A Christmas To Believe In

Clint King, the eldest son of the family, has decided to return home this Christmas to spend time with his mother and brothers. It’s been five years since he’s been back home to the family’s house in Kansas City, Missouri. Ironically, this will be the first time they actually get to meet their new found sister, Keeley Jacobs. It was only a few weeks ago that they were informed that she was the product of an affair Mr. King had when he was serving in the military while stationed in Vietnam. As if that isn’t enough to handle, Clint has taken his prize mare, Angel, along with him who is due to foal any day now. With any luck, she won’t give birth until after the New Year so he can keep his racing business afloat back home in Kentucky. He plans on staying the week then he and Angel will head back home again. But it seems once he steps foot back in his family’s house, the memories come rushing back full force especially when he sees Jesse Saur again.
Jesse grew up with the King boys and was like their little sister. She always played rougher and acted more like a tomboy while growing up with them around her. They actually all got along very well and Clint’s parents always thought that one of their sons would eventually marry Jesse. Up to this point though, no one has. Now that her parents have moved, she wants to spend some time this season with some of the people she cares for very deeply. When she sees Clint walk in for the first time after all these year have past, she can’t keep her eyes off him. She’s extremely attracted to him and will try her very best not to show him or his family just how much he makes her heart skip a beat. And besides, he’s only staying a week then going back to his farm in Kentucky. Her life is here now, especially since she’s almost a foster mom to a thirteen year old boy named Ethan.
As the days pass and Clint tries his damnedest to get closer to Jesse so he can act upon his attraction for her, Ethan seems to be insecure and frightened that he’ll be put back in foster care because Jesse won’t want him anymore. During this season of love and warm tidings, these people will all go through changes that’ll affect them one way or another. The biggest question of all is will Clint be willing to change his world around to accommodate Jesse and Ethan knowing that they want to remain in Kansas City? Does Angel foal sooner than Clint had hoped? Can the King’s and Saur’s find the peace and love they all deserve this holiday season?
I absolutely loved this novel by Ms. Ashgrove. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Clint and Jesse. Clint was dealing with a lot of insecurities and uncertainties that manifested years ago between his father and him. Now coming home for the holidays made him face them even more so than he was prepared to do. My heart went out to Clint because he was struggling with what he felt inside his heart. He wanted to act upon his feelings for Jesse, but knowing that he felt less of a man because he couldn’t financially provide for her since his horse racing business wasn’t doing well, he thought it was best to not get involved with her. I felt bad for Jesse because she was going through her own hell right now trying to finalize the adoption with Ethan and feeling insecure that she wasn’t making a breakthrough with him as much as she had hoped she would at this point in time. When I saw that Clint and Jesse were attracted to each other, I had hoped that they acted upon it because that’s what their hearts told them to do. When they started hitting bumps in the road, I felt bad for them that it was just another road block they had to find their way through yet again. Ms. Ashgrove knows how to write a story that grabs you immediately and holds you until the very last word. She makes you fall in love with her characters as if they’re real people and when you walk away you feel completely satisfied through and through. This is an author that you need to keep an eye on because she’s definitely going places! Keep the stories coming, Ms. Ashgrove!

Book Blurb for A Christmas To Believe In

Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in five years. Like his brothers, Alex and Heath, life has kept him away. Clint’s farm is barely hanging on. His prize mare's due to foal any day, and in the wake of his father’s death, Clint can’t stand the idea of returning. The memories are too much, let alone his father’s imposing shadow. Except, Alex is getting married on Christmas Eve, and their mother’s put her foot down. She’ll have her boys at home. With his mare in tow behind him, Clint prepares to meet a sister he’s never known and Alex’s unexpected triplets. The one salvation he looks forward to is childhood companion, tomboy Jesse Saurs. Yet when he reunites with Jesse, he uncomfortably discovers she’s become all woman.

Jesse Saurs has everything she needs – financial security, a home, and a foster child who’s about to become her son. She’s spent two years breaking down Ethan’s emotional barriers, and with the final hearing scheduled just before Christmas, this year promises to make his dreams come true. When she learns Clint and his brothers are returning, she anticipates a holiday reunion that’s sure to entertain Ethan. But on the night of Clint’s return, the ‘brother’ she expected leaves her trembling after just a single hug. Even worse, Ethan makes it clear Clint's not welcome.

Will this Christmas destroy what's left of hopes and dreams, or will it give the three the gift they've all been longing for?

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2010 5.00