Review – Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak

Take me Home for ChristmasPublisher: Mira
Publish Date: October 29th
How I got this book: NetGalley

Christmas is a time for remembering….

Too bad all memories aren’t pleasant. Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town’s Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.

But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he’ll never come back—until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he’s left her to face all the townspeople he cheated….

Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can’t bring himself to turn his back on her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.

Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I was so excited to read Ted and Sophia’s story, because they had been built up so much throughout this series, and unfortunately, I just didn’t like it.

Ted was left heartbroken by Sophia when they were younger, but now that she is down on her luck, he is finding it almost impossible to turn his back on her. There is something about her situation that is bringing out all his protective instincts, despite the fact that she threw him away for another man all those years ago. But seeing Sophia deal with the changes in her life proves to Ted that she has changed, in more ways than he ever thought possible.

Sophia was miserable in her marriage, but now that her husband has deserted her and left her to deal with the fallout of his stealing millions of dollars, Sophia finally found freedom. Despite the fact that she has to go out and get a job, as a housekeeper for her old flame, Sophia is looking to start over anew with her daughter. But the town of Whiskey Creek isn’t feeling very forgiving, and Sophia may have to pick up and leave. But a Christmas miracle might be enough to change her reputation.

I adored Sophia in this book. I was so excited to learn more about her, especially since it was painfully obvious that she was stuck in an abusive and impossible marriage. But now that her husband has left her, the chance for freedom is more exciting than she ever expected. Having to get a job, worry about bills, and balancing a checkbook were all things she never had to worry about until now. Watching her struggle to not only deal with the fallout from her husband leaving, but also from the town turning on her and her daughter, was so special. Sophia was so strong, so determined, and I absolutely loved her for it. I think I loved her character so much more at the end of this book, because of the incredible amount of growth she had to go through.

Too bad Ted turned out to be a douche. It was painfully obvious to the readers (and Ted, I assume) that he still cared deeply for Sophia. Although he gave lip service to the idea of being over her, he still wanted to protect her, know about what was going on with her, was worried every time she showed up with a black eye or split lip. Then he turned around and started dating the one friend that Sophia had left?! Why Ted turned to Eve, who he knew was serious about wanting to settle down with someone, is still beyond me. The fact that he slept with another woman during this book was enough to have me hating him from page 1. The groveling to BOTH women for putting them through his insecurities and bull was completely lacking, and I thought that Ted came across as selfish and egotistical.

Because of Ted’s inability to be an adult, I really didn’t enjoy the romance between Ted and Sophia. Granted, the romance itself was all of about 50 pages. Given the fact that Sophia was still married on page one, and Ted’s relationship with Eve lasted through the majority of the book, this story had more of a chick-lit feel to it than romance. It wasn’t my cup of tea, and given how much I usually adore Novak’s stories, I was extremely disappointed.

All in all this was not a romance book that worked for me. Given the characters didn’t even commit to each other until the end of the book, I really struggled with enjoying the romance. The only thing that saved this book for me was the fact that I seriously loved Sophia’s character and journey. However, I couldn’t be more disappointed and let down with Ted and Sophia’s romance.
I give Take Me Home For Christmas a D+

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