Summary: This is the story of a young doctor, Charlie Yang, who feels she does not fit into the small town where she works. She meets Dave Ricker, a former Navy SEAL who has come to the town to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. They feel an immediate attraction. They are further drawn together when a young baby is discovered in the town’s nativity scene manger at a gathering for decorating the town.
Both are reluctant to take the next step because of directly opposite reasons: Charlie feels she is ready for a family and does not want a meaningless fling; and Dave is afraid of commitment because he feels he will not be good at having a family. The Donna Alward book is about how they learn to trust themselves and each other.
My thoughts: This is a heart-warming, lovely small town story full of holiday spirit. Although it is predictable, it is enjoyable because of the very fact that it is so.
Charlie and Dave are both great characters and their story has a wonderful setting. The descriptions of the town, the people, Charlie’s cottage, the manger and the baby are good.
I am from a small town; so I can relate to the situation of everyone knowing everyone else and the happenings in their lives. It can be comforting and disturbing in equal measure. It can be hard for outsiders to feel a part of a place where many share the same past and a strong sense of community.
My only criticism would be that the reasons for the hero and heroine not committing to each other seem slightly unbelievable after you read it the first few times. I mean, they are smart, sensible people; how can they be so dense when it comes to recognizing what is good for themselves? It could be the sign that it is a good story that you feel involved enough to wonder about this!
The book is a warm, quick read. It is apt for the Christmas season because of its message of trust and the subtle Christian vibe.
Note: This book was given to me by St. Martin’s Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review. I thank them for that.