Jane’s Gift by Karen Erickson

A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.

Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow—even though kids and commitment have never been his style.

Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

The setup for this book promised good things. If – like me – you like your Christmas books with a little drama, you’ll find it here.

The best thing about this book was hero Christian. We’ll just ignore the fact he is beyond perfect… looks, with all those children Jane has, with his immediate devotion to her… there’s nothing wrong with that every so often, is there?! He decided what he wanted, and he went after it. Not one of those stereotypically indecisive, secretive romantic heroes.

I was quite surprised to get a little way into the book and discover that Jane is only in her twenties. With three children, including one nearly into double digits, that seemed quite young. It wasn’t just the fact she had the children, but that her life before the fire was described as well-off, and well established in the suburban community. She had a husband very much into the social scene.

I guess by the time I discovered her age, I’d already pictured her as someone ten years older.

Of course the point of this story is for Jane to learn to live with both fire and danger, and to discover she can do it. To discover there is love and life after tragedy. So no surprises where Jane and Christian’s story will take you in the last few chapters. It was a nice way to end the book, and I suspect a lot of people looking for family-oriented Christmas reads are looking for something just like this.

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

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