Oooh, holiday stories! And what’s not to love about that cover?
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s the summary:
Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.
Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.
When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.
Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.
Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?
And now, my review:
This story reminded me a little of the classic (to our family, anyway) Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, A Season for Miracles. There was plenty of suspense, and I was hooked from the opening sentences.
Our heroine has been abused. She’s strong and determined to launch a new beginning for herself and her son, and there are very few people she can trust. She strives for safety, but can’t find it anywhere. Even if readers haven’t experienced physical danger to the extent of this character, they’ll probably relate to wanting to feel completely safe and never quite feeling it.
The hero isn’t so sure about this whole Christmas-without-his-parents thing. But having the rest of his family, and the heroine around, helps. He’s a suspicious ex-cop who has reason to question the heroine’s life and story. I enjoyed watching them interact knowing both their secrets.
I’ve enjoyed Denise’s Summer Harbor series. Looking forward to her new book.