Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Christmas Baby Surprise - Shirley Jump (HR #4398 - Oct 2013)

Series: The Gingerbread Girls (Book 1)

The secret to mend their marriage

With an aching heart, Emily Watson knows her marriage is in trouble. She wants it to work more than anything in the world, so walking away from Cole is the hardest thing she'll ever do. But one last night together is set to change her life and her marriage forever….

Needing time to think, Emily returns to the one place that always feels like home: the Gingerbread Inn. It is the perfect setting to work out what to do with her little secret.

And when Cole finds her, and her growing bump, he realizes that this Christmas, some things are worth fighting for….

What an emotional book.  Emily and Cole have been married for ten years and Emily has had enough.  She understood Cole's long hours and dedication when he was just starting his business.  But business is still his number one priority and nothing she says will get him to lighten his load and spend time with her, except for one night.  Now she's pregnant and looking for answers for what to do about her future.  Cole tracks her down and tries his best to get her to come back home, but he's having trouble understanding why she left in the first place.

Emily feels that she has no choice but to give up on her marriage.  For years she has been trying to get Cole to spend less time at the office and more time on their marriage.  Whenever she thinks she's making a little headway he goes right back to his workaholic ways.  Six months ago she asked for a separation and began to think about what she wants for herself.  The problem is that Cole keeps showing up trying to stay part of her life.  She gave in once to her hope that he would change and ended up pregnant.  She has wanted a baby for a long time but Cole kept putting her off saying the time wasn't right.  She can't handle his frequent appearances as she is trying to make some decisions, so she heads for the Gingerbread Inn, a place with a lot of happy memories for her.  She is dismayed to find it in poor repair and up for sale.  The innkeeper has just not been able to keep up with things but welcomes Emily back and gives her a place to regroup.  Emily plans to take the time to pursue her dream of writing while she decides her future.  I loved seeing the way that she really got into her writing and how happy it was making her. She's surprised when Cole tracks her down and continues his campaign to bring her home.  She's even more surprised when he stays around to make repairs on the inn.  She doesn't know what to do about his presence.  She has had her hopes dashed so often that she just can't handle trying again.  I really ached for Emily.  She has tried to tell Cole how she felt but he never seemed to actually listen to her.  She sees him there at the Inn, making the repairs, but wonders how long he's going to stay before he gives in to the lure of his business again.  She still loves him but feels she has to do what is best for herself and the baby.  The longer he stays the more she begins to hope, until she tells him about the baby.  His reaction breaks her heart and she feels there is no longer any hope at all for them.  I liked the fact that at the end she admitted that not all of the fault was his.

Cole was so clueless about what was happening.  No matter what Emily tried to tell him it never seemed to make an impression on him until she left.  Cole is a man who doesn't like to lose or quit at anything and he is determined to get Emily to come home.  I liked the way that he found himself doing repairs at the Inn himself rather than just hiring someone to do it.  He was surprised at how good it made him feel to do it himself.  I liked the way that he knew he still loved Emily and wanted to repair their marriage.  He just had no idea what he was doing wrong.  Every time he felt that he was making some progress with her, something would happen to send her off again.  He didn't seem to be able to see that always putting business ahead of her was at the root of the problem.  Because he had had a father who expected perfection, all he knew was to treat his business that way.  Plus, they had been so poor at the beginning of their marriage that he equated his love to being able to provide more and more for Emily in the way of material goods.  He never really heard her pleas for his attention.  Emily's requests for them to start their family also fell on deaf ears, mostly because the idea scared him.  He was afraid that he would turn out to be the type of father he had.  The more time he spent with Emily and away from his business the more he liked it, but breaking habits like that were very hard.  I really loved the way that both his friend and his secretary also told Cole the same thing about needing to put Emily first.  Emily's ending up in the hospital was a real eye opener and it took him awhile to process what it really meant for him.  I liked seeing him open up to Emily about why he is the way he is.  It was hard to see him so fearful about his abilities as a father.  I loved the ending and how he was finally convinced of the possibility of a future for them.  I hope to see more of them in the next two books and see how things are going for them.

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