Well, time to lighten things up with a seasonal offering… the WRONG season… but holiday fare all the same. The Doctor’s Christmas Wish… well it happens at… Christmas… this is part of the Village Green series by Renee Ryan. It is a Love Inspired book, so definitely faith based.
This contemporary Christian romance has a bit of an unusual premise. Keely O’Toole (who is a mix of Irish and Italian) has returned home (to Village Green) to take up the position of mother to her cousin’s six year old daughter Felicity (or Flicka). Her cousin has been imprisoned after embezzling funds for 12 years. Father is out of the picture.
Keely is running a restaurant, raising a child who is hurting and planning the Christmas parade. Here enters her neighbour, Dr. Ethan Scott. High school nemesis (in her eyes), ex army doctor who now runs a private practice with a childhood friend (who is also the husband of his sister, Keely’s best friend).
There are widowers and orphans a plenty in this Christmas tale. Though the orphaning happened post childhood. Two engagements ended abruptly, one in an accident resulting in death and the other with a heart who has not yet let go of the past. This book really does focus on the idea of releasing a lost love but not forgetting that love… when is it time to risk your heart again? Can you really say good bye? What happens to the love for the first person?
This book is definitely a journey of faith and healing. A lovely afternoon read on a rainy day, I think. Well worth the time, this story is full of holiday romance and healing with a strong and lovely message.
Now you would think I would learn my lesson about NOT judging a book by its cover… In fact, one of our Australian facts found recently was that there is a bookstore that has special books wrapped in brown paper with just the genres listed for just that very reason. (Elizabeth’s Bookshops) Yet when I go to the library and have to manage the kids at “library voices” levels… well a quick title read and a brief glance at the cover and then move on. That was what Carbon Copy Cowboy was (add in the series title – Texas Twins).
Now I realize that I cannot expect too much… first off, I am never sure that if they ARE in a series they are first book (NOPE… book 3!), that I am going to love all the characters (well so so) or that I will even be completely drawn into the book… Carbon Copy Cowboy by Arlene James was a relatively quick and light read. The overlying issue of the story – about the history of the main family, was never answered… annoyingly enough. I WAS able to understand somewhat what had occurred in the previous two books, enough so that blanks are filled in relatively nicely over all.
The main issue of the book that WAS answered was the identity of the woman found in her car with a bridal veil on of all things post accident with amnesia. This did wrap up a lot of questions through out the story. (very tidy in some respects). The romance is an interesting one, what with one person (“Kendra”) not even knowing if she had a family etc. that were waiting for her. The other half (Jack Colby) has his own unknowns… though his are all centered around his mother in a coma. She has all the answers and he has all the questions… including why he and his sister are actually each half of a set of identical twins who knew nothing about the other.
There are quite a few characters in this book. Of course, starting with the first in the series would have simplified that more than a little! But I think you CAN pick this one up without the others and still get by nicely. All in all an enjoyable read, I am unsure if I will make the effort to hunt down the rest (before and after) of the series. These Love Inspired paperbacks can be as hard to find in the system as a pure Harlequin. (not that I look often!) So if you need something set in Texas with twins and mystery and romance… all in a contemporary setting ON A RANCH… AND with a faith aspect to it.. go for it! Though I have to warn you, this book is FULL of prayer moments. So if that is not your cup of tea….
From a fantastic young adult novel to a light Christian based romance. Her Holiday Family by Ruth Logan Herne is a story to enjoy on a quiet afternoon. Dealing with family rifts is never simple, especially when it comes out of nowhere and blinds you. When forgiveness is slow to come and life an uphill battle love is rarely at the front of one’s mind. Neither is reconnecting with someone tied to a difficult time long past.
There are many elements in this story… a broken family, sudden death, arson, foster children and adoption, cancer… Both of the main characters are coming from a place of pain and heart ache. One has lost both her parents and her hard earned business, the other faces losing his father and the reality of his culpability (or lack there was) to an incident that has haunted him since his youth.
There is a definite mystery, a strong romantic element and, of course, a lovely dose of Christmas spirit. Based in Kirkwood Lake (and fifth in the Kirkland Lake series), Tina Martinelli and Max Campbell have a history unresolved and a future unplanned. Tina is in Kirkwood Lake only as long as it takes for her to sort out her burnt out cafe and help out the Campbell family while the patriarch deals with a severe return of his cancer. Max is back from his time in the army to do the same. The big question is who will stay and will they find peace, faith and love?
I really enjoyed this novel. Though I found some of the emotional strife a little bit self imposed on the characters (as indeed it turns out some of it is!). A nice seasonal read if you are looking for some Christmas cheer!