Looking for a fun holiday read? Check out ONE CHRISTMAS WISH by Sara Richardson!
Heart of the Rockies, #2.5
by Sara Richardson
‘TIS THE SEASON FOR SECOND CHANCES . . .
There’s nothing like a Christmas wedding to warm a girl’s heart-or to distract everyone else from the fact that one particular bridesmaid intends to quickly skip town. Julia Noble’s accident was years ago, and she’s tired of being overprotected. She needs to be on her own. But before she flees Aspen, Colorado, Julia wants to make sure her brother has the perfect wedding and all her ducks are in a row. Yet duty soon turns to pleasure when three days before the big day Julia runs into the only man she ever dreamed of marrying.
Fresh out of the navy, Isaac Nash just wants to feel normal again. But starting his new life means winning back the girl who captured his heart years ago. Isaac didn’t know the truth behind the tragedy that changed Julia’s life forever, and he can’t stop blaming himself for not being there for her. After all this time, he knows that Julia is what he wants, this and every Christmas. Now Isaac just has to convince her that she’s earned a miracle, too . . .
(This is the first book in this series that I’ve read so everything below is based solely on this story. If there are any additional bits of information in the others then it won’t be reflected here. I think that this story can stand on its own as it feels complete to me, but I can’t say that for sure 🙂 )
I know I shouldn’t, but I’m going to start with things that didn’t work and move things that did, so make sure you read to the very end! I want everyone to know that there is so much to recommend this book and not to get held up on anything else.
I wasn’t a fan of Julia hiding her plans from her family. I understand her reasoning, with the wedding and how they treat her, but she has to know how much it is going to hurt them when they find out. But it kinda works to make the story more realistic. Characters don’t have to be perfect all the time and as long as they have growth a good author can make it work. And I think that Richardson definitely does just that.
I do admire how resilient Julia is. She had a horrible experience as a mid-teen, something that forever changes her. Overall though, she seems to have bounced back and made a life that works for her. But time spent with Isaac does show that in some ways she’s just pretending and he helps her look at some of those things a little more closely.
Isaac is all sorts of fantastic. He’s caring, supportive and tries hard to win Julia’s trust & her heart. The way he goes about winning her back after he messes up in her eyes is just beyond fantastic.
But I feel like Richardson may have glossed over Isaac’s PTSD just a little bit. We get a glimpse of it but I’m not sure that it was properly addressed. And I’m also not 100% sure why he was never in contact with these people after leaving for the Navy. I get that life as a SEAL is difficult and that he left under not-so-great circumstances, but some sort of communication wouldn’t have been amiss.
While the story isn’t perfect, it holds together really well, especially for a novella, and any complaints I have are easily overshadowed by the multitude of good parts – the pacing is solid, the characters are real, and their journey to a HEA (over a decade in the making) is so very touching. I’ll definitely be looking for more books by this author.
Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.
Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After five years in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her first contemporary romance, No Better Man, was released by Grand Central forever 2015.