Sunday, November 1, 2015

review || A KINDLED WINTER by Rachel L. Demeter

Self-Published | November 1, 2015 | Holiday Romance


“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” — Dale Evans

A week before Christmas, Jeseca Reed sets off for Blue River, Oregon—her childhood home and a vault of tender memories. However, fate takes an unexpected turn when she’s left stranded in the mountains’ vast, untamed wilderness. Desperate and alone, she seeks shelter at a cottage and finds herself in the arms of a mysterious stranger.

Dr. David Drake was once a renowned cardiovascular surgeon. But a devastating tragedy has left him scarred both inside and out, unable to use his hands to operate again. For the past five years, his Blue River cottage has been his sole escape—a safe haven where he can shut out the world, bury himself in his grief, and reunite with his son’s memory.

Together they are summer and winter. Fire and ice. And yet a poignant connection forms between them. Jeseca awakens David and thaws his heart with a romance hot enough to melt snow. But before David and Jeseca can fully embrace each other, they must wade through darkness and confront the ghosts of their pasts …

Equal parts steamy and heartfelt, A Kindled Winter brings the spirit of the holidays to life with a passionate story of second chances and healing love.

{ about rachel l. demeter } .

Rachel L. DemeterI live in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, my goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of eleven years. I enjoy writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been my passion for longer than I can remember. Before learning how to read or write, I would dictate stories while my mom would jot them down for me. I hold a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, I ensure every character is given a soul.

I endeavor to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes my stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

My dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through my words. ♥

{ review } .

When Jeseca is heading toward her old family home for the holidays, the last thing she expects is the turn that everything takes. When she meets David, she certainly doesn't expect to stay with him, let alone fall for this reclusive man hidden away in his cottage.

This was a sweet Christmas story about two broken people coming together in the beauty of the holidays. David's past is one he keeps under heavy guard and key; watching him open up and find love again was definitely the highlight for me.

As it is a holiday novella, I certainly went into it expecting it to be an insta-love-type story -- holiday novellas typically are. I felt that Rachel did a good job with making the growing emotions feel real, and especially appreciated Jeseca's confiding in her friend toward the end that she and David had only known one another for a week, questioning if what she found with David could have actually been true.

When I pick up books from authors I don't know, let alone a novella, I'm never sure what I'm going to get. I feel that to write a good novella, they need to be perfectly sculpted -- it's very easy to throw words and emotions together and BAM! Make a sweet story with quick love. The problem then is believability and while the week-and-a-half scheme does seem quick, Rachel's use of dialogue and thought processes allow the reader to connect with Jeseca and David, and see that what they find is not just rebound from grief, but a true relief from a dark period of time with the possibility of ever after love.

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