The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elena James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.
Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?
This is my first read of Linn B Halton’s writing and it most certainly won’t be the last. I have found myself completely immersed in it and shall most certainly be adding this author to my list of ones to watch.
Elana is facing her second Christmas alone with her young daughter after her beloved husband, Niall, died in an accident. Despite her expectations that this year will be easier, she is actually finding it more stressful than the previous one and is desperately in need of a friend. Living in a ongoing renovation project which has stuttered to a halt due to lack of funds, she works from home to take care of Maya and has dreams of seeing the work finished – one day.
Luke, through no fault of his own, has found himself a part time father to his young son and far from embracing the single life he just wants to be a good father and prioritises Joe’s well-being over and above everything else. He has left a career in IT to help his father with his building business and desperately tries to earn as much as he can to support himself as well as his estranged wife and child. His workmates don’t understand him, his parents are supportive but he too needs a friend who understands the situation he finds himself in.
Elena and Luke’s paths cross and slowly but surely they find a level of contact which enriches both their lives, just by the fact that they both instinctively know how the other is feeling. Luke is mature beyond his years but still only in his early twenties while Elena has ten more years on him but where pain and memories are concerned, they are on a level footing and relax into an easy friendship where they are able to confide in each other things which, until now, have just circled round inside their own heads.
I found myself surprised by this one .. not your usual fun, sparkly Christmas read but a novel written with real empathy which exudes an inner strength to the characters. The words flow freely and before you know it, you are invested in the lives of both Elena and Luke. But there is more to this book than just them – there is a magical quality which can only come with a Christmas setting, and this is one of most enjoyable novels set at that time of year which I have come across. If you are looking for a family based Christmas read which will leave you with a festive glow then this is the one and I’m more than happy to fully recommend it.
My grateful thanks to Harper Impulse and NetGalley for the arc of this novel which I received in exchange for my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: Christmas, family, romance
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1215 KB
Print Length: 271 pages
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 27 October 2017
Also by Linn B. Halton