Christmas is a time for remembering….
Too bad all memories aren't pleasant. Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town's Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.
But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he'll never come back—until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he's left her to face all the townspeople he cheated….
Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can't bring himself to turn his back on her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.
Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
Three stars: A story that focuses on one woman's difficult journey, and a nice second chance romance, but it is not a holiday read.
Sophia has suffered in silence for fourteen years at the hands of her abusive husband. Then everything changes when she gets up and finds her husband, Ted, missing from their private yacht. Things go from bad to worse when Sophia learns that Ted was swindling his clients and that he has left Sophia and their daughter penniless, with overwhelming debt. Sophia has just completed a stint in rehab, but she worries that she will tumble back down when she learns how desperate her situation is. Thankfully, two kind friends offer a helping hand. Can Sophia fight her way back and perhaps even find a second chance at love?
What I Liked:
- Take Me Home for Christmas is a deceiving book. I expected from the title to fall into a nice, romantic holiday read, light and fluffy with plenty of feel good. Instead, I found myself immersed into a dramatic and depressing story about one woman's struggle to overcome insurmountable troubles. Even though I was disappointed that this one wasn't fluffier and cheerier, I found myself engrossed in Sophia's story, and I enjoyed watching her fight.
- Sophia is the heart and soul of the the book. She takes a bit of time to warm up to as she has a reputation of being the teenage mean girl, and she has made plenty of mistakes in the past. However, once her world comes tumbling down, she digs deep and she shows tremendous courage and fortitude as she fights for her daughter and her future. I appreciated that she didn't wallow in self pity, instead she pulls herself up and finds a way. I admired her indomitable spirit.
- Ted is a terrific guy. I enjoyed watching his heart thaw as he came to terms with his past with Sophia, and forged a new path into the future. He is kind, caring and generous. I especially enjoyed watching him form a relationship with Alexa, Sophia's daughter.
- This book features a nice second chance romance. I liked that it took its time to develop and that it wasn't hurried or lustful.
- The ending was abrupt but it didn't end on a cliffhanger, and all the main story lines were completed.
And The Not So Much:
- I picked this up expecting a nice holiday book, but it isn't cheery at all. In fact, most of the book is a bit depressing. The title is very deceiving because the book starts in September and most of it takes place during the fall. The final few chapters transpire during Christmas, but it certainly wasn't a holiday tale. Don't read this one if you want a light and fluffy, feel good holiday book.
- What was up with the ending? It ends with an abrupt confrontation with the local sheriff. It was not a nice way to end the book, and then in the final paragraph, the author throws in a happy snippet. She should have taken the time to develop the ending and let the reader experience that big moment. The finale was a total let down.
- This is a companion book series, meaning you don't have to read each and every book in the series. It features a large group of friends, and with every novel a new character enters a romantic relationship. I am not a big fan of these group type books. There are too many characters too keep track of and I find the whole group relationship a bit unrealistic.
Take Me Home For Christmas was a bit disappointing because it was not a light and fully holiday read. The majority of the book takes place in the fall before the holidays and there is very little holiday cheer. The overall tone of the book is a bit dismal as it focuses on some tough challenges that Sophia must overcome. I was impressed by Sophia, and I enjoyed watching her battle back. I also liked the second chance romance. However, this is not a book I would recommend for those looking for an uplifting, cheery holiday romance.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.