by Rebecca Crowley, Stacy Gail
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I'll be home for Christmas… A batch of special Christmas cookies helps a wounded ex-Ranger remember the love of his life. A surprise phone call reunites a woman with the soldier who once broke her heart. There's no place like home for the holidays, and there's no better way to spend them than with the one you love. Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail and Hero's Homecoming by Rebecca Crowley. Stories are also available for purchase separately.
Gifts of Honor features two heart-warming holiday tales about loss, hope and second chances that had me crying, signing and craving chocolate. I am a sucker for holiday themed novels, but when you add in injured, damaged military men and their romances, lord have mercy this woman gets gooey on the inside. The book contains two stories; Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail, an author, whose work I have previously enjoyed, and new to me author Rebecca Crowley shared a Hero’s Homecoming. Both authors had me breaking out the tissues and believing in the power of love. Mini review: heart-warming, sensual and perfect for the holidays.
Starting from Scratch – This was delightful from the small-town to the wounded couple. Sullivan Jax has been in love with Lucy since high school, and the two grew up and wed. When an IED wipes out all memory of his wife he asks Lucy for a divorce. She agrees even if it almost kills her. For Lucy, the Christmas spirit is all bah and humbug, especially when Lucy learns Sullivan is back. How can she see the only man she has ever loved and be nothing more than a stranger? As Sullivan struggles to put back the piece, he is drawn to the woman who was his wife. I really got caught up in these two and felt their emotions. Lucy was so brave, and I literally consumed this as I searched and hoped for my Christmas miracle. I love tales of rekindled love and second chances and Gail nailed this one. Even the secondary characters, like Lucy’s best friend sprung to life and had depth. I would love to read more stories from this small-town. I laughed; I cried and thoroughly enjoyed this heart-warming tale.
Hero’s Homecoming– The previous holiday Beth met and had a whirl-wind four day romances with an officer named Chris. She thought it would be a weekend fling, but Chris continued to email her, and call her while stationed overseas. She fell in love, and then suddenly his calls and emails stopped. She feared the worse, only to get a two-line email saying it was over, she should move on. Imagine Beth’s surprise when she gets a phone call from Chris asking for her help. Chris has been injured, and breaking off things with the girl he fell in love with seemed liked the noble thing to do. A snow storm forces him to spend time with Beth and he begins to realize he was a fool. While this couple’s romance was still in the fragile stages when it ended, Crowley did a great job of expressing Chris’s fears and Beth’s tender heart. This couple didn’t have the history of Gail’s characters, and while enjoyable, it didn’t slam me with the emotions that the first tale wrought. Crowley captured Chris’s disability, and PST allowing me to feel his struggles, but I needed Beth to be fleshed out more. I didn’t feel her emotions. Despite wanting more depth, I got caught up in their tale and enjoyed myself.
Gifts of Honor offers two delightful tales perfect for reading around the holidays. Both tales were heated, but Gail’s was spicier in part because I felt the relationship more. Holidays are busy, and these are perfect for stepping out of the rush, curling up by the fire and escaping for an hour or two. Oh, bring tissues, wine, and chocolate you’ll need it!
Four cups of coffee out of five
About Stacy Gail: A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.
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Aww Starting from Scratch sounds like a very wonderful read. I love rekindled love / second chance romance my self <3 so happy to hear it was a sweet read
this was a fun one Lily 🙂
Braine Talk Supe
I love, love her cover arts for this series, makes me want to munch on cookies all day. Teehee! Anyway, I just had a mini military romance streak and with the holidays around the corner, my heart goes out to each and every soldier in the world who can’t be home to be with their families. The stories featured in this sound so heartfelt and I’m sure it’ll hit home for a lot of readers.
Oh me too, just need some coffee. I love romances with military men 🙂 *swoon*
I love holiday, feel-good romances. This sounds like a fantastic book.
Me too Pamela. I hope you get a chance to read these 🙂
Both tales sound wonderful and what a great reminder for us to remember all of those who have served and sacrificed for all of us during the holiday season.
So true, thanks Heidi!
The first one sounds fabulous! It kind of reminds me of that Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum movie. And it sounds really emotional too. Glad you loved it so much, I really need to read it (but I should stock up on Kleenex and chocolate beforehand :D). Great review!
These were perfect to get me in the mood for the holiday and remind us that all things are possible 🙂
That first story sounds particularly good. I like the idea of an old romance renewed (even if it is new to one of them). Sounds wonderful!
yes, I guess the second chance romance is new to him….sort of ..LOL
Melissa (Books and Things)
Laugh… YaY! Cry… booo! Still, darn it, you have made these sound like stories I would enjoy. I guess I will have to make sure I have that kleenex box full before I read it. I can curse you for making me cry, right? 😉
Oooh I love books that make you feel the whole spectrum of emotions, and as long as the journey leaves me in a happy place it is all good. I loved how vested I became in these characters.
Oh Kimba, this book looks like it would legitimately make me sad for these injured men. I am kind of a sap when it comes to that. But I do like the idea of having two stories in one. This one looks interesting for a holiday themed read.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Ya feel sad, but you also feel joy, and hope and heat!
Sounds like some lovely stories. I tend to shy away from most solider stories these days though because my brother is in the military.
That is certainly understandable, I gave up watching slasher/horror when I had babies..certain circumstances change how you process a book.
I am not really a fan of lost memory trope, but this book still sounds like something I will enjoy.
Yeah, me either but I think this really worked because it was a war injury, and only parts of his brain.
Both stories sound wonderful and great for the holidays too.
Agreed, and they make you feel all warm and fuzzy 🙂
Jeez, your reviews alone nearly ripped my heart out Kim, I can’t imagine what reading the actual stories will do! Like you said, I think chocolate will be a necessity when reading. And Kleenex. I’m particularly invested in Lucy and Sullivan’s story, I want an HEA for them so bad!
I loved their story, and thankfully we get the joy too..but yes any excuse for chocolate and wine is a good thing.
It sounds good 😀 and yummy
*tackles and hugs you* I have missed you, hope you week is going well 🙂
I’m slowly moving towards the holiday spirit and releasing my Grinchiness, these sound like sweet love stories! (My inner Grinch is still rolls her eyes about the holiday stuff, though.)
ha, well to be fair, pre-blogging I would not be caught dead with a holiday book in my hand until the weekend after Thanksgiving but …I understand why pubs want them out sooner. 🙂
Starting from scratch sounds like an absolutely beautiful read! I am not sure what I would do if I were Lucy… With a broken heart and that same man you love asking for a second chance *sniff sniff*
What a great holiday read 🙂
Thanks for sharing Kimba!
I could not imagine, she was one tough little cookie. 🙂
Thank you so much for hosting me today, and for taking the time to read Gifts of Honor/Starting from Scratch! This review made my day! *happy dance*
My pleasure, I really enjoyed them 🙂
This looks like another great holiday read!
thanks Ali, this one delightful, and an easy read 🙂
What a pretty covers. I haven’t heard of this book and it sounds like a perfect holiday read. I haven’t read many second chance novels but this one sounds great. Great review 🙂
These just made you feel good Tanja, and they are short and sweet.
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I’ve always been a fan of second chance novels, there’s that unnamed greatness and uniqueness about them.
Lovely review, hun! <33
Me too Melanie, I always one everyone to find their “happy”
Happy these stories were good for you. I haven’t had good experiences with holiday books, don’t know why.
Oh that is sad Jennifer, like any genre there are really good ones, so-so ones and why did I buy you ones.