by Linda Howard
HQN Books, Originally published in 1987, Re-released in the anthology entitled Under the Mistletoe
My Rating: C+
How do you feel about coincidences? Some people say there is no such thing as a coincidence; everything that happens is meant to be. How do you feel about the spirit of Christmas? Some people say it is the unconditional giving of love to others that makes that distinguishes the true spirit of Christmas. How you feel about coincidences and the true spirit of Christmas will effect how much you like this holiday tale of love and unusual romance.
A blinding snow storm has hit ranch country on Christmas day in southern Oklahoma. Kathleen is alone, eight months pregnant, when her water breaks and she knows for certain she is in labor. She figures she has two options: stay at the ranch where she is safe and can deliver the baby herself, or drive her old pickup truck to the clinic fifteen miles away where she knows a professional will tend to her premature baby.
Kathleen takes choice number two. She dresses warmly, packs extra things in the pickup truck and heads toward town on the snowy roads. Not even a quarter mile from home she finds herself in a ditch, unable to move. Her contractions are about three minutes apart.
All lovers of romance tales know what is going to happen next. Yes, driving down that same road in his four-wheel drive vehicle, is our ‘knight in shining armor.’ In this case the knight is actually a doctor. Actually he’s a specialist in neonatal care, has plenty of obstetric experience, is also single, and, of course, quite handsome. Doctor Derek gets Kathleen back home and helps her through the labor process. Together they deliver a beautiful premature baby girl.
Now was that coincidence or cosmic fate? The story travels nicely between this point and the happy-ever-after ending. I had a couple of gripes with Derek’s behavior but I loved the baby. There are some very touching moments that brought tears to my eyes. Linda Howard has a way of telling a story that lifts a simple plot into a story that pulls my emotions right into the characters lives. I can’t ask for much more of a light holiday read.
I read this book for the Holiday Reading Challenge.