I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
My tolerance for treacle tends to be low, so it probably surprises no one when I say that small-town contemporaries tend to be a mixed bag for me. Happily for me, The Christmas He Loved Her ended up being both a wonderful read and something beyond the ordinary.
n terms of plotting, it's probably best to get one thing out of the way at the outset. If the idea of a widow falling in love with her late husband's brother doesn't work for you, this probably isn't your book. However, if you feel open to the idea of our heroine falling for the twin brother of her late, beloved husband, you might want to pick this one up.
Raine Edwards lost her husband, Jesse, in Afghanistan and her life has been somewhat of a shambles ever since. At one point, we find out that she has lost her job and one can readily see that even over a year later, Raine's life consists more of existing than true living. She muddles through her days at home with her puppy, the one bright spot in her life. And then Jake Edwards comes back to town.
Jake left Crystal Lake, Michigan not long after his brother's death and his return stirs up all kinds of conflict. It's obvious that Jake has had trouble coming to terms with his brother's death, and his absence hasn't helped things. After all, he now has to face his parents and Raine, the people who needed him most when he left. Raine doesn't exactly fall over herself to welcome Jake home, and given the circumstances, it's certainly a believable reaction. In some ways, this story deals as much with Jake coming to terms with Jesse's death and rebuilding connections with his family as it does with Jake and Raine finding their way to each other. Both plots involve some strongly written, emotional scenes, including a beautiful scene between Jake and his father that is nearly pitch perfect.
This is a partial review. You can find the complete text at All About Romance.