Home for the holidays…
Or home for good?
Once upon a time, Ben Cooper left his hometown to follow his dreams of becoming a big-city doctor. Now he’s back to run his father’s clinic and spend Christmas with his daughter, not to fall for McKenzie Price, the woman who broke his heart. But when McKenzie steps in to help Ben reconnect with his little girl, and old sparks begin to ignite, will Ben give up city life for a second chance at love?
From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.
Reviews for the Book
This story is Hallmark-esque in feel. The story has sweet moments but no big surprises in the plot. It just moves along at a steady but somewhat sedate pace. And I think a lot of people will like this story. Ben & McKenzie have both spent their adult lives trying to compensate for the insecurities from their childhood. But they go about doing that in two very different ways. She bases her life decisions on what is the safe thing to do and he is an overachiever trying to prove his worth to himself and the bullies who made his life miserable. I'm not sure which way is healthier. I had a hard time liking Ben. McKenzie tells him at one point that he is great dad and I had been thinking what a crappy dad he is. He allows his parents to raise his daughter while he tries to prove himself as a star in his medical field. That is his entire focus in life. In the meantime, he has a little girl to whom he is nothing more than a stranger named Dad that calls her once a month. I recognize that medical school is a tough gig and being a single parent wouldn't necessarily be the best choice for his daughter. She is probably happier with her grandparents than she would have been in day care but one phone call a month? He should have been calling her all the time and visiting as often as he could. So yeah, a once a month dad isn't a great dad to me. I guess I was kind of mad at him for it so I just didn't like him and couldn't figure out how McKenzie could fall in love with him. I will say that he gets things figured out by the end but it sure seems like a long time for him to get there. There are moments during the book where the reader can see his potential to become a great dad even if he isn't there yet. On the opposite end, McKenzie is spending her life living to help, love and protect her sister and niece. She works hard too but her focus is still her family, compensating for the lack of parental love they had as kids. I related better to her coping methods than I did to his. I loved the small town setting and some of the characters were really fun. There are some religious themes in the book but it isn't too in your face. Just trying to figure out what God would want for them kinds of things. No sex, language or violence *I received a complimentary book from the author and voluntarily chose to review it. - Ria VINE VOICE
About the Author: Danielle Thorne
Danielle Thorne writes happily-ever-afters set in the South for Harlequin Love Inspired. A graduate of BYU-Idaho, she also writes stories about Regency ladies, pirates, and not-so-distressed damsels from her home south of Atlanta. Free time is filled with documentaries, too much yard work, and not enough travel. When not writing wholesome romances, Danielle hangs out with friends or chases cats. She enjoys the outdoors and serving in her church and community. Danielle’s been married to the same fellow for thirty years, has four sons, two daughters-in-law, twin grandbabies, and she loves them more than life.
How it started:
It actually began with Pippi Longstocking. Reading has always been my escape and writing quickly followed. I learned early I was better with words than numbers, and after receiving a typewriter for high school graduation, my dreams took off. I finished two awkward manuscripts before I wrote my third and found a publisher. The Privateer was a pirate adventure, and it’s still my favorite story. All of my books feature elements of nature along with heroines who have to find courage and grow–because we all do. In 2020, my first book with Harlequin was released.
How I do it:
Writing is a balancing act when you’re a woman, mother, and full-time homemaker. In the early years, I wrote late into the night while the family slept. I now write full time. I get started in the mornings after exercise, breakfast, and some scripture study. Once in the office, I hit my sales stats first and peek at Facebook, then I close everything down and put in 2 to 4 hours depending on my word count goals. Some years I plan a half-dozen books, others just a few. For me, writing is my world, but my people are my life. Family and close friends always come first. Sometimes words have to wait.
How I’m inspired:
My first memory of being starstruck was watching Robin Hood on an old black and white television. It was the first time I understood something magical can happen between a good man and woman, especially if bad guys and adventure lie in wait. From there it was Peter Pan and Agatha Christie then Miss Austen and Tolkien. I am the world’s biggest romantic although I don’t show it… I have to write it down. History, travel, books, and film are my biggest inspirations. Whenever I feel stuck or burned out, I find a great romantic series to watch or pull out my favorite movies. With all of the wonderful art around us in the world, a little down time with it always helps the imagination take off.
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