Tuesday, November 12, 2013

**Review ~ Take Me Home for Christmas ~ Brenda Novak**

Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #5)
Take Me Home for Christmas 
by Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey Creek #5
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ecopy of the book, from the author, in exchange for an honest review

Christmas is a time for remembering…

Too bad not all memories are pleasant! Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town's Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.

But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he'll never come back—until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he's left her to face all the townspeople he cheated.…

Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can't bring himself to turn his back on her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.

Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?

Although this is the fifth book in the Whiskey Creek series, it was my very first Brenda Novak read. It won't be my last. It was such a pleasure meeting so many of the inhabitants of Whiskey Creek and I am anxious to get better acquainted with them all!

Take Me Home for Christmas focuses on Sophia DeBussi and Ted Dixon. Fifteen years ago, Sophia broke Ted's heart by marrying another man. Sophia had her reasons, but Ted's never forgiven her. And honestly, Sophia has never recovered from the loss either. But she's lived with the consequences of her mistakes. And it's been difficult in a town the size of Whiskey Creek.

Now, Sophia finds herself in a wholly unfamiliar situation as her husband is gone and left her with quite a financial mess to deal with. If some folks in Whiskey Creek didn't like her before, they surely don't like her now that her husband lost huge amounts of their money.

Ted doesn't want to feel sorry for Sophia. He doesn't want to feel anything for her at all but he can't seem to help himself. So he offers Sophia a job, under the guise of being a caring citizen. He tries to keep his distance - even going so far as to start dating someone - but the more he's around Sophia, and her daughter, Lexi, the more he realizes that Sophia has changed.

I really liked Sophia a lot. She was raised as a rather spoiled child, but although people on the outside thought she lived a pampered life in her marriage, her reality was anything but. She'd been beaten down and had very little self-esteem. But she had a little pluck and seemed very determined to put her life back together, make something of herself, for herself and her daughter, and prove everyone wrong. Sophia showed a significant amount of growth, in my opinion. She had quite a few obstacles to overcome, both publicly and personally. I thought she rose to the challenge well. I admired Sophia for her strength and grace in the face of adversity.

Ted - while I liked him and rooted for he and Sophia to get their second chance - I found Ted slightly less likable. Honestly though, it was mostly because he wasn't honest with himself. And I suppose that made him all the more genuine. I did understand his hurt and need to protect himself, but he acted, at times, a little petulantly. I also thought he should have thought through things a little more before acting on them because this would have prevented some hurt. I loved his interactions with Lexi. I could feel the bond forming between the two and it was heartwarming. I also enjoyed seeing Ted and Sophia together once they were honest with one another about their feelings. I only wish Ted had given Sophia some of the words he'd though because she really needed to hear them.

Take Me Home for Christmas was such a pleasant read. I love second chance romances and if anyone deserved a second chance, it was Sophia and Ted. The entire supporting cast was fairly well fleshed out. And I never felt lost despite not having read the previous novels in the series. Ms. Novak has created a world that his very comfortable (well, except for those angry townspeople), with lovable and realistic characters. I feel as though I've made several new friends and I can't wait to spend more time in Whiskey Creek.


  1. You are absolutely spot on - petulant is a great way of describing Ted at times. Of course he ruins my impression of him by doing some really sweet things as well. I did really feel sorry for Eve as over the series she has been desperate to find someone and get settled down and things never quite work out.

    1. LOL Yeah, he did some mighty fine redeeming of himself, didn't he, Vilia?!? I did feel sorry for Eve although I don't have the backstory not having read the previous novels. I bet she gets her story soon. ;)

  2. I am so happy you enjoyed this, Brandee! And even happier that I've made a fan of you. Whenever I pick up a Whiskey Creek novel, I feel like I'm meeting up with old friends.
    Great review, and you are spot on both about Ted and Sophia.
    Happy reading! *hugs*
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Well, I kinda figured I'd like this series since you're such a fan, Lexxie! ;) But yeah, I really can't wait to read all the books in the series. Of course, they'll have to wait for a bit. LOL I have to read Sterling, too! :)

      Happy Tuesday! *hugs*

  3. Ohh I hate it when the guy acts petulant even if it is believable. Its just a little pet peeve of mine, othan than that though this sounds like a cute read. Great review!

    1. Oh, it was a cute read, Teresa. I really liked Sophia and Ted's story and I'm so glad there are other books in this series so I can visit Whiskey Creek again...and again. :)

  4. Sophia sounds like a great character to read about!

    1. I think she's definitely a character that will resonate with a lot of us, Brandi. I, obviously, liked her! ;)

  5. Oooh! I saw this at Walmart this morning and considered buying it. I guess I have to go back and get it now. Thanks for the review!

  6. Thanks so much for the fabulous review, Brandee! I'm glad you were willing to give one of my books a try. Really appreciate your time and feedback! Welcome to Whiskey Creek! ;-)

    1. It was my pleasure, Brenda! I'm sorry it took me so long to visit Whiskey Creek! ;) But you can bet I'll be returning. Thanks so much for dropping by.

  7. The concept of this book makes me think of Hope Floats (with Sandra Bullock). I have no idea how far off I am with that analogy, but it makes me want to read the book because I liked that movie. I also really love second chance romances. I may start with book 1 even though it worked to start here - I have a bad habit of having to read books in order.


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??