Coming Home for Christmas
by RaeAnne Thayne
Release Date: 9/24/19
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #10 in the Haven Point series
Number of pages: 384
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Read 11/17/19 to 11/19/19
Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.
But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?
I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been waiting for this story since reading The Cottages on Silver Beach, book #8 in this series. The story of Luke and his missing wife is intriguing, especially once the reader is let in on the fact that she’s actually still alive.
I’m also pretty confident that I’m not the only reader of this series that couldn’t fathom how Elizabeth would be redeemed. A mom of two disappears with no word as to where she has gone or if she’s even alive and I’m supposed to end up sympathizing with her? Well, I did. At least for the most part. Elizabeth’s story is tragic and, as she even admits, unbelievable.
Luke and Elizabeth have a sweet and tentative chemistry that I found perfect for the Christmas setting in this story. While Luke wasn’t sure if he could truly trust his feelings, Elizabeth didn’t feel she deserved any sort of forgiveness or sympathy. This, of course, made it more difficult than it had to be for the two of them to admit their feelings.
The progression of the children’s feelings toward their estranged mother was done very well. Of course things weren’t going to be smooth and easy. Elizabeth had abandoned Cassie and Bridger, no matter her reasons. While an adult can better understand the nuances of what happened 7 years ago when Elizabeth left, children cannot be expected to emotionally understand those reasons.
This story is the perfect Christmas romance. Redemption, second chances, love, family, and even something resembling a miracle when it comes to Elizabeth being found.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**