Sunday, September 27, 2009

Review: The Christmas Stranger by Beth Cornelison

Title: The Christmas Stranger
Series: The Bancroft Brides
Author: Beth Cornelison
Read copy: eBook
Published: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426841337
ISBN-13: 9781426841330

Deck the halls with danger!

After her husband's death, Holly Bancroft Cole knows Christmas won't be the same this year. Still grieving, she decides to complete the renovations on her North Carolina farmhouse and hires a construction worker. Drawn to his piercing eyes and gentle manners, Holly can't shake the feeling that secrets lie behind the handsome stranger's warm smile.

Haunted by memories, Matt Rankin can't remember the joy that simple pleasures bring until he meets Holly. When a harrowing attempt is made on her life, Matt realizes he can't live without this beautiful angel. Now he must protect the woman he loves at all costs - even if it means risking his own life.

My rating:

I honestly don't know what to say about this book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't extraordinary either, taking a safe, solid middle ground. I'm not even sure it could be categorized as a romantic suspense story, since it only got remotely suspenseful toward the end, and the "villain" could be spotted from the very beginning.

I had the most problems with the heroine in this one. She was a walking contradiction. Chipper, kind, too trusting (she just invited a complete stranger into her home and a few days later asked him to move in with her!), and too gullible. It was the latter that got on my nerves the most. Because she believed just everything people told her (even if it was hinky and later on clearly a lie). And because she believed what people told her, she quickly reverted course and took that trust away, hiding behind anger and bitterness. Honey, have you ever heard of consistency?

The hero was rather plain, blending in with the background, bringing his own woes into the picture. Woes that, oh so conveniently, tied him to the heroine's, oh so conveniently, murdered husband.

But the disappointment came with the final showdown and the big reveal of why Ryan was murdered (the "by whom" was obvious from the start). The reason and motive was completely out there and utterly bogus.

Sad, but so true.


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