Thursday, December 23, 2010
Review for Home for the Holidays (Harlequin Superromance #1599) by Sarah Mayberry
Joe's wife died two years ago and until recently he's just been going through the motions of living. Hoping that a change of scenery will help him and his two children move on, Joe moves to be closer to his mother. Along with a new school for the kids and a new job for Joe, comes an attraction to his new neighbor Hannah. Hannah too is trying to move on with her life after a family betrayal leads to her being left at the altar. Because of this, she's closed herself off to emotions and devotes herself to work and her biker buddies. But after an awkward late night meeting, and two children who need help healing too, Joe and Hannah's lives will never be the same. For two people determined not to get involved with anyone else, fate has other ideas. But just as fate can be kind, it can also be cruel. And when Hannah receives unexpected news, will Joe have the strength to stand by her and risk heartache again?
This book is the perfect holiday read. It's got cute kids, sweetness and sorrow, and lots of teary-eyed moments. Joe's grief was realistically expressed and his struggle to start a new relationship made your heart ache for him. His children also struggled through a lot of changes and their issues added another layer of believability to the story. Having children in these stories can sometimes be annoying and distracting, but Ben and Ruby were a remarkably mature and wonderfully well-written addition to the story to see how loss affects every member of a family. Joe and Hannah's encounters are full of witty dialogue and humorous one-upmanship that sizzles with sexual tension. The slow build up of their relationship though made their coming together even sweeter and more satisfying. As a couple you feel even more invested in the outcome of their relationship. Hannah is an equally wonderful character. She's a tough cookie who doesn't allow pity from others. Even though she initially fights her attraction to Joe, she smartens up soon enough in a very tender scene that sticks with you long after the story is finished. Her strength is a necessity in the latter parts of the story as she embarks on a fight for her life, and with yet another memorably heartwarming scene, finds out who will be by her side.
This is a beautifully written, highly emotional read, with wonderful characters that stick with you long after the final page is turned. It leaves you with hope and a better understanding of the power of love. I highly recommend this book not only as a holiday read, but whenever you need a heartwarming pick-me-up.
My grade for this is an A.
*Book photo courtesy of www.goodreads.com