This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
Well, this was a disappointment. I have read Lily Everett before and really enjoyed her work so I decided that this would be the book that I would read leading up to Christmas this year. I just knew that this would be a great read. Unfortunately, this book really didn't work for me. I am not sure if my reading tastes have changed since I last read this author or if it is just this book but this wasn't the enjoyable reading experience I had hoped it would be.
Libby Leeds has been living a lie. She is a well known author with a column that is supposed to be non-fiction but her life looks nothing like that column. She gets caught with her deception when her boss invites a well known hero to her home in Sanctuary Island for Christmas dinner. She is then forced to reconnect with family and do her best to be the woman the world knows from her column.
Owen was wounded in action and has been working hard to get back into shape so he can return to duty. He has recently discovered that he has a young child who is now living with his sister in Sanctuary Island. He is headed to there to get to know his child and get therapy. He accepts the invitation to have dinner with Libby since he wants to share the perfect Christmas with his daughter.
I didn't like Libby or Owen. Libby is living an absolute lie. Owen seems to only be able to focus on going back to active duty. Libby is even pretending to be married for a good portion of the book so this romance just never worked for me. I honestly didn't see a lot of chemistry between them. This is a very tame romance and I just didn't feel the spark that I would have hoped to see.
I think that my biggest issue with the book was that so much of the story seemed pointless. Once Libby opens up to Owen, I didn't see the point of continuing with the charade. There is a secondary romance that added nothing to the story and only contained a few short scenes. I found that I was often bored while reading this book and had to read passages more than once because my mind would wander.
I would say that the best parts of the book included the scenes with Libby's grandfather and Owen's daughter. Those two characters were the highlight of the story and I would have really liked to see a bit more of them. The book does have a very strong Christmas theme with just about everything Christmas making an appearance at least once.
I will not be recommending this book to others. I think that this was a rather forgettable story that was a bit too sweet for my tastes. I won't hesitate to read more from Lily Everett in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.
This was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was overly sweet and I found myself rather bored at times. I couldn't connect with either of the main characters and much of the plot seemed pointless. Caitlyn and Grandpa were the highlights of the story. There was a whole lot of Christmas worked into the book which is another plus.