THE CHRISTMAS SECRET

THE CHRISTMAS SECRET                        JEANNIE WATT

The Christmas SecretTrapped in a cabin in a raging blizzard with the one man on earth who could turn her world upside down…this Christmas holiday was not playing out at all the way Lil Reynolds had planned. Not even close.

When Lil’s former fiancé chose to marry on Christmas Eve—the day he and Lil had planned to marry one year ago—she knew she had to get out of town for the holidays. Heading to the isolated family cabin seemed like the perfect solution, until the blizzard came…and a man showed up at her door in the heart of the storm. Casey Lanigan. Her ex-fiancé’s brother. A man with whom she shared a secret summer romance many years ago. A man who’d betrayed her trust. A man who, despite everything, still made her heart beat a little harder…
So much for a Lanigan-free holiday.
MY REVIEW:
     When you grow up in a household filled with uncertainty you tend to have trust issues.  At least that was the case for Lil Reynolds and Casey Lanigan.  Yet, for two totally different reasons.  
     You see Lil grew up with a father who just didn’t give a damn about anything or anybody, except a good stiff drink.  He was better known as Cherry Lake, Montana’s number one drunk.  Which in turn taught her shame and how to not show fear by being an extravert which she totally was not.  She was a girl who was filled with fear of what her dad would do or what he was up to or at what he was up to next. The only time he ever slowed down, was when it was the Christmas season.  Always giving false hope that this time he would give it up and she and her mom would or could be a part of his life or at least and important part.
     As for Casey, he has a father who had and who could not find anything good in anything he did.  He was always riding his ass.  Letting him know he wasn’t good enough so he started to believe it. Once he started to act out to prove it to his father, right then, it was a downhill spiral. 
     Lil came to work for his father at the Lanigan Greenhouses.  She was assigned to work with him.  She was excited because from the minute she saw him she was in love but she was also scared for he was a risk taker.  Why he had been to Juvie and all the mischief he got into.  So far the first three weeks they co-existed.  Until one broke the ice then it was lunching together, talking, and secretly making out.  With the understanding she could not handle him being arrested and acting out.  He said okay.
     Then the worst happened Casey was arrested for the second time.  He tried to explain it away but she wasn’t having any of it and she said they were over.  He couldn’t believe it she wasn’t willing to give him a second chance.  So, he left town to make something of himself to prove he could for her.  She went off to grad school.
     Eight years later thing have changed and not for the good.  In those eight years he had come home once to tell her he had made it and she was dating his younger brother.  Then the next thing he hears their getting engaged due to marry on Christmas Eve.  Then he hears they broke up and she was the one that called it off and their grandmother had something to do with it.  Curtis was engaged now to another woman and didn’t have the balls to tell his fiancé that they were getting married on the date that he and Lil were to marry.
     Casey was already called home to work the Greenhouses for his father had a heart attack.  Therefore, he was available to be the best man and the duties needed to be done.  Then, the day before the wedding he and his father once again fight he quits the greenhouses and is going back to the business he sold.  He needs to get his gear from the cabin up at the mountains where he stored it all.  He didn’t know there was a storm coming in.  He’s able to get his stuff but he get stuck on his way down.  Just before he is passing Lil’s cabin.
     You see it so happens that Lil who never ever goes to the cabin in winter decided to go in order to get away from all the “Oh you poor girl looks.” The town people were giving her.  So she took her cat and headed to the cabin taking all the Christmas cheer she could with her.  She had music playing, she had cinnamon stick with cloves on the stove, and started decorating.  When she was sitting by the fire she hears something on the porch.  Not sure what it could be.  When she hears a faint knock.  “No way,” was her first thought because like herself no one would be out in this.  This storm wasn’t supposed to even come in their direction but it did.  So, who could it be?  She looks out and there is someone she opens it and in stumbles Casey.
     She left in order to get away from the Lanigan’s and the wedding stuff and now they were coming to her.  She was not a happy camper.  But he is wet to his waist.  So, she takes him in and things are strained.
     This is a very cute story.  How Lil and Casey work through the past hurts and mistakes.  There were some slow spots for me but overall it was good.  I would give it 3 ½ - 4 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  
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