May Contain Spoilers
I am so glad that I discovered Erica Vetsch. This is the second Love Inspired Historical I’ve read by her, and I really enjoyed it. At first I wasn’t so caught up in the plot – yet another fire disaster leaves heroine Kate and her elderly relatives in a financial bind, and neighbor Oscar reluctantly offers to put them up at his house until they can figure out what to do. It seems that every western I have read recently in this line has had a fire burn down a house or a barn.
Once the story got rolling, though, it started to shine. I love how Vetsch builds relationships through simple, mundane tasks. Baking and cheese making brought both Oscar and his young daughter Liesl closer to the Amakers, and despite his hesitation, Oscar starts to care for his house guests. After the death of his wife and infant daughter, he swore he would never care for anyone but Liesl ever again. But with their quiet gratitude and kindly ways, all Kate’s family begins to get under his protective shell. Seeing his daughter blossom under the attention of these strangers makes him realize that shutting himself, and his daughter, off from the world was probably not such a good idea.
Kate is so stressed out, fretting about her family’s circumstances. Before his death, her husband mortgaged both the land and the livestock they depended on to make a living. With no money to rebuild, it looks like they are going to have to move to the city and live with, and work for, estranged relatives. I was stressing about how they could possibly make ends meet and still stay on the family farm, too, but the sad fact was that without savings, they were basically homeless. The ending resolution, both to Kate and Oscar’s courtship, and the family dilemma, was satisfying and believable.
Recommended holiday read
Grade: 4.25 stars
Review copy borrowed from my local library
About the book:
A Baby for Christmas
The only Christmas gift Oscar Rabb’s four-year-old daughter prays for is one the widower can’t provide: a baby sibling. And when his neighbor’s house burns down, he’s willing to open his home to pregnant and widowed Kate Amaker and her in-laws—but not his heart. Even if his little girl’s convinced Kate’s unborn child is the answer to her wish.
Kate quickly sees the generous but aloof Oscar has little interest in growing closer to his houseguests. Still, she intends to make the coming Christmas a season to remember for his daughter. And as Oscar starts to open up to her, Kate can’t help picturing just how wonderful the holidays—and a future together—might be.