Take Me Home for Christmas
Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: 29 December 2013
Christmas is a time for remembering .
Too bad all memories aren't pleasant. Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town's Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.
But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he'll never come back—until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he's left her to face all the townspeople he cheated .
Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can't bring himself to turn his back on her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.
Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?
Man, this book was so emotional! It had me crying a lot, and way too often.
Sophia chose the wrong path when she was younger, and she's paying for it. She chose to marry a man who was successful and wealthy after she became pregnant with his child, but he has a much darker side. Sophia has been controlled, manipulated and abused all through her married life. She may have been 'the 'town mean girl' when she was a teenager, but she definitely doesn't deserve the pain she's suffered- physically and emotionally. No one knows the real truth of her marriage, so when her husband cheats money out of so many people in the town she lives in, they all turn on her. My heart bled for Sophia, I hated watching as things just kept getting worse for her. She had no real friends, and no one to turn to for help. To get through everything that was thrown her way, takes a lot of determination and strength. I really admired the way Sophia finally finds her feet and tries her best to make a better life for her and her daughter.
Ted and Sophia have a lot of history, so it's very understandable that he nurses anger towards her and doesn't want anything to do with her. Or at least, that's what he tells himself. Eventually, it's Ted that gives Sophia the opportunity she desperately needs. Ted battles his emotions towards Sophia every step of the way, and he makes some bad decisions that had me wanting to pull my hair out. He's a very real character, he makes mistakes and is stubborn. But he's a good guy and you know how much he cares about Sophia and Alexa.
This can definitely be read as a stand alone, but it's part of a series, and sometimes I was confused about who was who. It doesn't particularly matter for the storyline but there were a lot of names mentioned!
I also loved how much Alexa was a part of the story. She has her own issues, and you can see her mature through the story as she deals with the new hardships in her life, with her mother.
The ending was a little rushed, but I really enjoyed how everything came together. I didn't think it felt forced and it left me satisfied and happy.
This is a very bumpy journey, and I was cheering for Sophia through the whole thing. It's heart breaking, heart warming and uplifting, all in one package.
*I received a review copy from the author, for my honest review. Thank you!