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In the St. Nick of Time by K.M. Daughters is the final installment in a popular romantic suspense series featuring the Sullivan family—all cops and all men with the exception of Kay Sullivan Lynch.
Kay stars in this holiday finale of the five-novel saga. A recent widow, she’s worked hard to win reinstatement to the Chicago Police Department after a lengthy hiatus as a stay-at-home mom. Her efforts to reclaim her life initially meet resistance from both her brothers (the Sullivan boys) and her four children, who aren’t so certain she needs a career or a new love interest.
The authors (K.M. Daughters is a sister writing team) provide Kay and series fans with a handsomely-wrapped Christmas present in the form of Captain Flynn Dowd, who’s as sexy as he is sensitive. Like Kay, Flynn is trying to find renewed meaning in life. He’s lost both a wife and a child. While the attraction between Kay and Flynn is instant, the heat steadily builds as the pages fly by. The most formidable roadblock to their romance is thrown up by Kay’s kids, especially her eldest son, who feels his mother’s interest in Flynn somehow betrays his dad’s memory.
Of course, there’s suspense, too, with Kay and Flynn teaming up to stop a serial killer from murdering Sidewalk Santas, middle-aged to elderly gents who’ve volunteered to collect money for an organization feeding the hungry. The Santa victims, all in seemingly stellar health, drop dead after suffering heart attacks. While the first two Santa deaths are deemed accidental and a sad coincidence, it’s soon apparent someone is preying on jolly old St. Nicks. Unfortunately the medical examiner can’t figure out the murderer’s M.O. and there’s no apparent motive, which necessitates a risky undercover operation.
While catching the Santa slayer drives the professional relationship between Kay and Flynn, their romance and the novel’s central theme—love’s ability to heal—is what makes In the St. Nick of Time a true holiday find.
Though this was my first read in the Sullivan saga, I plan to read the earlier books to learn more about Kay’s engaging family.
The authors, Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare, chose their pen name to honor the memory of their parents, Katherine and Michael Lynch, the "K" and "M" in K.M. Daughters. The sisters have been writing romances together since 2005 and have published nine novels. A great family tradition—at any time of the year.