A Family Made at Christmas
After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.
Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?
I am not sure what I loved most about this story; the developing, fragile relationship between Levi Wallin and the Murphy family, the new faith in God and trust in the people around her that was growing in Callie's heart, the romantic feelings that were developing between Callie and Levi, the Walling and Murphy families, the community that pulled together, or the redemption and forgiveness of the past transgression that was so evident in the story.
I started this story in the evening, thinking I was going to just read just a bit and ended up inhaling the story and reading until the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This is an unputdownable book, just get comfortable and enjoy it.
Levi and Callie were characters that I fell in love with. It is so easy to relate to them. Their imperfections highlighting their positive sides, their humbleness and loyalty shining through. The patience Levi had - to show and teach the Murphys the new and exciting life, talents, and tasks - was admirable. The love that was evident in each scene just gave me all the warm feels.
Callie had so many disappointments and setbacks in her young life yet that had just made her tough, capable, and able to take care of the family to the best of her abilities. The new life with the Wallins was as exciting as it was scary, her dreams were coming true and Callie wasn't sure if she deserved them or could trust them to be true and lasting.
Levi was sure his past actions, before becoming the man of God, didn't allow him to have the feelings that were growing inside his heart towards Callie. While teaching her about faith in God, he learns a lesson of forgiveness himself.
The connection between Levi and Callie is palpable, natural, and tight. They learn to work as partners to raise the Murphy kids and are building a life together, making a family, even before they realize it themselves.
A beautiful story about family, love, forgiveness, and faith in God with a touch of Christmas traditions and lots of cheer in a frontier town back in time
~ Five Spoons
Published December 5th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical, Harlequin
$4,99 ebook edition