sizeable donation with the condition that he wanted that dog there by Christmas, the pressure was even greater. Breanne and Mark found themselves working together very hard to raise funds. At the same time, they found themselves attracted to each other—could they repair the damage from their one disastrous date years ago?
This is a beautiful story of people working together for a common goal out of love for a child. I loved that, though there was some romance in the story, the main focus was getting the dog for Toby. I also loved learning so much about these dogs and how they’re trained and how they alert people to blood sugar shifts. Don’t miss The Second Noel if you enjoy Christian fiction or Christmas stories.
WARNING: Kisses between unmarried people in chapters 17 and 21.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults