A Gift Beyond All Measure

PERSONAL SUMMARY:

A woman torn by a lifetime of betrayal, a man mending his own broken heart, an arson charge hanging in the balance. Neither wanted the attraction they felt for one another, but it could be what saves them both from a fate of loneliness or worse yet, prison.

SUMMARY: (blurb taken from author's website)

Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?

FIRST LINE:

Ch-chink.

Jacob Scott hunted often enough to recognize the sound of a round chambered into a shotgun.

PLOT:

The author told a good holiday story, pulling together each plot thread nicely by the end of the book. A Gift Beyond All Measure really touched my heart. To see the Christmas spirit come to life as the story progressed made it a very cozy read. The conflict and heart ache that the heroine, Tessa, suffered growing up brought real-to-life issues to the story that made me want to reach out and hug her. The plot held a few surprising twists for the heroine that I enjoyed following throughout the story. The final scene brought to mind a few questions in myself, making me wonder if I would be able to forgive and seek a connection that I had spent so many years burying deep inside me.

SETTING:

The story takes place on the hero's ranch, Triple H located in a small town in Montana. I could just picture the snow covered pastures of the ranch and the smell of the real Christmas tree mixed with all the delicious food Tessa prepared for the ranch hands all day long. Oh, which reminds me, Ms. Lanier offers a fabulous recipe at the back of her book!

WRITING:

This was my first book by Ms. Lanier. It takes a lot of skill to deliver a story full of emotions and Ms. Lanier definitely delivered in my opinion. Her story flowed smoothly and had great description of the surrounding and of the inner turmoil the characters where experiencing.

CHARACTERS:

The characters in A Gift Beyond All Measure are what brought together the story of hurt, loss, and betrayal, turning it into a story of love, family, and happiness. I loved Tessa's inner strength, her patience, and protectiveness over the people she thought needed protecting. Her ugly, heart-wrenching past is what I believe many reads will connect with on some level. And to read how she was able to find her happily-ever-after is what we all love to read about.

I was disappointed in the hero for the first two-thirds of the story though. For me he was sweet sugar and vinegar, a mixture that made him a bit stand-offish. He could explode one minute or sweep you off your feet the next. Too unpredictable for a hero in my opinion. But, I did like the ending. Jacob redeemed himself in the final chapter making me feel very happy with the over all story. I thought the secondary characters, Jacob's sister and her husband, were the right ingredient to provide a guide through the trouble waters for both Tessa and Jacob.

LAST THOUGHTS:

A seasonal read, A Gift Beyond All Measure delivers on it's title. If you are looking for a heart warming story and don't mind a hero that needs to be taught a thing or two about tenderness, then I think you will like this story. Tessa is a character that steps right out of the page and into your heart. She's a tough cookie that you want to find love and happiness.

 


Book Blurb for A Gift Beyond All Measure

Pages: 120

Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you, the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure? 


Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2010 3.50