Synopsis: Troy Wescott asked his friend Mitch Cortega to watch over his wife while he was overseas… Unfortunately, Troy did not come back. The ex-combat surgeon finds himself rushing the widowed Lily to the hospital and staying with her as she gives birth to twin girls. Trying to keep his promise to Troy while fighting his attraction for Lily, Mitch has a few personal demons of his own to battle. Can love concur all?
Author: Karen Rose Smith is an award winning and bestselling author from Pennsylvania. In the last twenty years, Karen has published over 70 books and many of them with Harlequin. Her stories often include small communities, family, and emotions.
Cover: I have to say this is a usual problem with mass-market paperbacks, the covers rarely match the character descriptions entirely. The hero of the tale has an old war injury on his hand that is not on the cover… but perhaps it would not be aesthetically pleasing? Nor do the two personages on the cover look old enough to be the lead characters.
Plot: The story starts after Lily has already lost her husband and before the birth of her twins. Mitch is supportive of Lily at first, but they deem some distance between them is necessary and the story skips ahead a few months until Lily is no longer on mat leave and back in the presence of her coworker Mitch. Then they continue to fluctuate between having a relationship or not.
Romance: This may just be a personal bias, but I thought it a little… callous for a person who lost their spouse approximately six months prior be falling in love with someone else so soon. I could be suffering under the delusion of regencies where a family had to mourn a full year before remarriage could be deemed proper, but it just did not seem long enough. The novel did mention that the bereaved wife still needed more time to get over her husband, but she had already slept with the new guy.
Characters: Sophie and Grace Wescott are the babies who are integral to the story but don’t get much focus. The girls are frequently present, but apparently so well behaved that they don’t require more than a cursory glance by the adults. It was only mentioned in passing that it was their first holiday and that they would never spend time with their birthfather, it is all secondary to the relationship between Lily and Mitch.
Quote: I’m falling in love with him and it terrifies me.
The Verdict: An enjoyable read set around Christmas that perhaps would be best not read directly around Christmastime.