Happy Saturday y’all! Only 3 weeks left till Christmas. I cannot believe I just typed that. It doesn’t seem possible!!! Today I wanted to share with you another holiday read. This week’s pick is a historical fiction, set in the late 1890’s out West. If you enjoy sweet, second-chance romance, I highly recommend it.
The Christmas Token by Shanna Hatfield
Series: Hardman Holidays #2
Published by Self Publish on 2013-11-20
Length: 318 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf
Determined to escape an unwelcome suitor, Ginny Granger flees to her brother’s home in Eastern Oregon for the holiday season. Reluctantly returning to the community where she spent her childhood years, she plans to relax and enjoy a peaceful visit. Not expecting to encounter the boy she once loved, her exile proves to be anything but restful.
A talented carpenter, Blake Stratton enjoys a simple existence in the small western town of Hardman. With honest work and good friends, his life is nearly perfect, at least until the day Ginny Granger arrives, setting him on his ear and turning his world upside down. Infuriated by her meddling presence, he’s further exasperated to discover she kept a Christmas token he gave her along with his heart the day she left town many years ago.
The Christmas Token by Shanna Hatfield is the second book in Hardman Holidays. This book follows Ginny Granger, Luke’s younger sister, as she returns to Hardman and her brother’s home hoping to escape an unwanted proposal. Ginny’s return throws the town’s carpenter and her childhood sweetheart Blake Stratton for a loop.
Ginny was hard to like. Luke had described her in The Christmas Bargain as his spoiled and pampered baby sister and that she never grew up. He was right. Ginny is every bit as spoiled as Luke proclaimed her to be. But I do think she is misunderstood. This is a girl that has been carrying around heartbreak since she was 15. She was in love, forced to leave and never heard from the boy again. Now she’s happy to play the entitled daughter role, traveling around the world without a care in the world until she attracts unwanted attention from a man that claims they are engaged. I don’t blame her for running to her brother on that one. I would have too! Throughout the book though, Ginny grows (thanks in large part to Luke and his wife). She becomes a character with a generous heart.
Blake is a character you will love instantly. He is kind, giving, and hardworking. He is there for his friends, even the girl who left him behind. It’s been years and he never received any replies from her, not a single one when he’d written dozens of letters. He thought he was over her until he saw her fall from the coach. Now he’s confused, a little bitter, and untrusting of Ginny who didn’t just break his heart, she trampled it. I like Blake, but he is hard on Ginny. He takes all his anger out on her and honestly even though she’s spoiled I didn’t think she deserved it…at least to that extent.
Overall I enjoyed this story, reading it in one sitting. It’s sweet, heart-breaking, and takes you back in time. I love the stolen moments they find together and the good things they bring out in one another. If you enjoy Victorian romance, I highly recommend this book!