I must admit that I picked up this book to read because I was curious to find out why an earlier review had been so negative. From the very first page, however, I was drawn into this lovely story.
Although this book is the last chapter in Sharon De Vita's saga about the Blackwell family, the story is strong enough to stand on its own. In the prologue to the book, 8 year old Colt, who was adopted by Justin and Emma Blackwell, has run away from home at Christmas time because the holiday is too hard for him to bear. Justin knows just where to look and finds Colt at the grave of his 3-year old brother, Cade, who died in a fire the previous Christmas. Because Colt was unable to save his baby brother, he holds himself responsible for his death. Christmas only serves to remind him of this terrible heartache, and in the years to come he refuses to celebrate the holiday.
Twenty-five years later we find Colt is the sheriff of Blackwell. He is approached on the telephone by the new director of the Home for Children who at his mother's behest asks him to play Santa Claus at their Christmas celebration. Colt adamantly refuses, but later feels guilty for letting his mother down and offers to pay for a "hired" Santa. He visits the Home and meets the director, Dr. Brenna Baxter, a lovely young woman with a PhD. in Social Services and a precocious 5 year old daughter named Charlie. She refuses to accept his money, and storms off thinking that Colt is a rude and cold person who doesn't like Christmas or children.
Dr. Baxter soon finds out how wrong she is about Colt when he and his brothers save her, Charlie and five other children in the Home from a devastating fire. With nowhere to go, Colt and his family take her and the children into their home. As Brenna and Colt learn more about each other, they find healing through trust and the power of love.
The best part of the story are the delightful children each of whom has a disability of some sort. As with all of the characters in this book, they are well drawn and tug at your heart. They each have the strength, wonder and optimism that is so amazing in children, and their personalities are endearing. The story also shows that with a little attention and love, children can heal a person's heart and bring him redemption.
This was a most enjoyable read. I highly recommend this little jewel of a book to everyone.
- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Harlequin Books (1 May 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373194439
- ISBN-13: 978-0373194438
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.3 x 17.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 113 g
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