Miracles are like snowflakes—no two are alike, but each one is precious and beautiful. This Christmas, Dr. Beth Harding could use a few miracles. The hospital she runs in River Dale, New Hampshire, is being shut down, unless she can convince the Scrooge-like board to save it. At least her closest friend, firefighter Logan Mitchell, is home for the holidays to offer a broad shoulder to lean on.
In California, Logan is a smoke jumper, but jumping into a romance with his best friend scares him more than any forest fire. After losing his parents at sixteen, Logan was taken in by Beth’s family. As kids, they were like brother and sister. Now they’re grown up, and sparks keep flying between them. If only Beth wasn’t already engaged. Maybe with a Christmas miracle or two, Beth can keep those hospital doors open—and two dear friends can finally allow their one true love to blossom.
From Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley. Some Spoilers below.
On some level, Logan has always been in love with Beth, but it’s only since her mother died earlier in the year that he’s begun to realise his true feelings. He works out as a fire jumper in California and it gives him the best thrill in his life. When he hears that his old boss has been injured in a blaze, and with the California fire season over, he returns home to check on things. With budget cuts, the local fire brigade is short on staff, so Logan is persuaded to take on some cover. The budget cuts also mean that the accountants plan to close the hospital that Beth’s mother set up – and to do it by New Year.
Naturally Beth is upset with this, and with staff shortages, she covers rounds, and realises that she misses the patient contact. Her sister Clare has announced that she wont be home for Christmas, as she will be staying with her boyfriend-of-the-month (roger) who seems to be controlling, and doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Meanwhile, Beth’s fiance (Rory) is under pressure from his company to make sure that Beth is signed up to join their pharmaceutical company, since her reputation is strong. He is also told, in no uncertain terms, that he needs to get married to her, in order to progress his career. These pressures, plus the fact that he’s an ill mannered, tight git, means that when he turns up in River Dale just before Christmas, things dont go smoothly.
Positives: it’s a nice, clean romance; decent descriptions of what it’s like to be working in a Firehouse and a hospital; Logan and Beth are fleshed out well; there’s a nice spin on the Michael and Mary subplot.
Negatives: Clare could have been fleshed out a little more – there was potential when Logan goes to visit her and meets the boyfriend, but then she doesn’t really make another appearance until the end; the same could be said about Rory – there’s so much pressure on him to have Beth join the company and the pair to get married, he puts a lot into Drake’s presentation, but after Beth turns him down……he disappears….unless I missed something, he doesn’t even hang around to plead his cause; the arsonist that doesn’t get caught or set any more fires after 2 firefighters land in the hospital
So a bit of a curate’s egg – good in parts, missed potential in other areas.