A Baby For Christmas by Joanna Sims

The Other Twin Brother

Marine Captain Luke Brand has come home with one mission on his mind: to make amends with his identical twin brother’s widow. They’ve never gotten along, but for the wounded soldier, establishing a connection with his yet-to-be-born nephew is a top priority—and failure is not an option.

Still, he has to make peace without revealing his secret—that he’s madly, completely, head over heels in love with Sophia Lee Brand.

The last person Sophia wants to see this Christmas is Luke! She is too vulnerable and, well, too pregnant for the disruption. So why does she blush when he smiles, or her heart quicken when they touch?

His looks are all too familiar—but he stirs up emotions she has never felt before. Perhaps a kiss under the mistletoe will make both of their Christmas wishes come true?

Series – The Brands of Montana = #1 A Baby for Christmas – #2 The One He’s Been Looking For – #3 Marry Me, Mackenzie! – #4 A Match Made in Montana – #5 High Country Christmas – #6 High Country Baby – #7 Meet Me At the Chapel – #8 Thankful for You – #9 A Wedding to Remember – #10 A Bride for Liam Brand – #11 High Country Cowgirl – #12 The Sargeant’s Christmas – #13 Her Second Forever

Title:  A Baby for Christmas
Series:  The Brands of Montana #1
Author:  Joanna Sims
Romance Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Modern Western Romance
Publication Date:  November 13, 2012
Star Rating:  4

There are times when I’ve picked up a book and then realized that it’s part of a longer series.  Then it’s time for a decision – continue without knowing firsthand any of the backstory or the possibility of recurring characters who already had their story told, let alone possible spoilers to this new reader… or go back to the start of the series and experience it all first hand.  The last option is my usual response, and since the Christmas romance books are starting to appear it’s time to head back to the beginning of The Brands of Montana with A Baby for Christmas.

It didn’t take long before I was wrapped up in Luke and Sophia’s romance.  The fact that Luke has been in love with her for a decade is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  Now he’s returned home under painful circumstances – his twin brother’s death and his own injury.  He’s trying his best to keep his feelings from a grieving widow but it’s not easy when she needs comfort just as much as he does.

Sophia is grieving, she’s also angry at Daniel for joining the military.  Her anger will, in some ways, spill over onto his twin brother, Luke, who has always remained a bit aloof with her – something she never understood or ever considered that he might be hiding his love for his brother’s wife.

As Luke first returns home there is an awkward period between them, as they are the only ones at the ranch right now – there is no buffer of other family members between them.  Slowly they will talk, connect, and work their way towards being comfortable, friends even (at least on Sophia’s end – Luke never stops loving her).  As Sophia begins to develop more than family/friend feelings for Luke she’s fighting that feeling tooth and nail.  It has to be that Luke looks like Daniel, it can’t be that she’s falling for her brother-in-law, let alone a Marine.  Watching them work through the issues that surround them was an emotional journey, and had me wishing that Luke would just talk to her and stop holding back.

I enjoyed the family dynamics of the Brands, especially Luke’s mother’s wise words to her daughter-in-law.  They are not in a situation that is common, so wise words indeed.  There was laughter, a bit of steam (not a lot), learning to love again, some anger, lots of hope to be found in A Baby for Christmas.  There were things that ticked my ‘annoyance factors’ but they were not huge enough to change my opinion of this story.

In all, I enjoyed myself at this beginning of the Brands world and will definitely be catching up on this series over the next few weeks.  At this date, there are about 13 stories (and maybe more by the time I’m up-to-date) so I’ve a lot of reading to get to.

I own a Kindle edition of A Baby for Christmas.

 

 

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