Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winter in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight

Published & Release Date: Defy the Dark 

Publishing, January 19, 2014

Time and setting: Present Day, USA      

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 189 pages

Heat Level: Sweet

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Lisa Mortan’s ideal life crumbles when her rich and powerful fiancé demands she end an unwanted pregnancy. With no job or social support, she flees to a small town in hopes of finding a good family for her unborn baby, but instead finds a man who is as broken as she is. 

Eric Gaylord returns to his home town for a respite after a tragic loss, but when his spitfire mother takes on an unknown woman as a business partner, he is forced to face the nightmare he’d left behind or risk losing the one woman who could heal his heart

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Vikki’s Musings

I am so pleased I found Winter in Sweetwater County. When I discovered the sweet romance, the book description sounded great and since I had Ciara Knight a couple of years ago at a Reader/Writer conference, I thought I would give it a read. I always enjoy books with babies and unplanned pregnancies and I was not disappointed in this one. It fed the nurturing side of me quite nicely.

Lisa Martan arrives in Creekside on a icy, wintery day. She has gone into partnership of an Antique Shop with Judy Gaylord, a woman she met through the internet. Lisa has a secret. She is pregnant with her ex-fiancée’s child, a man so determined to never have any children, he had threatened to kill her if she did not abort the baby. She plans to find a family in the sleepy little town to give her unborn child a home, allowing her to return to New York City and to the career she left behind.

As her pregnancy advances, she begins to realize she could raise the baby instead of giving it up for adoption. When she meets her partner’s son, a local attorney, she feels an instant attraction, but accepts that there is no way Eric could ever want her when she is pregnant with another man’s child.

Eric Gaylord had a promising career in New York, but missed his small-town roots and when his father died, he returned to be close to his mother. After losing his girlfriend and their unborn child in a horrific car accident, he believes it was his fault and is riddled with guilt. Even though he feels a powerful attraction to Lisa, he believes he is undeserving of ever having such a wonderful woman in his life.

Can two broken spirits learn to trust and love again, or will fear of allowing someone in their hearts keep them stuck in the past?

I am not normally attracted to contemporary novels set in small-town USA, but I am so glad I gave this delightful book a chance. The story pulled me in from the first paragraph and kept me listening avidly to the end. In fact, I had a hard time stopping the audible version on my iPhone when everyday life interfered.

The narrator’s smooth tone and ability to bring the characters to life with distinct voices for each character added greatly to my listening enjoyment. I loved the cadence of her voice when she changed from the southern drawl for Eric and his mother, to the New York accent of one of Eric’s clients.

Ms. Knight weaves a wonderful heart-felt story of love that grows from friendship. A tale of two coming together and healing each other heal from deep emotional pain. I loved the simple rural life depicted in Winter in Sweetwater County and enjoyed meeting the unique characters, from the busybody to the kind-hearted town folk who take Lisa under their wing, making her feel so welcomed and part of the town.

I fell in love with Lisa’s sweet personality and her determination to do what is best for her unborn child. Her character really did get a raw deal from the jerk she had been engaged to, and it is no wonder that her self-esteem suffered.

I also liked Eric’s character as well. He is an honorable man filled with deep remorse from allowing ambition rule his life to the point that it drove his previous girlfriend to leave him. I felt his pain at losing her and his unborn child when he finally opens up to Lisa.

There were a few minor plot points that could have been further developed, but the story is so heart-warming, I am willing to overlook them. After all, this is fiction. I read a few of the bad reviews, and I really feel they were way too harsh for such minor details that in no way take away from this enchanting story.

Overall, this is a delightful tale filled with plenty of touching moments. I am amazed that I could enjoy such a clean, sweet romance since my taste normally runs toward the sensual love story. I suggest you give Winter in Sweetwater County a read. You will not be disappointed. I have already downloaded the next book in the series and can’t wait to listen/read it. Happy reading!  

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