Home For Christmas
By Fiona Greene
What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…
Sergeant Tate McAuliffe, stationed in Afghanistan, opens his Christmas care package from Australia and is stunned by both its contents and the sender.
Fun-loving Christmas tree designer Layla Preston is a breath of fresh air for loner Tate. Although they’ve never met, their email friendship quickly develops and their feelings for each other deepen.
But Layla knows the heartache that loving a soldier can bring and when Tate is injured, her deep-seated fear drives them apart. With their relationship in tatters, can Layla and Tate work through their differences, so Layla can welcome Tate home for Christmas?
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*** Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an Honest Review. ***
To say Sergeant Tate McAuliffe has had some crappy Christmases in his past would be an understatement and why should this year be any different? Stationed in Afghanistan, he’s taken by surprise by the gift he receives from a stranger.
Layla Preston lives in Australia and follows the troops’ mission in Afghanistan. She comes from a military family, but they are all gone now. Inherited from her dad, she has Bonsai Christmas, a tree farm her father purchased after retiring from the military.
This IS an Australian novella, some terminology translations may be helpful:
Ute= Utility Vehicle, Thong= flip flops, Esky= cooler, RSL= Returned and Services League (support organization for the ADF (Australian Defence Force)), doona= quilt or blanket
Short Holiday novella: under 100 pages. Stands alone.
Tate really is portrays as a broken spirit when it comes to family and holiday reunions, preferring his fellow soldiers to blood family. Layla is like an angel in spirit. She breathes life and vitality to all with her kindness and generosity. There’s a nice blend of secondary characters that help support the story. Believable dialogue and interaction enable the dynamic and dramatic plot to flow smoothly and swiftly. There was enough push and pull in the story line to create some conflict, although it was nothing of epic proportions, and a pleasant enough resolve was found. Predictability was blissfully low. The conclusion was solid and without cliffhangers. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.
I love books.
As a child we didn’t live near a library until one opened when I was nine. I was in heaven, then we moved and I traded my library card for one for a mobile library that visited the local shops. Ten months later, we moved again. This time to an older house on stilts with a dark and scary ground floor. Exploring the depths, I discovered a cupboard and stored inside were boxes and boxes of romance novels.
My early love of category romance morphed into a passion for historicals, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. In an attempt to widen my reading preferences, I still visit the library regularly, but choose all my books by the spine, without reading the back cover. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
My books and short stories range from journeys across time and space – futuristic and sci-fi romances to contemporary romance. After all, what’s not to love about a strong military leader with a spacecraft? Unless its a sexy farmer with a Ute?
A lot of my pre-writing is done while I’m pounding the pavement – either running or walking the family’s two large dogs. I’m always up for a challenge, so I split my time between my home town of Brisbane and an owner-builder project on a rural property in Queensland’s Southern Downs, where the air is crisp and clear and the view of the night sky is to die for.
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