This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Carina Press
Released on November 21, 2013
I knew this one would not be easy going in, but I wasn’t in the mood for easy. I wanted a story of two people triumphing over some tough stuff and this one delivered on that.
The story opens with Beth working on her Christmas cookies and getting interrupted by a call from the last person she expected to hear from. Captain Chris Walker, the man who she thought would be The One before sending her that terse two sentence email that ended it all, needs her to come pick him up at the airport and take him to a hotel where he can wait out the blizzard that is hitting the area. At first Beth wants to say no, but then she decides that this may be her opportunity to finally get some answers.
Chris has just been released from the Army Medical Center in Texas and just wants to go home for Christmas, but a storm prevents his parents from picking him up. This forces him to call Beth, the woman he loves and gave up because he wasn’t the same person anymore. He doesn’t want to call her and have her see and pity him now that he’s blind and useless and he suspects that she’ll be justifiably angry.
Beth is shocked by Chris’ condition since she never knew what happened, but instead of pitying him like he expects, she’s angry and hurt too. He plans to push her aside again, but then ends up accepting her hospitality. It is only being in Beth’s home and fighting through some of his demons that Chris figures out that they might really have a chance. Unfortunately, he hurt Beth deeply and though she wants to believe in his change of heart, she isn’t sure if she can come back from it if he tosses her aside again.
The plot dives in deep and starts both the characters in a bad place. Character growth is the basis that leads to a chance at the romance. Both characters are hurting, vulnerable and lashing out at first. It wasn’t pretty and they had a lot to get through. Chris is blind, has PTSD and is recovering from a suicide bomber attack that took out his comrades. Beth has always thought little of herself, but she opened herself wide for love and trusted Chris before he broke her heart. They were so really good for each other and I loved how she accepted his injuries, but not his crap just as he truly saw her as beautiful and desirable. This one was quick and only worked because they already had a history, but I loved how it brought it all together with empathetic characters, real raw feelings, passion, and in the end the spirit of family, Christmas and hope.
Those who enjoy and endearing Contemporary Christmas Romance between two hurting people who need to help heal each other should give this a try.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.