When Captain Grace Garland returns home from two tours of duty with the Marines, there’s no one at the airport to greet her, no poster board with her name on it, no half-wilted but well-intentioned bouquet of flowers, no weeping mother or horny husband or gleeful children, or even a welcome home lick from the dog who’s been missing her. And everyone who’s been away should be missed.
Driving herself home, she gets into a minor accident, and a sweet, sweet puppy named Justice finds and leads her to a nearby farm. Turns out, Grace is a dog lover, having worked with them in the canine unit of explosive detection and search and rescue in Afghanistan. So she knocks on the puppy’s door, and her owner is the handsome owner of some antibiotic cream. Grace is happy to spend a little extra time giving Justice belly rubs because she’s had to leave behind her dog, the verygoodboy named Christmas. The holidays are making her sad as they just remind her of her best four-legged friend.
Meanwhile, Grace’s owner Joe is the town’s judge, the kind of judge who commutes a teenager’s speeding ticket in exchange for a promise that he’ll go to college. It is all kinds of trite and eye-rolly. And Joe may be a judge, but he’s got some pretty crappy judgment, particularly as he tries to prevent Grace from leaving the very town he himself plans to leave. If he likes Grace, and we all know that’s pretty much baked into the premise, he’s got a weird way of showing it.
This holiday is nothing special, not even very noticeable. Perhaps if you’re wanting to pair Christmas romance with some good old fashioned law and order, you’re in luck? Does that sound desirable in any way? It’s a bit of a tough sell, but at least there’s cute doggies!