Hoping to reunite her mother with her long-lost brother for Christmas, interior designer Hayley Stevens travels to Montana to hand-deliver a Christmas card to the uncle she’s never met. Finding her uncle is easier than getting him alone to explain her mission. Reluctantly, Hayley hides her identity to learn more about her uncle and his family, but it’s his handsome and enigmatic partner who captures her heart and imagination.
Architect and builder Blake Dennison is attracted instantly to the beautiful Hayley, but he’s suspicious of her curiosity. Can she be a spy for a rival builder? He’s been burned by deceit before, but as he spends time with Hayley, he falls hard.
Hayley knows she has much more at stake than fulfilling her mother’s Christmas dream, and when she confesses to Blake the real reason for her visit, his reaction is what she feared. He wants her gone. But Hayley knows how to fight for what she wants.
This story connects lightly to the world of Sweetheart, Montana – you might recognize some folks. 🙂
Title: Long Lost Christmas
Series: connection to the Sweetheart, Montana world
Author: Joan Kilby
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published: November 12, 2019
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
LONG LOST CHRISTMAS is an emotional tale that had me sighing with emotion and shaking my head at the half-truths and outright lies being told for the “better good, eventually”. When a family member is estranged or “long lost” there is usually a very good reason on someone’s part for that to have happened in the first place. Hayley may have had the best of intentions in tracking down her Uncle Gordon but in doing so she’s opened up a hornet’s nest of reactions – not all of them good by any means.
The spark between Blake and Hayley is obvious from the start, but so is the cloud of untruths hanging over Hayley’s head as well. Blake has been burned badly in his recent past and his suspicions are on high alert with Hayley in spite of his attraction to her. She’ll quickly come to realize that she should have handled all of this quite differently as the people she meets, the extended family she’s discovered become more important to her. Now she has to confess her true reasons for being in Sweetheart, Montana and that will change everything. The battle will be proving herself worthy to not only Blake, Gordon, and the family but to herself as well. Watching Hayley fight for the life she wants in this small town with Blake is, at times, heartwrenching but she is one determined lady who will not give up on a future with the man she loves, and who believes loves her right back even though he’s very angry and disappointed with her right now.
I enjoyed myself with LONG LOST CHRISTMAS. I’m always, personally, uncomfortable with the “lie for the better good” trope but it was handled well and not drawn out unreasonably long. The fun part was watching Hayley show everyone what she’s really made of despite her mistakes in the beginning. If you’ve spent time in Sweetheart, Montana, perhaps with the Starr Brothers then you’ll enjoy this return trip to a charming, quirky small town full of interesting residents. I had fun, and really, that’s the whole point. I’d not hesitate to recommend this story to any Romance reader.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Tule Publishing. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback and for the Kindle