Today is my third and final day for the Harlequin Trade Publishing Holiday Blog Tour! Thank you again so much for considering me for this tour and I’m so glad I got to read some amazing, fun, holiday themed books right before Christmas. I think I picked some great ones, and hopefully I’ll get to read the other ones sometimes soon.
Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…
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?
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New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, HQN Books and Harlequin Trade Publishing for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Once again I have picked a book that is one of the last books in a series BUT can be read as a standalone, so I’ve been very lucky in that department. I’m not even mad about it, because I love series that can have a bunch of books in it but the stories can make sense and stand on their own without the readers just getting into the series getting confused or anything. Especially in series like this one, it works out in my favor, so yay for me!
Two, while I personally have not gone through postpartum depression or have known anyone personally that has gone through it – to my knowledge – I thought it was really great and eye opening that Thayne chose to add this into this story, especially since this takes place during the holidays and there are so many people out there that deal with grief of some kind during this time of the year. I can’t even imagine going through this kind of depression during the holidays, and I don’t even know if I would have any support to help me get through it without me feeling like something is wrong with me as a mother. Then not only does our main character have that going on, but the death of her parents as well? She has grief coming from multiple angles and honestly, I can see why her losing her memory could have been a blessing in disguise for her.
While the postpartum and the grief does not take place during Christmas, and actually took place seven years before Elizabeth and Luke are reunited in a way, I just felt so much for what Elizabeth went through, and the pain she must have felt to finally remember what it was that she lost and worry that she was too late to get the family that was keeping her together back. I’m sure that there were times prior to the accident that we don’t get to see in the book, where what really kept her going in life were her family. To have that taken away without knowing that, and then to have all those memories come rushing back after there’s nothing she can really do about it? It just sounds emotional and I don’t know how anyone could go through it.
I would be prepared to cry a little bit while you’re reading this novel, and I would go through this story with an open mind and an open heart. Have some empathy for what our characters had to endure during their time apart, not because they chose to but because of situations that were out of their control. Have some empathy while Elizabeth and Luke have to find themselves together again, especially during the holidays, and somehow make up for lost time. Just be prepared to have your heart make some erratic moves that will make you smile, laugh, and tear up every once in a while.