Author: Lee Tobin McClain
Publisher: Love Inspired [Harlequin]
Publication Date: December 1st, 2019
Rating: 4/5 Stars
*Thank you Love Inspired and Amber’s Book Reviews for the opportunity to review this story!*
Will a fresh start heal old wounds?
His high school sweetheart returns with a baby…And a devastating secret.
Reese Markowski can’t believe he’s hiring his ex-girlfriend—but to save his program for dogs and at-risk kids, the veteran needs Gabby Hanks. Single mom Gabby’s fierce love for her infant daughter is undeniable, as is the child’s effect on Reese’s wounded heart. Their holiday reunion is a joyful surprise, but nothing prepares Reese for the truth about Gabby’s baby…
A secret child, a war veteran and two people seeking love, forgiveness and themselves. The Secret Christmas Child has it all. Reese, a wounded vet and owner of Rescue Haven, a program geared towards bringing boys to care for dogs gets an unlikely surprise when his high school sweetheart Gabby Hanks, walks back into his life and becomes his employee. Both fueled with emotions towards each other, Reese can’t get over Gabby’s betrayal with his cousin. Through working together, they learn so much about each other, including the cruel circumstances that separated them and their path towards healing and growing together.
This is a heartfelt love story with a holiday tie-in and a story line that will have you grabbing for the tissues. Both Reese and Gabby definitely have their baggage and each find redemption with the other through working alongside each other. Their love is there, real and raw and full of untangling emotions. You become invested in their pain and in their journey to self-healing. Both characters are both easy to invest because they were both like-able. Gabby and Reese didn’t seem like the cliche scorned sweethearts I thought I was walking into. Their story was much more complex than that. Gabby and Reese were able to work through it all, even the secret baby she was withholding at the beginning.
Gabby’s and Reese’s story while romantic and heart tugging was the only story that caught my attention. The supporting characters also played a major and vital role in this story. From the young boys finding healing through caring for the dogs, to Gabby’s grandmother, each supporting character added to the overall warm feeling of the story. Add-in a Christmas pageant and a wintery vibe and you have a holiday read that is a quick page turner that makes you wanting more.
About the Author
Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. The PW bestselling author of eight contemporary romances for Harlequin Love Inspired and twenty independently-published novels and novellas, she recently contracted with Harlequin HQN to write three mainstream romance novels, coming in 2019. When she’s not writing, she’s probably cheering on her daughter at a gymnastics meet, mediating battles between her goofy golden doodle puppy and her rescue cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.