Emma never dreamed that Sarah would have picked up on all of the changes over the years. She tried to be so careful when the kids were around, especially with Sarah, sticking with holiday traditions as much as she dared or as much as her heart could take. Other than the lack of decorations, she never thought her daughter would have noticed the emptiness in her heart.
Emma Turner lives in a tiny house with her two small children, Sarah and Ben. Their father, Larry, was killed in action three years earlier in Iraq. Life has never been the same for Emma…and that includes Christmas. Her Christmas spirit isn’t there, and no amount of Christmas decorations or presents is ever going to bring back her dead husband.
Jake Nicklaus is a fireman who once served with Larry in Iraq. But when a broken leg side-lines Jake, Larry takes his place. When Larry doesn’t make it home, Jake vows to keep Emma and the kids safe.
Larry visits with Emma every Christmas eve. It’s the one time of year that she looks forward to because she can see him, talk to him, feel him. This year, though, she misses her chance to talk with him. With every passing year, she loses more and more of the Christmas spirit. However, she doesn’t know, nor want to bring the Christmas spirit into her house. To her, that would mean moving on, and she’s not ready to “let go” of Larry yet.
Even the children feel their dead father’s presence around them. Sarah even talks to the “soldier”, doing what he asks. In his wake, he always leaves something behind…a few feathers. Whenever he likes/dislikes something, he leaves feathers behind as a symbol that he was there.
Larry also visits Jake, but this year is different. This year, Larry isn’t too happy with Jake and his “idea” of keeping Emma and the kids happy, healthy and safe.
Can Jake bring back the spirit of Christmas into Emma’s heart, into the children’s lives again? Can Emma ever let go of Larry long enough to see what is in front of her?
This book was a feel-good romance for the Christmas season. It had the elements of sexual tension, but there really wasn’t any. He would brush up against her and that area would “warm” to his touch. Maybe a blush would come to her cheeks. But no real sexual tension involved. I was a little disappointed in this area.
All in all, I liked how the author incorporated the ghost into the story, even making him “real” for a short time so that he could speak to his family. His leaving little feathers behind was the author’s way of showing that the ghost was there. However, the ghost left behind the feathers regardless of whether he was angry or happy. That got a little confusing. The ghost at one point pushed Jake down, showing his anger by making it look as if Jake had slipped in the snow/ice, but there were always these little feathers around.
Also, the author never goes into the significance of the feathers. Is this supposed to mean Larry’s an angel? Or that when he died, there was a dead bird beside him? Maybe he killed the bird? No one knows. The story never mentioned the reason behind the feather’s as the ghost’s calling card.
As for the story, it was a little weak. It was a light read, easy for this time of year when everyone is so busy. This book gave me a few tears at the end, a wonderful visual of Larry, and I felt myself falling in love with Jake throughout the book. He was strong, sexy and attentive to the children and Emma. He was the reason that I continued to keep reading. This book would have been better if it was a full length novel rather than a novella-kind.
But, for a sweet holiday romance, I give this book 3 stars.