Tuesday, 3 January 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #260
The Christmas Cradle - Linda Warren
Harlequin American Romance
Reissue - Harlequin Special Releases, 2011
From the back cover:
"Eight years ago Marisa Preston fell in love, but her plans to marry rodeo star Colter Kincaid were thwarted by her controlling parents. Now, unexpectedly, she's found Colter again—and his adorable seven-year-old daughter, Ellie. More than anything in the world, Ellie wants a mommy....
And more than anything, Marisa wants a child. But she's been keeping a secret about the past, a secret she has to tell Colter. She goes to see him at his ranch, and it isn't long before she falls in love all over again. With Ellie... and with Colter"
This is an older American Romance book that has been reissued as an ebook.
The hero Colter is doing his best to raise his beloved daughter Ellie by himself, however she is desperate to have a mother and believes that Santa will bring her one for Christmas. The heroine Marisa has never forgotten the happiness she found in Colter's arms eight years ago, nor has she forgotten her devastation after her controlling mother forced her to leave him, and the later loss of her stillborn baby. Seeing Colter again and his beautiful daughter reminds her of everything she lost. She attempts to talk to him but she doesn't expect his anger. Colter has never forgiven Marisa for the way she left him and warns her to stay away from him. But Marisa can't accept that, as she needs to tell him the real reason she left and the tragic events that happened after. Eventually he listens but this results in some very traumatic secrets being revealed that rocks both Colter and Marisa's lives. And even though they still love one another deeply, the pain of the past will stop them from being together.
I really enjoyed this book, but wow, it is so intense! The plot of this book is so heartbreaking, you'll need tissues, and very poignantly written. I couldn't put it down! The 'big reveal' was shocking and I was completely not expecting it, I think the author did a great job in making this book a little unpredictable. Yes, perhaps the plot is a little contrived and relies on a series of coincidences, but I really liked it. The hero and heroine are both flawed characters but also sympathetic, which makes them three dimensional. I really felt they went on a journey together throughout the book, and that is very satisfying to read.
My only complaint is that I feel that some issues were too easily, and neatly, resolved and it felt too convenient for me.
Nevertheless, this is a deeply emotional and heart-warming story that will keep you guessing.