Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Take Me Home For Christmas (Whiskey Creek #5) by Brenda Novak

Sophia DeBussi hasn't been all that nice to the people of Whiskey Creek. In high school she was the mean girl. The spoiled, rich, gets whatever she wants girl. Thirteen years ago, she broke Ted Dixon's heart when she married Skip DeBussi. She has since continued to live in the lap of luxury; or so everyone believes. On the outside her life looks perfect: rich husband, huge house, fancy cars, designer clothes, etc. But what no one sees is the verbally, emotionally and physically abusive husband that has pushed her to depression and alcoholism. Then while on their anniversary vacation with their daughter, Skip mysteriously disappears. Part of her is concerned while the other part is relived he is gone. But her world comes crashing down around her when the FBI informs her that Skip is wanted for fraud and then his body washes up on the shores of Brazil. Her "loving" husband and left her and their daughter with literally nothing except a town full of angry people he robbed. How can she get herself back on her feet when everyone hates her.

Ted still hasn't forgiven Sophia for what she did to him over a decade ago. At first he doesn't give a damn about what she is going through now. But when he sees everyone in town ganging up on her, he feels like he has to do something. He might still be angry, but he isn't heartless. So when no ones steps up to help her, he offers her a job as his housekeeper and assistant. While she works for him, Ted starts to learn the truth about her marriage and sees just how much she has changed over the years. Can he finally forgive Sophia for breaking his heart and marrying another man? Can their reconnection go deeper than friendship and back to the deep love they once shared?

Take Me Home For Christmas is book five in the Whiskey Creek series, but each story can be read as a stand alone. I read novella 0.5, When We Touch, over a year ago and enjoyed it, but I just  haven't been able to read the rest yet. Skipping the 4 books in between didn't matter at all. The author does a good job of filling in about the  backgrounds of the supporting characters without being too wordy about, which I find sometimes happens. It is just the right amount of information so that I know what is going on with everyone but also makes me want to go back and read them all to fill in the details.

Sophia's and Ted's story proved to be an emotional one for me. Sure she made mistakes, but that was in high school and everyone deserves another chance. It both pissed me off and broke my heart that people were so mean to her now. What her husband did wasn't her fault yet everyone in town is out for her blood. Even Ted's attitude was pretty jerky in the beginning. She has so much on her plate with a 13 year old daughter struggling in school and not a dime to her name and he is the only one trying to help. But what really killed me and brought tears to my eyes is how Sophia felt that all the abuse she got from her husband Skip was deserved. That it was her punishment for all the awful things she did in her youth. No one deserves what she has suffered and I really wanted to see Ted put the past behind him and pursue their long overdo happily ever after.

I found that it ended rather abruptly and I would have liked a little more of an epilogue, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I definitely plan on working the rest of the Whiskey Creek novels into my reading in the future.

Marianna's Rating:

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Title: Take Me Home For Christmas
Author: Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey Creek #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Twitter: @Brenda_Novak
Book Blurb:
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?


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