My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn't know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans at Christmastime, she discovers she can't just turn them away.
Simon knows there's more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon's kindness soon melts Eileen's stern facade. Simon and the children already upended Eileen's quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?
Often I find it hard to enjoy a book where the heroine has an unlikeable personality, but the storyline and other characters kept me reading and more than made up for her flaws until Eileen's reserved and prideful nature dissipated. The author chose wait until nearly the end of the book to reveal to the reader as well as Simon the reason for Eileen's uptightness, which made it more of an effort to get to know her true character... however I think it was an effective method of letting the reader experience Simon's journey of viewing the slow crumbling of her defenses. The romantic moments between the two are my favorite scenes in the book and definitely sigh-worthy :)
(Thank you to Harlequin Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)