Thursday, December 5, 2013

His Christmas Sweetheart - Cathy McDavid (HAR #1474 - Nov 2013)

Series: Sweetheart Nevada (Book 2)


Nothing's been simple in Sweetheart, Nevada, since the wildfire that ravaged the charming little town. Miranda Staley is among those who've sworn to stay on and bring Sweetheart back to life. She loves running a group home for the elderly, but it's getting difficult to keep her business going. She could lose everything she's worked so hard to create.

On the day of the fire, Will Desarro helped save some of Miranda's elderly residents. The handsome ranch hand is a man of few words, but Miranda soon discovers that beneath that quiet exterior beats a heart of gold. Will can help save Miranda's home and her business -- but only if their love is strong enough to conquer his painful past.

Very good book.  Miranda runs a group home for the elderly.  She has four residents in her home and is having a hard time making ends meet.  One of the bright spots in her life is ranch hand Will.  The day of the fire he had helped her evacuate her building.  Since then he has been a frequent visitor to one of the old ladies.  Miranda would like to get to know him better but he isn't cooperating.  Will is shy and also suffers from PTSD induced panic attacks.  He'd like to get to know Miranda better but feels he's too broken.

I liked Miranda.  She had had a soft spot for Will ever since he helped rescue her people the day of the fire.  Since then he's been visiting one of the old ladies with Alzheimer's who thinks that he is her son.  She has practically thrown herself at him and it doesn't seem to make any difference, until the one day she notices there's a bit of heat in the way he looks at her.  This gives her the courage to go on and actually kiss him one day.  She's blown away by his response, but then he backs off again.  Because of her nursing experience and work with the elderly she begins to recognize what Will's issues are and starts to press him to open up to her.  I loved the support that she gives him and how she wants to be able to help him.  Miranda is also having problems earning enough money to make the payments on the house.  Because of the economy and the fire that destroyed part of the town she hasn't been able to replace the residents who have left and she's afraid that she will lose the business and the house.  Just as she's making real progress in her relationship with Will she fears she will have to leave Sweetheart and him.  

Will is a great guy.  He has not had an easy time of it.  Because of a tragic accident as a teenager he suffers from PTSD that causes him to have panic attacks.  By limiting his exposure to people and stressful situations he has it mostly under control.  He is drawn to Miranda but fears he is too broken to be able to have a successful relationship with her.  He does his best to avoid her but she's pretty relentless.  When he finally gives in and kisses her it sets off a panic attack that sets him back.  I loved the way that so many people around them saw that Will and Miranda belonged together and kept trying to push them together, from Will's boss to the mayor to Miranda's people.  I liked the way that Will was finally able to tell Miranda about the causes of his attacks and how she seemed to be able to help him cope.  But when he still refused to even try to leave the town just as it appeared she wouldn't be able to stay it looked like he was going to be alone again.  Seeing him face up to fears because of his love for Miranda was an extremely emotional part to read.  

I really loved all the residents of Miranda's house.  Each one of them had a unique personality and brought something special to the story.  From Babs and Arthur's romance (loved Miranda's comment to Will about the reason she has condoms) to Mrs. Litey's memory lapses (or were they?), they were so much fun to read about.

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