BLOG REVIEW: His Christmas Wish by Marquita Valentine

24y.o. teacher steels herself against her 25y.o. estranged husband who's back in town.
He left her for the Army 4 years ago and now wants her back. 
She recently found out about his deception and isn’t sure what that means to her. She hasn't really gotten over him and being around him again with his clear intent on having a second chance with her makes it difficult to keep her limits.
But their problem before still stands now. Their families still can’t abide each other and heroine doesn’t want to cause her ailing mother heart failure. When the truth comes out, however, heroine has to make a choice. What does she choose this time around?

A good second-chance romance. It’s a novella but didn’t feel short. The focus is on the present time, with Hero’s coming back for heroine after he left her for the Army 4 years ago. We get tidbits of their past romance scattered throughout the book. Basically, Hero left her the day after their secret wedding to join the Army as a backlash against his parents’ who disowned him for marrying heroine. After numerous letters & phone calls, her failure to join him where he was stationed signaled the end of their relationship. He let her be and continued on with the Army. What they both didn’t know until the present time was that his letters & most phone messages never reached her because her mother intercepted them. Heroine also felt guilty for leaving her ailing mother & for getting married in secret so she doesn’t go with Hero and stays in town.
Their immaturity caused their separation. He was hot-headed & impulsive. She was scared of rocking the boat with her family. Their 4-year separation did bring some needed changes & maturity in both of them. Hero’s deceit with heroine was part of his immaturity in handling their separation.**

--------------------------SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details-------------

Hero deceived her through the letters he sent her through the years, using another name. They developed a relationship through their letter exchange, with Hero confiding about his war experiences with her and heroine becoming increasingly attached to him. She planned on finally meeting her pen-pal on Christmas and signing her marriage annulment papers. She started getting suspicious that something was off with the letters based on the last two she received, where Hero was greatly hinting at his true identity. She received confirmation of his true identity and his deception the day before she saw him again.

As much as I didn't like his deceiving her, I understood his fears of her rejecting him if he confessed the truth. It was important to him that she get to know the man he’d become. Later, his letters to her became a source of comfort and hope amidst the war trauma he was experiencing. He planned on telling her the truth when he saw her again. Still, his deception took years to occur and was a way of manipulating heroine’s attachment to him.

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His deceit was something they had to deal with in the present. Total honesty and forgiveness were needed. And they managed to do it with the maturity they’ve both achieved. They were both done playing mind games with each other and hiding their romance from their families. They were ready to embark in an open & mature relationship with each other, no matter who they might displease. I liked the contrast of their character growth from their previous romance. It showed them righting their past mistakes and restarting their romance now on more solid footing. Despite their impulsivity and immaturity, both of them stayed true to their marriage and abstained from sex with another during their 4-year separation.  I believed Hero’s promises to be a constant partner to heroine.  He showed patience, sacrifice, and persistence with her mistrust and rejection, when he would’ve acted very differently in the past. Heroine also stepped up and openly chose Hero over her parents. And the choices they made now had a domino effect on both of their families.

I recommend this book

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