A Christmas To Remember
By Kay Stockham
Publisher: Harlequin SuperRomance
Release Date: November 6, 2007
Marley Pierce has spent the last five years putting her life back together after it was torn to pieces by Beau Buchanan, a cocky bad boy she met while visiting her grandmother. In two short weeks, Beau seduced and abandoned the sheltered, naive Marley, leaving her to return home to her small town to face pregnancy, disgrace and tragic consequences for both her and her family. She’s older now, wiser, and has worked hard to build her landscape design business and rebuild her good reputation, yet her relationship with her parents, especially her mother, still suffers. She’s shocked and furious when Beau shows up in her small town to work at a housing development where she’s doing the landscaping, especially when he doesn’t even remember who she is. She vows to have nothing to do with him but can’t help but be drawn to him once again, especially when she learns where he’s been and what happened to him. And, the more she’s around him, the more she likes him. He seems so different than before: kinder, more thoughtful, more genuine. But she’s torn between wanting to spend time with him and needing to send him away because he tore her life apart once and she’s terrified he’ll do it again.
Regaining consciousness in a military hospital in Germany, Beau Buchanan has no memories of the bomb that injured him, no memories of the man sitting by his bedside waiting to take him home and no memories of Beau Buchanan. His mind is a terrifyingly clean slate. When he encounters Marley while working at a job site with his father, he’s immediately drawn to her and shocked that she seems to hate him. He still remembers nothing of his past and struggles to come to terms with the terrible things that she says he did to her while, at the same time, struggling to heal and to remember. He wants a second chance with her, a chance to prove that he’s a changed man and would never treat her badly. But, as the two grow closer, Beau begins to have flashes of memories, memories that make no sense, until he begins to question if he’s really a changed man…or a different man.
A Christmas To Remember was my introduction to the writing of Kay Stockham and vaulted her straight to my auto-buy list. Her books are deeply emotional and thought provoking, frequently centered around complex family dynamics and always, always touch my heart. Like a well choreographed dance, they never miss a beat.
This is the sequel to an earlier book of Stockham’s but stands well on its own. If you’re like me though, you’ll be intrigued by an important secondary character named Joe who keeps appearing in the memory flashes and will want to read his story in Man With a Past:Going Back, Harlequin SuperRomance #1347 (May 9, 2006).
PJ Ausdenmore – The Romance Dish