“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.
Review: This story has a darkness to it due to the secrets Jeseca and David have from their pasts that won’t allow either of them to move forward. The story only spans a couple of weeks around Christmas and the epilogue gives nice closure and a happily ever after is in the offing a year later.
Jeseca and David meet under unusual circumstances. She crashes her car during a snowstorm not far from his house as she is trying to get to her mother’s for Christmas on narrow, winding roads surrounded by bad weather. She trudges to his house and is welcomed by David out of the cold and the elements even though he is a recluse due to injuries he’s sustained and doesn’t talk about and likes to be alone. His vacation home is his sanctuary due to things that have happened to him and his family and are secrets he holds close and never talks about. His dog, Brody, who plays an important role in the story is his only companion. She knows he has losses in his life but doesn’t know the specifics until he opens up fully. She has her own secrets that she never speaks to anyone about – the death of her fraternal twin, Aubrey. They each have their own coping mechanisms of how they deal with anxiety and their losses. As they get to know each other and start to feel comfortable with each other they open up and the chemistry they try to fight takes over. The emotions for them and the reader are real and I was swept up in the story.
There is a clarity and vividness to the descriptions of the scenery, his home, their feelings, their chemistry and attraction. Each helps the other heal but they live in vastly different places and look upon this as a few weeks out of their lives. I could feel the healing taking place even if they did take one step forward and two steps back at times due to the negative thoughts that always floated around in their minds and that we are privy to. I could actually feel their inner turmoil as they thought themselves undeserved of any affection let alone love. At only one hundred and thirty eight pages the story moves quickly and I was able to finish the book in under four hours.
Demeter is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her books. She writes both contemporary and historical romances – two of my favorite genres.
Favorite Quote: But Jeseca Reed had made him a believer. She’d awoken his soul, lit fire to his imagination, and stirred his mind and body from a five-year slumber.
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.
Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.
Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.