Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 3rd 2014
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Christina Forrester is starting over. After a financial scandal sent her ex-husband to prison, she's left raising her young son without any of the comforts of their old life. Budgets, coupons, lawn care—you name it, she's learning to do it all on her own. Well, almost on her own—she'd be lost without Gail Broughton, the kind widow across the street. But when Gail's son comes home, Christina's vow to never trust a man again is put to the test.
Will Broughton left town because he was tired of being "that poor man" who lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident. But years have passed and, with his dad gone and his mom alone, it's time to go home. Only his mother's not alone. She's taken Christina under her wing, and the beautiful and determined single mother awakens something in Will he thought was buried forever.
As Will and Christina are forced to spend more time together, feelings that are more than neighborly grow between them. And with Christmas coming and a child filling both houses with holiday cheer, it becomes nearly impossible not to embrace the joy—and the love—in their lives.
Christina was raised by wealthy parents and then married a wealthy man. She’s never known anything but the best of the best. When her husband invests all their money in a scam plus steals from others he heads right to prison. Christina divorces him but she and her son are left with virtually nothing. The friends they once had either look down on her for being poor or don’t talk to her because her husband stole their money. She’s left with no one to lean on.
She ends up finding a job at a gas station/convenience store and lucks out by meeting a very nice woman who is mourning her recently deceased husband. The woman, Gail Broughton, loves being friends with Christina and ends up watching her seven year old son after school. It’s been a light in Gail’s life and Christina loves having someone to count on. Christina has learned to do a lot of things for herself that she never did before but she, strangely enough, loves the independence that she has because of this.
When Gail’s son comes into town Christina is immediately attracted to him but they each deny that there’s anything happening. Christina doesn’t want to lean on anyone and then be left floundering again and Will still isn’t over the death of his wife and unborn child from five years earlier. Between the two issues they’re not sure they could ever make anything between them work.
Her Holiday Man was a very sweet and touching story of two people who have been through their own kinds of hell but end up finding light at the end of the dark tunnel, in each other.
Christina was one strong woman. How she had maintained her sweetness in the face of all that she’d been through was incredible. She wasn’t snobby even though she’d never known anything other than a wealthy lifestyle. She made the best of what she had and made the best life she could for her and her son. She really was quite amazing. The joy she found in the little things in life – like going to a parade or drinking hot chocolate in the park, trimming the Christmas tree – made her all the more special. I thought she was a perfect match for Will and his pseudo-grumpy self.
Since the accident that took his wife and unborn child Will’s been on the road moving from town to town trying to find peace. When his father dies he finally, after a time, decides to move back home. Will didn’t expect to meet anyone and certainly didn’t expect to have feelings for them but that’s what happened with Christina. Seeing her overcome her obstacles made him look at his life in a different way as well and it ended up being a very good thing. He had a good heart and was excellent with Christina’s son, Nathaniel. I was so very happy when he finally got his head together and realized that he needed Christina and her son in his life.
The story is sweet, touching, emotional and an all around great holiday story.
Rating: 4 out of 5