Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Melissa McClone
Publisher: Montana Born Books, Tule Publishing
Release Date: October 26th, 2015
This is a great additional novel set in Marietta, Montana including many secondary characters that are very familiar ‘friends’ after reading so many books set in this township. Having said that, you don’t need to have read any of those to thoroughly enjoy this story!
As a fourteen year old, Eleanor Smith had secretly followed her brother, Buck, and his best friend Josiah Whittaker around. Her brother was seriously ill, but had a very positive outlook on life. Josiah was from the ‘wrong side of town’, struggling financially but very bright, able and hard working. The untimely death of her brother meant she no longer saw Josiah who left town and moved on to found his own very successful high tech business. Years later, Josiah had worked hard to succeed, in fact he worked so hard his health has suffered and the billionaire business man is returning to stay and recuperate at the Bar V5 dude ranch, where Ellie is a housekeeper, for a month. The month he’s staying is December but don’t let that make you think it will be full of festive cheer for him – he hates not working, dislikes everything to do with Christmas and really doesn’t want this enforced month long vacation with all his gadgets taken away so he just can’t play! Ellie is determined to help Josiah recuperate and enjoy Christmas. The two are soon friends but both are wary, for very different reasons, of becoming anything more. However, the festive season, an insightful Santa and love might just have something to do about that!
I haven’t read a story set in Marietta that I haven’t loved and this one is no different. The town has such brilliant, memorable characters who it is delightful to keep reencountering in different stories and even by different authors. In this story, Ellie had experienced so much in her life that she was using to help her help others, especially through Buck’s Place. I hope such places really do exist to help the siblings of seriously ill children have some time where the focus is on them, giving them time, fun and support, rather than everything being in response to the ill child. Josiah needed a wake up call to show him that life is for living and not just for working and he’s certainly had it, though he was determined to largely ignore it initially. With great characters, a superb setting and an emotional festive story this is a total winner for me. I really enjoyed how their relationship grew and developed, making this a brilliant, enthralling, festive romance that I have no hesitation in highly recommending.
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
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