Thomas Kinkade, Author, Katherine Spencer, Author . Berkley $23.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-425-19825-4

A pregnant woman finds love after fleeing from her abusive ex-husband in this syrupy holiday concoction from Kinkade and Spencer, which is set in Kinkade's familiar New England locale of Cape Light, Mass. Leigh Baxter has a jarring first encounter with the idyllic coastal village when her trip through a snow storm leads to a collision with the local minister, James Cameron, a missionary who has returned home from Nicaragua to recover from malaria. Cameron finds Baxter a place to stay with his landlady while her car is repaired, and initially Baxter sticks to her story about being newly widowed. But her trip was actually triggered by her ex-husband, Martin Garret, a corrupt, brutal corporate mogul who abused her during their marriage and promised to use his wealth and power to get custody of their child. Cameron and Baxter's budding romance is as predictable as the lyrics of a Christmas carol, but the narrative pace turns positively glacial once Baxter settles in town as the local doctor's receptionist. A few ineffective subplots fill in the gaps until Garret's detective tracks down Baxter, and she must tell Cameron her real story. The cast of characters is engaging and well-drawn, but the combination of leaden, generic scenes and a formulaic story line make this the literary equivalent of a holiday fruitcake in February: sweet but stale. (Oct. 5)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-21496-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-6174-2
Hardcover - 517 pages - 978-0-7862-7149-8
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-0-425-20549-5
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-6173-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 330 pages - 978-0-515-14171-9
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