Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Married by Christmas" by Karen Kirst

About the Book

An inconvenient wedding 

Wherever Caleb O'Malley goes, trouble follows, and trouble is the last thing Rebecca Thurston needs. But when Caleb appears—gravely wounded—at Rebecca's Smoky Mountain cabin, she can't turn him away. His life depends on her kindness, but she never anticipated it would lead to an unwanted proposal.

Caleb never forgave himself for the accident that ended Rebecca's engagement and destroyed her life. He doesn't want to hurt her again. But after a week recuperating at her cabin, there is only one way for Caleb to protect both their reputations from scandal. Neither of them wants to tie the knot, but as Rebecca and Caleb spend time together, will they find there's more to their marriage than convenience?

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains

Buy "Married by Christmas" from Barnes&Noble
Buy "Married by Christmas" from Harlequin

This book was released in October 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed.

My Review

“Married by Christmas” by Karen Kirst is the fifth book in her 'Smokey Mountain Matches' but this is a complete stand alone book so there is no worries about missing something, other than wonderful stories. This is the story of forgiveness and moving from the past into the future God has plans for us. It was this forgiveness that worked so nicely in this Christmas story.

Rebecca is a woman who is facing some interesting times when she is faced with the choice of helping or ignoring someone who is in need, and she shows her strength and morals when she does what some might thought foolish. Her heart is tender to all who are in need regardless who they are, or have two-legs or four. Rebecca is a woman who also puts others ahead of herself, and a hard time seeing what she really is needing instead of what she thought she wanted.

Caleb is a man who is haunted by his past and has been trying to do what he could to make up for what happened in the past. Here is a man who can't see the truth because of the blinders he wears at times. He is honorable and not quite who he projects himself to be, to those around him. To watch him struggle throughout the story was a bit hard to do but the end was worth the travel that is for sure.

There is a shared past with Rebecca and Caleb that makes this story so much more than a marriage to shut up the rumors that are spread by people who should know better, especially in this case. With other Christmas stories I tend to suspend my sense of realism for things normally happen then in a few short weeks love has fully bloomed and marriage is in the works. Though I do believe in love at first sight it is hard to always believe that it only happens at Christmas time, but then again Christmas is when we want those perfect happy endings. This story though, with the shared history, we are able to see inside the characters before anything is forced, that made me wonder what really happened in the past.

The past is brought fourth in so many ways that it now must be dealt with on so many different fronts for so many of the characters, since it really never was dealt with at the time of the event/events. It is the way it is dealt with that really made this story so wonderful for there was no easy path to get to the point that they did end of the book. Then there is the various levels of forgiveness that needs to be given and received, that really helped keep the book moving to see how that was all going to play out.

Oh boy the conflict of the story is something else that is for sure. We are told the reason behind what has started the villains on the path that they had taken and I actually felt sorry for the leader of the gang, and hope that they find something more than the path of hate that they have taken.  I can't remember the last time I actually felt sorry for a villain but I did with this one.

This is a wonderful Christmas story not to mention the healing that takes place at the end of the book. I hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did.

Other "Smokey Mountain Marriages" Books

The Reluctant Outlaw
The Bridal Swap
Smokey Mountain Christmas in the book "The Gift of Family"
His Mountain Miss
The Husband Hunt