A Kindled Winter by Rachel L. Demeter
Publisher & Release Date: Black Lyon Publishing,
Time and setting: Present Day, Blue River, Oregon
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday
Length: 138 pages
Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
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.
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I have read other books by Rachel L. Demeter and enjoyed them. When she asked me if I wanted to read and review A Kindled Winter, in exchange for an honest review, I agreed. Since I like Christmas stories, I couldn’t wait to start this one. This is not your typical warm and fuzzy, light-hearted Christmas story.
Jeseca Reed is on the way to her mother’s house to enjoy the holidays with family. While traveling there, the weather becomes treacherous. She feels the car slide and unable to steer through it, she hits a tree. The car dies, and she is stranded. With her brow bleeding and her head spinning, she struggles to make it to a cottage she’d recently passed.
Dr. David Drake is a recluse, ever since he lost his child in a fire, leaving him scarred for life. When a young woman collapses on his front porch, he has no choice but to bring her in and care for her. With no phone service and the weather, they spend a week together.
When passion flares between them, Jeseca and David want to deny it, but these two tormented souls find common ground. Can they open their hearts and let love cleanse their souls?
This is a story that will pull at your heart strings, and at times, bring tears to your eyes. Not only are David’s hands so scarred from the fire that he can no longer perform surgery, his heart is frozen because of the loss of his son. The child’s room has remained the same. I truly felt David’s anguish every time he remembers his son, touched his toys and recalls the child’s delight at their last Christmas together. His character gained my sympathy and I truly loved David and so wanted him to find the light.
Jeseca’s character also has heart ache. She has lost her twin sister and feels as if part of her soul is gone. When she shares her story with David, I’ll admit, tears filled my eyes. Jeseca is a wonderfully complex heroine, and I loved her from the first page.
Since this is not a sweet Christmas story because of the hero and heroine’s tortured pasts, Ms. Demeter gives this reader some light-hearted moments with David’s goofy looking dog, Brody. Since this entire book really only has two character and the dog, normally that does not work well, but the author handles this so well, I never felt the need to have any secondary characters.
If you’re looking for a Christmas read with more than fluff, then A Kindled Winter is one you will love as much as I did. I suggest you read this one. You will not regret it. Happy reading!