The Christmas Letter" is the first book in a new series by April Zyon called Davidson Center. And despite the fact it's a holiday short, it's a full and brilliant story that has huge things going for it. The story starts with loss, and our hero Dante has to come home from military deployment to take over the care of his niece. He does so without complaint and with a whole lot of love. Noelle is in charge of answering the letters that children send to Santa. When she comes across Molly's, she realizes she knows her. She decides to send her a hand written response. After watching Dante jog, Noelle runs into him. Their chemistry is electric. But when Christmas comes around, Dante learns a lesson in what believing is all about. This was such a wonderful story of loss, love, hot sex, and the meaning of family. Done so, so, right as April does so well! Can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Davidson Center, Colorado, 1
Will a Christmas letter be enough to restore his faith in love?
Dante had been serving his country faithfully as one of the elite SEALs when he got word of his baby sister's death. To say he had been devastated would have been an understatement. He was taken out of commission, away from the only job he ever knew, to take care of the niece he only saw when he was on leave. He toyed with the idea of allowing them to put her with a foster family—for about two minutes.
Noelle Henry spat out form letters for children who wrote to Santa Claus each holiday season. When she read a letter written in crayon from a six-year-old named Molly Davidson she knew that she couldn’t simply send the child the standard letter, especially since she had known the child's late mother. Instead, Noelle wrote a personalized letter for the little girl, something that would likely get her fired. She never anticipated what would develop between her and Molly's new guardian, Dante Davidson.
Be Warned: bondage, spanking
Dante looked at Molly, and then the tree, and back at Molly. “Molls, are you sure that this is right? It’s supposed to lean like that?”
She giggled. God, he loved her giggles, it was so much better than her tears. He loved this girl so much and now that he had her in his life he would do anything for her. “Yes, Uncle D, it’s supposed to lean. It’s called a Charlie Brown tree. We should watch that movie. Mommy said that you and her loved that movie and watched it all the time, that’s why I wanted this tree.”
God damn, she broke his heart with that statement because it was the truth. He and Sammy would watch that when she was a little munchkin, about Molly’s age actually. Now he wished he spent more time with Samantha instead of being the typical royal asshole older brother that he was. “I would like that a lot, Molls,” he told her and reached out to tug at one of her little curls. She looked so much like Samantha it wasn’t even funny.
“I will go get it,” Molly said excitedly and jumped up, giving him another hug. She did that a great deal, hugging him. The child psychologist told him that a part of it was because of losing her parents that Molly felt the need to shower him with affection. She took off for the DVD collection and called over her shoulder, “Did you get the mail yet, Uncle D? Has Santa wrote me back yet?”
Dante still couldn’t get over her writing to Santa. She had done it pretty much the day after he had taken her home. This child was more of an adult than he was at times and it astounded him that she put up with his shit. He had to get his shit together, though, if for no other reason than for Molly. She deserved so much more than what he was fumbling around giving her right now. She deserved a life of ease, especially with the severe loss she suffered at the age she suffered it. He missed his old life. He missed the men he served with, but he wouldn’t trade one single second of time with his niece. The Chaplin had told him that they could arrange to have a foster care family take care of Molly until he wanted to leave the service on his own if he so chose. However, the second he saw her looking so distraught, looking so pained, he knew he couldn’t leave her, especially when she had wrapped her arms around him and held onto him as if he had anchored her very universe right then and there.
He knew then that he couldn’t walk away from her. Not then and not ever. She was his to keep, and he damn well was going to keep her. She was now his very life. He would do everything in order to make her life as easy as he possibly could. If that meant that he had to write her a letter from fucking Santa Claus, then so be it. He just wished he knew what that letter said. Fuck, he wished he had read that letter so that he knew what to say to her.
“The mail hasn’t run yet, Molls,” Dante finally said and mussed her hair with a laugh. “I promise you when it runs I will tell you, but for now silly giggling girl, get yourself back over here and help me finish with the Christmas decorations because we both know that I will get them wrong and then what will you do?”
“Okay, but you keep your supersonic hearing open and tell me when it runs because I just know I will get a letter back from Santa, I know I will,” Molly said as she began to arrange the ornaments that he had placed on the tree several different times before she was happy with it. “Now, lift me up so I can put the star on top and then we have our tree. Our tree, Uncle D. Our very first tree.” She got that little wobble again, the one that nearly killed him. The one that he knew far too well because it was one that gut-punched him every single time too. He felt it too. The one that said he wished that his sister and brother-in-law were still alive today.
Giving Molly a quick hug, Dante lifted her to put the small star that she claimed would be absolutely perfect for their tree onto the top of it. He had to give it to the child, she did have some kind of sense when it came to decorations. She definitely took after her mother on that one. The star fit their leaning tree perfectly, it actually seemed to add to the homeliness of the tree, weird as that was.
He finally heard the mail and with a laugh carried Molly to the door. “Grab your coat, munchkin.” He wasn’t about to take her outside without her being bundled up, and there was no way in hell he was going to take any sort of chance with her health. Once she was secure in her coat, they trotted out to the mailbox, and he reached in and grabbed the mail.
His eardrums were nearly blown out by the squeals that his niece gave when he saw the letter covered in glitter and lots of scrollwork on the outside. “It came!” She was bouncing on his shoulder very uncomfortably, but Dante held firm to Molly to ensure that she didn’t dislodge herself from his shoulders. He wasn’t about to lose her, not now.
“Well, good, we will get inside and read it,” he said with a laugh.
“No, no it’s for me.” Molly stingily held the envelope to her chest and shook her head. “No. I don’t want you to know what I said in the letter, and I need to know what Santa said to me alone. It’s private, Uncle Dante.”
Well, he wasn’t so certain he liked that, but whatever. It was likely a form letter anyway. He had seen them time and time again when his buddies’ kids got them. God knew they read them aloud to his friends enough that they all sounded exactly alike so he likely already knew just what it said so he wasn’t going to sweat it at all. “All right, kiddo, I will leave the letter a secret between you and Santa, but I hope you reminded him that he better wipe his feet before coming into the house and that he should make sure to knock first on my door, so I don’t shoot him.”
That had her giggling again. Damn he loved this kid. She was the best thing to come into his world in the shittiest time of his life. “You are silly, Uncle D,” she chastised him as they walked back inside.
Short story but a great read. I loved Dante and Noelle's love story. It was a short story, but it was filled with emotion and I really did feel it in the way that the author told the story. Even though the story is short, she didn't skimp on what April Zyon is known for, alpha men, loving women and the happily ever after's that we all look forward to.
This was my first read for April Zyon and I really enjoyed reading The Christmas Letter! I felt small portion of Dante and Molly's pain and it was beautiful too see Noelle give both Dante and Molly some of the Christmas Spirit! I was suprised by Dante's need for control in the bedroom... Wasnt expecting that at all but really enjoyed it!! I had hoped Noelle made Dante grovel a little bit more for being the ass that he was but there is no stopping a woman in love!! Great Christmas read!!
I've read other books by April Zyon but this one was special. There was something spectacular about the love between Dante and Noelle that called to the Christmas cynic in me. See, I've never been one who has had much love for the holiday, mostly because of family tragedy. However, through Ms. Zyon's eyes and the help of a child's letter, she helped me see that Christmas can be something special. I will admit that I did cry and that's something to note to those that complain about the shortness of the book. I think that the author did a great job of telling us an amazing story, showing us that there can be misunderstandings even with the most intelligent of people. This was a wonderful tale of a longtime love (Noelle loving Dante from afar) and the family that they could create. I give this five full stars and would give it more if it were just a bit longer. Honestly, I want to read more about this town now because there seemed to be something magical about this little town and now I want to know more. Well down, Ms Zyon and thank you Evernight Publishing for once more putting out another amazing book. Again the publisher is showing just how good they are in the books they select to publish, but that's my two cents and a different topic all together.
Noelle works at answer letters to Santa. When she realizes who one little girl is, she takes a chance of getting fired and answers the letter personally. Dante left his elite SEALs team to raise his niece after his sister and brother in law were killed. When they come together, they realize the sort of know each other and form a friendship that is slowly turning into something else. Will a misunderstanding tear them apart? This was a short but very heartfelt story. There is some smoking hot sex involved like there always is in April's stories!! Loved it!!!
Loved it couldn't put it down until the very end
I LOVED IT I couldn't even put it done ✅
What a great story! I love April Zyon and the fact that this is the start of a new series makes me happy. Ms Zyon delivers on the heat and romance in a short story. She doesn't disappoint.