The Doc's Holiday Homecoming
(Back to Adelaide Creek, #2)
Contemporary Romance (Clean)
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Publication Date: November 29, 2022
Page Count: 249 pages
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Could her closed heart…
Still have room for him?
Olivia Donoghue’s life has turned a corner. The radiologist’s eleven-year-old daughter is finally healthy, and she just moved to her best friend’s dreamy hometown of Adelaide Creek, Wyoming. If only her friend’s prodigal brother, Jeff Stanhope, wasn’t complicating matters. It's clear Jeff's kindness knows no bounds, having taken in his late roommate's teenage son and also offering her a cabin to stay in, but Olivia’s heart is already full…and safe. Is the former rancher worth the risk?
READ AN EXCERPT:
TALK ABOUT A first impression gone wrong. Please, give her the previous five minutes back and Olivia would start over and do much, much better. As she watched Jeff walk away, she resolved that from now on she’d watch her tongue when it came to his relationship with Heather. As was only right, she’d leave that to the two of them. At the same time, she might have known Jillian would plunge right into a conversation with Jeff about horses. In her daughter’s mind, Heather’s legendary horse-loving brother was a kindred spirit. Maybe it was inevitable that Jillian end up a girl devoted to horses and riding, but not when her body was still recovering from the effects of chemotherapy. Even if the assault to her body wasn’t obvious to the untrained eye, Olivia had absorbed almost too much information about what chemo could do to a child.
Then there was Jeff himself. Olivia had seen photos and even his mother’s paintings of him done over a period of years. No way had those images prepared Olivia for the real guy. They hadn’t done him justice, not even close. He had a presence about him that went beyond his thick dark hair and deep-set eyes that brought to mind luscious dark chocolate. With his wide shoulders and muscular arms, he had a body sculpted by the physical work of ranching or more recently, crewing on trawlers and freighters.
Olivia had expected him to be more as Heather described him, still hardened and bitter about losing his family’s legacy, this very ranch. If those old feelings were still a part of Jeff, he wasn’t showing them at the moment. At least not today, and not with Carson nearby. Whatever. It wasn’t her job to analyze any of this. His feelings about this ranch and his former home were completely irrelevant. She had formed an opinion that would guide all her dealings with the man. No matter how friendly, even charming Jeff Stanhope might be, he was a runner. A man who ran away from anything that smacked of responsibility. Like her dad. And Jillian’s father. She didn’t need a third runner messing up her life.
I laughed, teared up, and fell in love with this story of heartwarming second chances.
The Doc’s Holiday Homecoming is the second book in author Virginia McCullough’s Back to Adelaide Creek series in the Harlequin Heartwarming line, and it is the epitome of heartwarming. I laughed, teared up, and fell in love with this story of well-deserved second chances.
Four main characters, two small families, Jeff Stanhope and Carson Moore, Olivia and Jillian Donoghue, searching for their second chance in life, all end up crossing paths in Adelaide Creek, Wyoming. The chemistry between Jeff and Olivia is something special, although neither makes a great first impression on the other. But there is an undeniable glow between the two, both romantic and comfortable, that made me glad these two had encountered each other. I loved that each had typical concerns about how to relate to their children besides the extraordinary circumstances they were also facing. I enjoyed young Jillian’s exuberant enthusiasm for all things horsey and her adorable hero worship of Carson. Carson is sweet and kind, especially with the younger family members, and I was deeply affected by what he was experiencing after the loss of his mother. Each of his scenes in the book is stellar.
The residents of Adelaide Creek are friendly and welcoming, and the town exudes charm and is the perfect place to make wonderful memories. I wondered about Dr. Clay Markson from the start, though. He was so different from everyone else, and his reactions to his surroundings were always slightly left or right of center. I knew there had to be more to his story, and he brings a creepy unease to the hospital and Olivia’s new life.
This is the first book I’ve read by Virginia McCullough, and I was surprised by her ability to draw me so completely into her characters’ lives. The pacing was perfect, and the romance was well done, slowly and naturally evolving between equally mature people. I will be looking for more books by this author.
With exceedingly engaging characters and lovely small-town ambiance in the hands of this wonderful storyteller, I recommend THE DOC’S HOLIDAY HOMECOMING to readers of heartwarming romances and women’s fiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Virginia McCullough is thrilled to share her eighth Harlequin Heartwarming release with readers. The Doc’s Holiday Homecoming, available November 29th, is the second book in her Back to Adelaide Creek series. Like all of Virginia’s romances, this holiday story comes straight from the heart and features characters who could be your neighbors and friends struggling with everyday life issues.
Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia spent years as a ghostwriter, producing more than one hundred books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell. She’s moved around a lot, and a few years ago she landed in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where she enjoys hanging out with other romance writers, walking on trails, and downing mugs of dark roast at local coffeehouses. Her other award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, and The Chapels on the Hill. Virginia is always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.