Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Review: Mail-Order Christmas Baby by Sherri Shackelford

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


The Rancher's Special Delivery

The "package" is addressed to him, but rancher Sterling Blackwell certainly didn't order a baby! More scandalous still, he and the town's pretty teacher are named as parents. With gossip running wild, only a marriage of convenience can protect little Gracie and their reputations until her real family is found.

Heather O'Connor is content to be the spinster schoolmarm of Valentine, Montana…until Gracie's arrival stirs her heart. She can't keep the adorable child without Sterling's help, though she promises not to interfere with his life. But staying aloof from her handsome husband isn't easy with a tiny matchmaker in tow. A mistake brought them together, but love might just make them a family by Christmas…

My Review

What a conundrum these two are in! It's kind of a hopeless case of being forced into a situation because of a mystery and the reverend not standing up to gossip. I liked how Heather and Sterling made the best of it, and a true friendship grew. I thought the romance could have been stronger, and I missed the development of that aspect of their relationship. The plot is steady, although the narrative was a bit disjointed, but I was invested in the outcome of the mystery of where baby Gracie came from and who she really belonged to. The author dropped some hints as to the person stirring up trouble, and it was a sad reveal for the family to realize the betrayal. Baggage from the past woven in with faithful friends in the present gave Heather and Sterling plenty to figure out yet a strong support system while they did.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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