Genre: Christmas Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR NORA ROBERTS COMES A CLASSIC TALE OF ROMANCE TO WARM YOUR HEARTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON ...
Pregnant, alone and on the run to protect her unborn child, Laura Malone found herself stranded on a snowy Colorado road, at the mercy of a stranger. Fortunately, Gabriel Bradley's only intention that fateful night was to provide her shelter.
She was an angel with midnight blue eyes and a shock of blond hair, and Gabe might have thought she had come out of the snowy night to save him --- if he were the kind of man to believe in such things. But ever since he had lost his beloved brother, he had lost hope. Now the only solace Gabe took was in his solitude.
Together they weathered the storm, sharing their intimate secrets and soon powerful passion. By the time the roads had cleared, a promise had been made. For Gabe understood Laura needed protection if she hoped to keep custody of her child through the coming court battle.
For her sake, he was prepared to offer marriage. But his motives weren't nearly so pure. Truthfully, this beautiful, vulnerable stranger had given him an invaluable gift. Life with Laura had given Gabe a reason for being --- courage to hope, and the power to dream that he could have the future and the family he had once dreamed of ...
Review: First of all, this story wasn't set at Christmastime, even though the cover image seems to indicate that it is. Nope, it starts off during a Colorado snowstorm in springtime, and then ends sometime in the summer in California. I was disappointed that it was billed as a holiday romance, when it clearly was not. Plus, it was published as a hardcover in 2005, but the original copyright date was 1989. The clothing was definitely dated, but I found the characters' attitudes to be dated as well. I am always disappointed to pick up a book that seems relatively current, only to find out that it is actually over 25 years old. It is obvious that Nora Roberts has grown as a writer in that time, since this reads like one of her earlier novels. I was also put off by the descriptions of Laura and Gabe's life with a newborn baby, including losing baby weight, desire for intimacy, and the ease with which they returned to a normal life. Sure, there was one scene where the baby didn't want to sleep through the night, and everyone was exhausted, but immediately after that, they were back to a normal life. It's almost like Roberts thought, "oh wait, they have a newborn, guess I should throw in one typical newborn night in the midst of all the skinniness and sex."
Having said all that, this was a sweet story and an enjoyable holiday read (although it would have been much more enjoyable had someone taken 5 minutes to update the time to reflect the holiday season when it was republished.) I don't have very high expectations for holiday romances (why not? shouldn't someone write a good holiday romance?) and this one was a nice little book.
Rating: 3 stars