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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Book Review: Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne

This is a nice, sweet romance/second chance story.
Coming Home for Christmas
(Haven Point #10)
by RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher : HQN; First Time Paperback edition (October 27, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1335147993
Genre: Christmas, Romance, Small Town
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

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, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…then a car accident stole away her memories. When she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, Bridger’s baby-powder smell and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth reasoned that they’d moved on without her. 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 discovers her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. Being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all make 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?

Elizabeth and Luke were madly in love. He came from a broken home and was enthralled by the love and acceptance that Elizabeth offered. But Elizabeth experiences debilitating grief after the death of her beloved parents. This is exacerbated with postpartem depression after the birth of her second child. One night she walks away from her husband and her two children and disappears.

Seven years later Luke, 12-year-old Cassie and 8-year-old Bridger are still suffering from the mysterious disappearance (and abandonment) of Elizabeth. Luke is about to be arrested and charged with murder and the children are subject to nasty comments. When Luke learns that Elizabeth is alive, he sets out to bring her back to prove his innocence. He is angry and she is surprised, saddened and shamed for having brought such trouble and sorrow to her husband and children.

Initially Luke doesn’t want to hear what happened to Elizabeth. Once he begins to listen, he is able to recognize the struggles that his wife has had to overcome after a serious accident that caused temporary loss of memory and damaged her face and body. Bridger never knew his mother and is willing to get to know her. But Cassie is resentful and unwilling to open her arms to this unfamiliar woman. Elizabeth longs to be reconciled with her family but she accepts responsibility for their fears and reluctance and even wonders if she is worthy to be part of their loving group. Can the tenderness of the Christmas spirit help them to find a new chance for love and family?

I have never had depression go beyond a day or so before I refocus. However, I have had family members who suffer from anxiety and depression and I recognize it as a dreadful illness that can require medication and/or counselling therapies. Even so, I had trouble relating to Elizabeth. I couldn’t understand why she would not contact Luke after her memory returned and she was released from rehabilitation. That is all part of the story and part of the issues the characters have to address.

As always, I enjoyed the character development by Ms.Thayne. She is a wonderful story teller sharing emotions and romance in real life situations. I recommend this author and this story as a warm romance featuring the best of Christmas and second chances.

Source: Won from Bookfan in 2019. This qualifies for 2021TBR and 2021Alphabet goals.

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