Snowbound Seduction by Helen Brooks
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
This Christmas-themed romance has a thought-provoking level of character development within it. Rachel and Zac are both struggling with some massive emotional wounds, and their meeting is the catalyst for a great deal of healing.
Rachel struggles from a childhood of being unloved by her parents, especially her mother. It has made her feel less than adequate to everyone else, always failing in comparison. In fact, her conversations and remembered memories of interactions with her mother made my hair stand on end. It's actually surprising she turned out as well-adjusted as she did. She can't believe a man will love her enough...enough for anything. Yet, she shows a great deal of self-respect. I appreciated that she wasn't willing to settle for less with Zac.
As for Zac, he certainly was a layered character. He seemed like a really decent, straightforward guy, and I believed he was straight shooting. So when he owns up about his intentions, I admit I was shocked. Finding more about his past drew me even deeper into this story. That was dark. While I really don't like commitment-phobic heroes, rationally speaking, I can understand why he had issues with the idea of marriage. At the same time, I didn't want Rachel to be with him on his terms. She deserved better than that. I was glad he realized that at the end too. He came to the understanding that some things are precious, and they are worth holding onto instead of standing back out of fear. I wouldn't have been happy with this story if Brooks hadn't written Zac to make the gesture. It worked out just how it should have.
I really liked this story, more than I thought. It didn't sound like it would have much going on story-wise, but it turned out to be very deep, and I was very emotionally involved with the characters.
Brooks has a way of writing very modern stories, but with characters who have their own distinctive values true to themselves that manage not to be anachronistic or disjointed within the overall storyline. It makes her books resonate with me. Another good Christmas story with hidden depths. Thumbs up!
Overall rating: 4.25/5.0 stars.
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