Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde

TWILIGHT
Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

It’s Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated, and Delta Force Operator “Hutch” Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who’s taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn’t easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she’s really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he’d do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?

Christmas at Twilight delivers all the romance the title promises, and a heap of suspense on top of it.

The main characters were portrayed flawlessly, with both, Meredith and Hutch, carrying a lot of baggage with them, but even so, them growing fond of each other, learning to trust each other, and ultimately loving each other was written in a way that felt real and meaningful. Particularly Meredith was an inspiring individual with her strength and determination obvious in her every action. She is an inspiration for abused women everywhere. Her courage is awe-inspiring.

Hutch, too, finds himself at a crossroads at the point in life when we meet him. Without his genuine goodness and the bitter, but important life experience that he has, his life could easily turn for the worse. Instead, he makes the right choice and it leads him to love, loyalty and a new beginning. As a character, he went from a gruff, hurting ex military to an understanding, supportive and loving family man smoothly. His portrayal never once stumbled, it was very genuine.

What bothered me a bit was the overly positive portrayal of most of the side characters. The town of Twilight simply seemed too dreamy and ideal to be believable. I tripped over that quite a few times while reading, but the tight and suspenseful plot pulled me right back in. Especially towards the end, I couldn’t keep still when reading through Meredith fighting off her attacker. I kept wanting to help her kick him to kingdom come. But she managed to do that quite well on her own.

Just as the kids bring a lot of happiness and relief for Meredith and Hutch (even when he is still hurting from his war wounds), the same way they brought a lot of fresh and lovely moments to the story. Of course, that’s what kids usually do, however, capturing that in fiction requires a skillful writer. I really enjoyed their scenes.

This one will make you cry, it will make you smile. All that emotion will transfer from the page right into you as you read it, because the author wrote it splendidly.

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