When Love Returns Star Lake #1 by Lorana Hoopes (LL Hoopes)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Love Returns is the second book I have read by this author. I was provided an ecopy of the book, before publishing, for review purposes. The final version may contain slight differences.
I love Christmas books. There is just something magical about the Christmas season that makes anything possible. Even a second chance love that never had the chance to bloom the first time.
I adore this story so much. First, if you put children and Christmas in the mix you have my attention. Second add in first love coming back and you have guaranteed I will read your book. Who doesn't remember their first love? Who has never wondered, what if things were different and we met again? I will be honest and admit I clearly remember him, (I can still recall exactly what he was wearing and doing the first time I saw him). I do dream about a second chance with him. So you have my attention, you have your book in my hands. This better be good because I am not about shattered dreams when thinking about my first love or Christmas.
I had no need to worry. The story grabbed me from the start. I love the majority of characters. Joy is adorable! I really enjoyed having the custodial parent being the dad. Usually it is a single mom I am reading about. It was a nice change for me. It was also a realistic one. I know quite a number of Dad's in real life who have stepped up. I also enjoyed the fact that there were minor stories going on around them that weren't romantic set ups for future books. Yes that was in there, too, but there were ordinary things going on that were a part of the story. Just like life. People were flawed. There were choices to make. There were misunderstandings and hurts to work out. And there was Joy. Little Joy, who you just want to have the best Christmas and happiest life. Will she get either?
The author writes clean books with a leaning towards Christianity. This book did not overwhelm you with it. It was just a sweet, clean romance. It is a quick read. If you are reading it during the holiday season, this is perfect for relaxing with after a crazy, busy day. You don't have to wait for the Christmas season, though, to enjoy this story. The magic of Christmas is something the world needs on any given day. We all need the hope, the love and the kindness that has represented the Christmas season for decades. The commercialism, eh, not so much. If you need a little sugar in your day to sweeten it, pick up this book.
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