His Christmas Sweetheart was an interesting book. Last in a string of Harlequin requests from NetGalley, I was really hoping it would redeem the previous streak of non-winners. Sadly, it didn't follow through on the romance front, but it still managed to hold my attention well enough to read it in nearly one sitting.
Miranda is the owner of a small retirement home in Sweetheart, Nevada. She is struggling financially to save the house after losing a couple of her residents. Will has made his home in Sweetheart after years of the Army and PTSD. He feels crippled by his anxiety and by his ex-fiances reaction to his attacks. Despite this he is fascinated by Miranda and when she all but throws herself on him, he follows through.
The romance in this really didn't work for me. Miranda is incredibly pushy at the beginning, and it's hard to ever really like her. She's a nurse and runs this home, but she's never there, and the part-time help is a stereotypical one-dimensional character. Will is much more likeable, and his backstory is incredibly tragic, but I really couldn't figure out what he saw in Miranda. She doesn't run away from his panic attacks, but she does eventually think about leaving. This one had the bonus of having a plot line I just really dislike as well- Miranda makes plans for her future without ever telling Will until it's almost set in stone. I dislike when someone in an established relationship thinks, "oh I won't tell him I'm considering taking this other job in another city until they offer it." Way to blindside someone! The romance also wrapped most of the financial problems up in a neat little bow, which was convenient.
The part that I found fascinating was the author's treatment of Will's PTSD and his coping methods. I don't know enough about PTSD to know if the author successfully pulled this off, but I did find it compelling enough to continue reading. It seemed that the author had spent some time researching the facts, and did a great job establishing the seriousness of the disorder- but of course once he comes clean with Miranda the love of a good woman mostly cures him, which is realy unbelievable.
His Christmas Sweetheart will be published on November 5, 2013. Review copy from NetGalley.
Disclaimer: This is my first blog post using the iPad, my apologies if it comes out all wonky!