Christmas in Briarwood [Book Review]

December 8, 2021

Christmas in Briarwood by M.K. McClintock

Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock (cover) Image: brown text with a snow covered forest above and below

Genre/Categories: Historical (Frontier) Romance Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Novella, Series

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thanks @BookSirens for the free complimentary eARC of #ChristmasInBriarwood upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Hawk’s Peak Ranch as well as the town of Briarwood is the setting for this heartfelt story in which the generous and compassionate Gallagher family is the core of the community. Christmas in Briarwood is #8 in The Montana Gallagher Series. Rachel Watson is recovering from a traumatic incident and Julian has come back into town to report on the manhunt for the man that caused the trauma. As the community prepares for Christmas, Rachel Watson and Julian Frank learn to trust each other and risk their wounded hearts.

My Thoughts:

A Series: I discovered Christmas in Briarwood as I was on the lookout for novellas to read for Novellas in November. I also realized after I had already started the book, that it was #8 in a series! Even though I’m a die-hard “read a series in order” reader, I was well into the story when the predicament presented itself. I think it was fine to read as a stand alone but there were times when I thought “I bet there’s a backstory here!” I know from experience that reading books in order provides a richer reading experience. However, when I was attempting to read as many novellas as I could in November, I wasn’t going to stop and read the previous seven installments….so, I plowed ahead! If I were looking for another series, The Montana Gallagher Series is definitely one I would consider.

Lots to Love! I loved the characters (Rachel and Julian), the setting, and the small community of Briarwood. Also, there are substantial and lovely themes packed into this novella including healing from trauma, risking to love again, trust, friendship, hope, second chances, and community support.

Content Consideration: The trauma that Rachel suffered is never explicitly described but enough hints are given that readers can assume what happened (perhaps this is an example of needing to read the previous books because it did seem like some prior knowledge was assumed). Thus, there are trigger warnings for kidnapping and physical abuse (vague mentions of a past event and no graphic details) PTSD, and healing from trauma.

Reommended: Overall, I think Christmas in Briarwood is packed with a selection of substantial themes given the novella length. A side of slow burn romance is the icing on the cake! Recommended for fans of novellas, for readers who might be looking for a new series, and for those who love second chances and inspirational characters.

My Rating:  4 Stars


Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock

Christmas in Briarwood Information Here

Meet the Author,  MK McClintock

Author MK McClintockAward-winning author MK McClintock writes historical romantic fiction about courageous and honorable men and strong women who appreciate chivalry, like those in her Montana Gallagher, British Agent, and Crooked Creek series.

Born on the west coast, she studied business at university until she decided culinary school was a lot more fun. Armed with a gypsy spirit and adventurous nature, MK traveled from coast to coast living in remote mountain towns and small New England villages, traversed rocky coasts, experienced fine Southern hospitality, and explored the Highlands of Scotland before returning home to the mountains.

Her stories of adventure, romance, and mystery sweep across the American West to the Victorian British Isles, with places and times between and beyond. With her heart deeply rooted in the past, she enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains.


Is Christmas in Briarwood on your TBR or have you read the series?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. I generally like to read series in order too. But with blog tours, I’ve had to learn to pick up on clues a little more so I don’t get confused when jumping around in the series. At least that’s my goal. Sometimes nothing keeps me from getting confused! Lol.

    • I try and avoid jumping into a series, so this was a surprise! I guess it didn’t occur to me that a novella would be a series installment! I was too excited to add one more novella to my November total! Thanks for commenting Gina!

  2. When I was younger, I frequently read books out of order. I would just read whatever the library had available but now I would have such a hard time with that.

  3. I often read books that are part of a series, out of order and sometimes it works, other times I am sooooo lost. I am glad this one worked for you Carol. It sounds like a good story.

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