Willow Park, #3
Self-Pub, Date Nov 2014
Kindle, 209 Pages
Also available in paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) Christmas Romance, Christian Romance, Family Story
Source Purchased at current price
Other books in this series
Married for Christmas #1, A Baby for Easter #2, Reconciled for Easter #4, Home for Christmas #5
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
What it’s about…
Lydia has always felt called to work with sexually exploited women in India. She’s found a mission to work with and now she’s trying to raise money through the churches stateside to fund her work and living. They’re giving her a hard time about it, though, because she’s a single woman.
Gabe has found a director’s position with a mission in India he’s been wanting to work with. Money is no problem for him. And he has made good arrangements for traveling back and forth to be with his daughter, Ellie. But the mission would prefer that he have a wife.
Lydia and Gabe put together a practical working marriage to solve both of their problems. This will be just a working relationship, not a real marriage. No sex, right?
The cover doesn’t do this book justice. It’s too washed out. This is a story with passion.
The storyline is great! Two people come together to solve their compatible problems. Then emotions happen. Life happens. And the solution is twice as good!
The characters are really great! These three rather colorless people come together and fill each other will love and color and life!
The pace is lively. There’s an occasional time-out for pouting. But it has problems with choppiness.
The tension starts right there in the first scene when Lydia is dialing her pastor’s number on Sunday afternoon during his quiet-time to complain. It peaks here and there for things like possible broken bones, arguments, and other things. But it doesn’t seem consistent.
And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS…
The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰⭒
I didn’t think I would like this at first. I didn’t care for Lydia in the first few pages when she was complaining about the churches and why they weren’t giving her money. I don’t usually dislike the main characters in books I read. I can usually find something good in them. But in that first scene, I really disliked Lydia. She was a downer type person for me. She must have reminded me of someone I’ve known. I don’t know who, but that’s the only thing I can think of. Then as she and Gabe talked out their situations and the solution presented itself, I got to see a better side to her. Then I wondered about Gabe. I had to hope there was a more open side to him. And then there was Ellie, the 9 year-old daughter who really didn’t want anything to do with Lydia.
I knew Ellie would come to like her. It’s just how it had to happen. I could have almost written the script for it. And Ellie ended up being a sweet 9 year-old who really liked her step-Mom. Lydia kept at it quietly, and I liked her approach. Nothing that Gabe said or did was any help with the relationship between the two females. Lydia simply had to wait her out. Then she had to do the right things at the right time and build her relationship naturally between she and her step-daughter. Gabe wanted to make Ellie behave and be nice to Lydia. But that’s not behavior you can force. Nor is a relationship something you can make by telling someone to do it. It’s something that two people create between them on their own. Ms. Adams did a really good job of this relationship. It was totally natural and what it should have been. It allowed for Ellie’s age and the fact that she really didn’t want to share her father’s attention with anyone. She saw Lydia as an intruder in the beginning. Nothing her father said was going to get nice out of her.
Gabe was so closed down emotionally from his first marriage. His wife had done a number on him. So he goes ahead with this relationship with Lydia. It’s a business deal. She thinks sex is off the table. He figures it’s there if they both agree. So then they work that out and it becomes “if they both agree”. What would you call that. It’s not exactly friends with benefits. This is a marriage that’s a business deal. It’s playing house with benefits. Then Lydia realizes she’s in love with Gabe. That it’s not just sex for her. It’s wanting to be closer to the man she’s come to really care about, to love. And he’s terrified by that. But he works through his emotions and realizes that he loves her, too. And Ellie puts “Mom” on her waffles Christmas morning to top it all off – and they’re a family! Awwww…