Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 6th October 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Libby Leeds writes for a magazine, all about her wonderful life on Sanctuary Island where she is an exemplary cook, wife and possibly mother! All is well with the world except... Libby doesn't actually live where she says she does and her editor has said she must provide a wonderful Christmas for a returned soldier/hero (Owen) and his daughter. Libby has to agree, because she needs to pay for the care of her Uncle Ray who is ill.
Libby does have a grandfather and cousin on Sanctuary Island so she has that going for her, but will that be enough to get her through. As for Owen he wants to connect with the 9 year old daughter Caitlin. He has never met her before. It's somewhat unsettling for Caitlin because for the first time in forever she has found security with his sister Andi and Sam her partner. (Heartbreak Cove #3). Now she is frightened that Owen will whisk her away or leave her and Sam and Andi won't want her.
As December begins they all find themselves settling in, taking risky steps towards and away from each other. At times all seems lost and that past hurts and family dissonance from the past will win.
I really liked all the characters, I enjoyed seeing Libby finding her feet, finding her place once more and winning through. I liked the struggle that Owen goes through, overcoming injury and then ultimately making the choice that a soldier/hero must make.
Another character we get to see a little beneath the veneer is Dabney Leeds. A somewhat grumpy old man, who has wrapped himself up in himself and harbored the hurts of the past. But... he has some surprises coming to him as well as a few of his own.
This story of forgiveness, second chances, love and family is a perfect Christmas story. While it is #4 in the Sanctuary Island series it could be read as a stand alone. If you don't like your stories heavily sexy then this will suit you. For me, it brought alive the perfections and imperfections of the magical season of Christmas.