Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Candlelight Christmas (Lakeshore Chronicles #10) by Susan Wiggs

    Title: Candlelight Christmas
    Series: The Lakeshore Chronicles (Book 10)
    Classification: Adult Fiction
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Format: Hardcover; 336 pages
    Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (October 29, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 077831474X
    ISBN-13: 978-0778314745
    Author's Website:  http://www.susanwiggs.com/
Notes: I received an eARC Loan from the publisher via NetGalley

"Remember the definition of insanity?" she asked India, who was taking pictures on her smartphone. "Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result." 

Darcy Fitzgerald has been through the wringer.  Her ex-husband is the brother of her sister's husband and the son of her parent's best friends. She survived the divorce, but didn't tell any of her relatives what really happened to mark the end of her marriage--namely, her husband cheated on her with his first wife. Hence, every year since the divorce, the holidays--events shared between the two families--have been awkward, painful and something Darcy has come to dread.

Now her friend, India, is convinced that Darcy and her brother, Logan, would get along famously. She's offering Darcy a means of escape from her family's holiday gatherings by inviting Darcy to spend them with her and her family. While India has let her wishes be known, she's letting nature take it's course and hoping fate is on her side. Fate will have its job cut out for it because Darcy has vowed never to make the same mistake twice.

Upon their introduction, a spark of interest between Darcy and Logan was ignited. After their second meeting a fire began to smolder. Will their third encounter prove to be lucky and ignite something more--perhaps love? After all, candlelight and Christmas can be a heady concoction.


This is the tenth book of the Lakeshore Chronicles, but I didn't feel lost jumping right into this one. I thought it was refreshing how the story wasn't an instant love match and things progressed rather slowly at the beginning. It seemed to truly reflect how a person who'd gone through a terrible divorce would act--cautious, skeptical, and leery.

Darcy is not your typical woman. She's into sports marketing, a fairly specialized field. She's a sponsored athlete who tests gear and apparel for companies as well as being featured in advertisement campaigns promoting the garments and equipment of her chosen sport--snowboarding. She's always been a confident individual, but the divorce took its toll on her. She's decided never again to open herself so fully to another individual, especially not one with kids. She had completely thrown herself into the marriage and had fallen in love with not only her husband, but his kids too. It made the divorce doubly painful, and learning that Logan has a son from a previous marriage makes her reluctant to start anything with him.

Logan is a great dad and tends to put his son first. He had done everything within his power to try to make his marriage work, but in the end he and his ex-wife just weren't compatible. Now, when his son comes to visit, he makes sure to take full advantage of the little time they have together. He's dated some since his divorce, but nothing serious. He's realized he's more of a family man, but hasn't yet met a woman who could keep his attention and fears he never will. When he marries again he wants it to last forever.

Darcy, Logan quickly realizes, is not like other women. Every time he thinks he's got her figured out, he finds out something unexpected about her. She's not the type to make a man bend to her will and while she said she doesn't like kids, it's obvious that she does. He finds her a tempting puzzle he'd like to solve.

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed seeing Darcy and Logan fall in love. I loved the little extras, such as recipes, that Ms. Wiggs included within the pages. I personally can't wait to try the Eggnog Pancakes with Whiskey Butter recipe she included. Additionally, I was charmed by the story of the Christmas pickle--something I'd seen in ornaments, but knew nothing of the tradition behind them. Those little extra touches added a touch of whimsy to an already sweet and charming read. I felt this one is a perfect read for the holiday season. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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