Book Review – A Light at Winter’s End by Julia London

Posted by Ing on 7 March, 2011 // ★★ 7 Comments ★★


***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Book Review – A Light at Winter’s End by Julia LondonA Light at Winter's End by Julia London
Series: Cedar Springs, #3
Published by Pocket Books on February 22, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 400
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Holly Fisher opens her door one day and finds her estranged sister Hannah standing there with a glassy look and her nine-month old baby on her hip. Before Holly knows what is happening, Hannah has left her baby with Holly and disappeared. Three months later, fresh out of rehab for addiction to painkillers, Hannah shows up sober, contrite, and wanting her son back. But Holly is in love with the baby and not willing to give him up to the mother who abandoned him.

Into the middle of this extraordinary conflict between two sisters walks a lonesome cowboy, Wyatt Clark (Summer of Two Wishes) who knows a thing or two about childcare and fractured families. He’s had his own troubles and has stayed away from women the last couple of years, but he can’t resist Holly and the baby. But when Holly is delivered a devastating blow and returns the baby to his mother, Holly is too distraught to continue her relationship with Wyatt. It will take an extraordinary turn from Hannah to bring Holly and Wyatt together so that they both may find the happiness that has eluded them.

My Synopsis:
I’m not going to do a synopsis since I think the above pretty much sums the book up really well.

My Review:
This book is the story of Wyatt Clark who was left heartbroken at the ending of a Summer of Two Wishes. I have not read a Summer of Two Wishes but I thought this book read fine without having read the previous books in the series. Julia does a good job of giving enough background information on Wyatt, that allows the readers to understand Wyatt’s character.

I really adored Wyatt very much. He’s a bit standoffish and a loner. He is gruff, tough and still hurting. The explanation of what happened with his previous marriage and how much it hurt when he lost his wife allowed me to understand why he was the way he was. Let me clarify, his previous wife, did not die. She is still very much alive in this book. She had to make the hard decision between her first husband and her second husband (Wyatt). Everyone thought that the first husband had died overseas while serving his country but he had been a POW and escaped. When her first love came back from the dead she chose to be with him leaving Wyatt devastated and lost. The only one Wyatt really cares about now, is his baby daughter Grace. She’s all he has left from his previous marriage.

Wyatt has been living on his ranch for a year now away from town. He doesn’t have much interaction with people and that’s they way he likes it. He hasn’t made any kind of commitment or settled in one place too long since his world fell apart.

Holly Fisher is a songwriter. Songwriting is her passion. She’s been living off her passion while juggling one part time job after another. She has always felt like the black sheep in the family when compared to her older sister Hannah. Hannah with her beautiful family and perfect career has always been the daughter that their mother would compare Holly to. Holly and Hannah use to be close. The constant comparison between the sisters by their mother which often put Hannah in the limelight while Holly was left feeling less has put a wedge between the sisters. During their mother’s illness Hannah took care of everything while Holly went about her life.

The one emotion I felt when reading about Holly at the beginning was annoyance. Her character came off as whiny, selfish and flighty. When their mother was sick, Holly really didn’t make much of an effort to help take care of her. Her excuses were flimsy and weak. It was all about when things were convenient for Holly. I get that she didn’t have the best relationship with her mother but really? The middle half of the book I started liking Holly. Holly didn’t annoy me as much when she bucked up and took care of her nephew. All the emotions Holly felt when she was suddenly thrust into being the sole caretaker of Mason was genuine and real. Her character grew in leaps and bounds and I cheered her on.

The middle part of this book was great. When Holly heads back to the homestead to raise Mason she runs into her neighbor, Wyatt. When they meet Holly is instantly drawn to Wyatt. The development of this relationship was sweet. That’s the best way to describe it. Every moment they spent getting to know one another made me sigh! Holly begins to grow and become someone less self absorbed during this time. With Wyatt’s love and her baby nephew depending on her you see Holly in a new light. Wyatt is wonderful. He’s understanding and supports Holly at every moment. After what he’d been through before I wanted to see him happy. Holly made him happy.

When Hannah comes back into the picture after going through rehab for her addiction with meds my emotion went back to being annoyed again. I get that Hannah put Holly in a bad situation by just dropping off Mason without any explanation of where she was going and for how long. I get that Holly now loves Mason so much and can’t imagine him not being in her life. But when Hannah tries to talk and explain things to Holly of how she became addicted to pain meds I thought Holly came off annoying again. Neither sisters are perfect and Hannah has her faults but the whole interaction between the sisters especially Holly’s reaction annoyed me. Then Holly goes and hurts Wyatt and annoys me even more! By the end I just wished Wyatt would go off and meet someone else.

Wyatt, Mason, and Grace saved this book for me. Julia’s writing is wonderful and she tackles a whole a lot of complicated issues in this book. I just wish Holly hadn’t annoyed me so much. LOL! Notice ANNOYED is the word today folks. Anyway I enjoyed all the parts with Wyatt and the kids. This book didn’t entirely work for me mainly because of the heroine but I think many would still enjoy this well written book that deals with family issues, addiction, love and second chances.

Here are other POVs that gave this book favorable reviews:
The Romance Dish | Book Hounds

★★ Book was read in February 2011. I own my own personal paperback copy. ★★

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7 Responses to “Book Review – A Light at Winter’s End by Julia London”

  1. Ing

    @ Alexis – thanks for stopping by! I see you are a fellow Hook’em Horn fan! Woot! Woot!

    @Blodeuedd – LOL girl! I hope you get a chance to read it. I would love to see where you stand on Holly.

    @Christie – I’m going to go back and read Summer of Two Wishes and see where I stand with her contemps. I was not happy with the heroine at all!

    @Gabrielle – Oh..thanks sweetie! I keep it about the books and that’s it. I’m glad I didn’t sound like a bitch! 🙂

    @VFG – I take it you haven’t been impress with her books! You crack me up! Holly just really annoyed me. 🙂

  2. Ugh! The dreaded annoying heroine again!! She’s a repeating irritant more often than not in romance. Luckily, it’s been a while since I’ve had to endure her but I know there will come a time that she’ll be back in my reading life.

    I’m not sure this book is for me. Contemporary romance isn’t a favorite genre of mine and while like you mentioned, the romance between the H/h here is sweet, it doesn’t sound like it takes center stage from your review.

    Great review though! I enjoyed learning about this book through your eyes.

  3. Hi Ing! Thank you for stopping by and wishing me luck with my book. This review is the nicest I’ve ever read that used the word annoyed to describe how a reader felt about a character. You’re such a nice person!

    Have a wonderful night!

    Gabrielle Bisset

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