The Rancher's Special Delivery
The "package" is addressed to him, but rancher Sterling Blackwell certainly didn't order a baby! More scandalous still, he and the town's pretty teacher are named as parents. With gossip running wild, only a marriage of convenience can protect little Gracie and their reputations until her real family is found.
Heather O'Connor is content to be the spinster schoolmarm of Valentine, Montana…until Gracie's arrival stirs her heart. She can't keep the adorable child without Sterling's help, though she promises not to interfere with his life. But staying aloof from her handsome husband isn't easy with a tiny matchmaker in tow. A mistake brought them together, but love might just make them a family by Christmas…
I love it when a book leaves me in good spirits and smiling, and Ms. Shackelford manages to do that with her stories each and every time!
Mail-Order Christmas Baby does deal with rather serious issues of family dysfunctions and baby abandonment and it definitely isn't all feel-good light fluff, yet it leaves the reader with hope for the better days to come and that message lifted my spirits.
Sterling Blackwell and Heather O'Connor find themselves in a predicament many couldn't handle well. I admired their patience, perseverance, and goodwill to look after the precious baby-girl and sacrifices they made for her wellbeing.
Heather is a character I easily connected with. She loves order and numbers, enjoys baking and crafts, she is smart, capable, with an independent spirit, she has a kind heart and she is careful to guard it against hurt and pain.
Sterling is an alpha male, in charge and commanding, yet his good heart, his kindness, and his generosity are obvious to anyone around him. He is not afraid to take a stand for what he believes is right, he joyfully takes care of the baby and plays with her, and even play the nurse when the need arises. His nightmarish childhood and the verbal abuse from his father still plays a part in his life, both Sterling and Heather need healing from the past pain and wounds to be able to move on.
The shyness Sterling and Heather process around each other is endearing, but the connection between them is palpable, their feelings obvious to all around them. I enjoyed the complicated courtship between them, as they try to get to know each other and take care of the baby and the ranch in an all-around difficult situation.
Historically, the timeframe of the story is an interesting period, as the country is trying to get back on its feet after the war and trying to build for a better future. The development of technology and the new challenges the people face are well embedded into the tale as it smoothly flows off the pages while paining clear images in the reader's mind of the events occurring.
An entertaining and uplifting tale of overcoming obstacles, learning to trust and forgive, opening your heart to the new possibilities offered to you, and daring to face them head-on. A story that will touch your emotions yet will leave you with a smile and faith for the better tomorrows to come
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me