Coming Home for Christmas: A Novel

Coming Home for Christmas: A Novel

by RaeAnne Thayne

Paperback(Original)

$15.29 $16.99 Save 10% Current price is $15.29, Original price is $16.99. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, January 24
MARKETPLACE
90 New & Used Starting at $1.99

Overview

Look for A Haven Point Holiday, the exciting new novel from RaeAnne Thayne, available from HQN books Sep 24, 2019. Pre-order your copy today!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335504999
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Series: Haven Point Series , #10
Edition description: Original
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 13,260
Product dimensions: 5.29(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

This was it.

Luke Hamilton waited outside the big, rambling Victorian house in a little coastal town in Oregon, hands shoved into the pockets of his coat against the wet slap of air and nerves churning through him.

Elizabeth was here. After all the years when he had been certain she was dead — that she had wandered into the mountains somewhere that cold day seven years earlier or she had somehow walked into the deep, unforgiving waters of Lake Haven — he was going to see her again.

Though he had been given months to wrap his head around the idea that his wife wasn't dead, that she was indeed living under another name in this town by the sea, it still didn't seem real.

How was he supposed to feel in this moment? He had no idea. He only knew he was filled with a crazy mix of anticipation, fear and the low fury that had been simmering inside him for months, since the moment FBI agent Elliot Bailey had produced a piece of paper with a name and an address.

Luke still couldn't quite believe she was in there, the wife he had not seen in seven years. The wife who had disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving plenty of people to speculate that he had somehow hurt her, even killed her.

For all those days and months and years, he had lived with the ghost of Elizabeth Sinclair and the love they had once shared.

He was never nervous, damn it. So why did his skin itch and his stomach seethe and his hands grip the cold metal of the porch railing as if his suddenly weak knees would give way and make him topple over if he let go?

A moment later, he sensed movement inside the foyer of the house. The woman he had spoken with when he had first pulled up to this address, the woman who had been hanging Christmas lights around the big, charming home and who had looked at him with such suspicion and had not invited him to wait inside, opened the door. One hand was thrust into her coat pocket around a questionable-looking bulge.

She was either concealing a handgun or a Taser or pepper spray. Since he had never met the woman before, Luke couldn't begin to guess which. Her features had lost none of that alert wariness that told him she would do whatever necessary to protect Elizabeth.

He wanted to tell her he would never hurt his wife, but it was a refrain he had grown tired of repeating. Over the years, he had become inured to people's opinions on the matter. Let them think what the hell they wanted. He knew the truth.

"Where is she?" he demanded.

There was a long pause, like some tension-filled moment just before the gunfight in Old West movies. He wouldn't have been surprised if tumbleweeds suddenly blew down the street.

Then, from behind the first woman, another figure stepped out onto the porch, slim and blonde and ... shockingly familiar.

He stared, stunned to his bones. It was her. Not Elizabeth. Her. He had seen this woman around his small Idaho town of Haven Point several times over the last few years, fleeting glimpses only out of the corner of his gaze at a baseball game or a school program.

The mystery woman.

He assumed she had been there to watch one of the other children. Maybe an aunt from out of town, someone he didn't know.

Luke had noticed her ... and had hated the tiny little glow of attraction that had sparked to life.

He hadn't wanted to be aware of any other woman. What was the point? For years, he thought his heart had died when Elizabeth walked away. He figured everything good and right inside him had shriveled up and he had nothing left to give another woman.

Despite his anger at himself for the unwilling attraction to a woman he could never have, he had come to look forward to those random glimpses of the beautiful mystery woman who wore sunglasses and floppy hats, whose hair was a similar color to his wife's but whose features were very different. For the first time since he had pulled up to Brambleberry House, he began to wonder if he had been wrong. If Elliot had been wrong, if his investigation had somehow gone horribly off track.

What if this wasn't Elizabeth? What if it was all some terrible mistake?

He didn't know what to say, suddenly. Did he tell them both he had erred, make some excuse and disappear? He was about to do just that when he saw her eyes, a clear, startling blue with a dark, almost black, ring around the irises.

He knew those eyes. It was her.

There was nervousness in them, yes, but no surprise, almost as if she had been expecting him.

"Elizabeth."

She flinched a little at the name. "No one has ... called me that in a very long time."

Her voice was the second confirmation, the same husky alto that had haunted his dreams every single night for seven years.

The other woman stared at her. "Sonia. What is going on?

Who is this man? Why is he calling you Elizabeth?"

"It is ... a really long story, Rosa."

"He says he is your husband."

"He was. A long time ago."

The anger simmered hotter, flaring up like a controlled burn that was trying to jump the ditch. He did his best to tamp it down. He would not become his father, no matter the provocation.

"I'm still your husband. Nothing has changed. Until we divorce or you are declared dead, we are very much still married in the eyes of the law."

Her mouth opened again, eyes shocked as if she had never considered the possibility. Maybe as far as she was concerned, her act of walking away without a word had terminated their marriage.

It had in every way except the official one. "I ... guess that's probably true."

"That's why I'm here. I need you to come back to Haven Point so we can end this thing once and for all." He was un able to keep the bitterness out of his voice. "It shouldn't be that hard for you. You know the way. Apparently you've been back to town plenty of times. You just never bothered to stop and say hello to me or your two children."

Her skin, already pale in the weak December afternoon light, seemed to turn ashen, and Luke was immediately ashamed at his cruelty. He tried to be better than that, to take the higher ground in most situations. He was uncomfortably aware that this unwanted reunion with his long-missing wife would likely bring out the worst in him.

The other woman looked shocked. "You have children? I don't understand any of this, Sonia."

She winced. "It's so complicated, Rosa. I don't know ... where to start. I ... My name isn't Sonia, as you've obviously ... figured out. He is right. It is Elizabeth Hamilton, and this ... this is my husband, Lucas."

The other woman was slow to absorb the information, but after a shocked moment, her gaze narrowed and she moved imperceptibly in front of Elizabeth, as if her slight frame could protect her friend.

It was a familiar motion, one that intensified his shame. How many times had he done the same thing, throwing his body in front of his mother and then his stepmother? By the time he was big enough and tough enough to make a difference, his father was dead and no longer a threat.

"Are you afraid of this man?" Rosa demanded. "Has he hurt you? I can call Chief Townsend. He would be here in a moment."

Elizabeth put a hand on the other woman's arm. It was clear they were close friends. The wild pendulum of Luke's emotions right now swung back to anger. Somehow she had managed to form friendships with other people, to completely move on with her life, while he had been suffocating for seven years under the weight of rumor and suspicion.

"It is fine, Rosa. Thank you. Please don't worry about me. I ... I need to speak with ... with my husband. We have ... much to discuss. Go on inside. I'll talk to you later and ... and try to explain."

Rosa was clearly reluctant to leave. She hovered on the porch, sending him mistrustful looks. He wanted to tell her not to waste her energy. He'd spent years developing a thick skin when it came to people suspecting him of being a monster.

"I'm here," she said firmly. "I'll wait inside. You only have to call out. And Melissa is in her apartment as well. We won't let anything happen to you."

"Nothing is going to happen to me," Elizabeth assured her. "Luke won't hurt me."

"Don't be so sure of that," he muttered, though it was a lie. Some might think him a monster but he suspected Elizabeth knew he could never lay a hand on her.

First of all, it wasn't in his nature. Second, he had spent his entire life working toward self-mastery and iron control — doing whatever necessary to avoid becoming his father.

After another moment, Rosa turned around and slipped through the carved front door, reluctance apparent in every line of her body. On some level, Luke supposed he should be grateful Elizabeth had people willing to stand up and protect her.

"How did you ...? How did you find me?"

He still didn't know everything Elliot had gone through to locate her. He knew the FBI agent had spent long hours tracking down leads after a truck driver came forward years later to say that on the night Elizabeth disappeared, the trucker thought she gave a woman resembling Elizabeth's description a ride to a truck stop in central Oregon.

Somehow from that slim piece of information, Elliot had undergone an impressive investigation on his own time and managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together. If not for Elliot, Luke wouldn't be here in front of this big oceanfront Victorian in Cannon Beach and this familiar but not familiar woman.

Thinking about Elliot Bailey always left him conflicted, too. He was grateful to the man but still found it weird to think of his former best friend with Megan, Luke's younger sister. After several months, he was almost used to the idea of them being together.

"I didn't." He jerked his attention back to the moment. "Elliot Bailey did. That's not really important, is it? The point is, now I know where you are. But then, I guess you were never really lost, were you? We only thought you were. You've certainly been back to Haven Point in your little disguise plenty of times over the years."

It burned him, knowing he hadn't recognized his own wife. When he looked closer now, knowing what he did, he could see more hints of the woman he had loved. The brows were the same, arched and delicate, and her lips were still full and lush. But her face was more narrow, her nose completely different and her cheekbones higher and more defined.

Why had she undergone so much plastic surgery? It was one more mystery amid dozens.

"What do you want, Luke?"

"I told you. I need you to come home. At this moment, the Lake Haven County district attorney's office is preparing to file charges against me related to your disappearance and apparent murder."

"My what?"

"Elliot has tried to convince the woman you're still very much alive. He hasn't had much luck, especially considering he's all but a member of the family and will be marrying my sister in a few months. The DA plans to move forward and arrest me in hopes of forcing me to tell them where I hid your body."

"Wait — what? Elliot and Megan are together? When did that happen?"

He barely refrained from grinding his teeth. "Not really the point, is it? This has gone on long enough. I'm going to be arrested, Elizabeth. Before the holidays, if my sources are right. The district attorney is determined to send a message that men in her jurisdiction can't get away with making their wives disappear. I'm going to go to jail, at least for a while. Our children have already spent enough Christmases without one parent. Do you want them to lose the other one?" "Of course not."

He didn't know whether to believe her or not. How could he? He didn't even know this woman, despite the fact that she had once been closer to him than anyone else on earth.

"Then grab your things and let's go."

Her eyes looked huge in her face as she stared at him, making him more angry at himself for not recognizing her. He should have known her. Yes, she had worn sunglasses and hats, but he somehow still should have sensed Elizabeth looking back at him.

Once, those eyes had looked at him with passion, with hunger, with a love that made him ache. Now they were filled with fear and reluctance. "I ... You want to leave right this minute?"

No. If he had any choice, he would keep her out of his life and the lives of Cassie and Bridger forever. Circumstances and a zealous district attorney had made that impossible.

"Yeah. Yeah, I do."

"I can't just ... just leave."

"Why? Seems to me you're really good at leaving."

She gripped her hands tightly together. "I have a life here in Cannon Beach. Responsibilities."

"What's the problem? You have a husband and two kids here that you don't want to walk away from?"

Though he told himself this wasn't the way to accomplish what he needed from her, he couldn't seem to stop his cruel words.

He was so damn angry. It didn't matter how many times he told himself he needed to stay in control. She had ripped apart the entire fabric of his life seven years ago, destroyed everything they had tried to create together.

He had thought she was dead. He had grieved, filled with raw guilt and wrenching pain that he hadn't been able to help her. For seven years, he had imagined the worst.

He had said earlier that she had never been lost, but both of them knew that wasn't strictly true. Seven years ago, the wife he had cherished with all his heart had been lost to him, trapped in a deep, dark place, a tangle of postpartum depression and grief over the accidental deaths of her parents.

He hadn't been able to reach her. Nor had any of the professionals he had taken her to or any of the therapies they had tried.

For seven years, until Elliot Bailey took up the search and found Sonia Davis, he thought his beloved Elizabeth had surrendered to that vast chasm of depression and taken her own life.

He had never imagined that she had simply moved away, changed her appearance and her name and started a life without him and their children.

He let out a breath, pushing away the deep betrayal. "We have to go."

"I ... I was planning to go to Haven Point next week. I have a plane ticket and everything."

"Not good enough. Sources tell me charges are being filed this week. The DA's office won't listen to reason, but I figure she'll have to listen when the supposed victim herself shows up. We have to get back to town before then. This storm is only going to intensify and I would like to beat it. Grab your things and let's go."

He wouldn't let her slip away this time. His children depended on it.

Luke was here.

After all these years, he was here, standing on the porch of Brambleberry House.

She couldn't quite believe this was really happening. Her day had started out so normally. She took her dozen different medications, meditated, went through the routine of exercises she used to keep her battered body from seizing up. She had gone to the greenhouse for a few hours. Her hands still smelled like the pine branches she had woven together for evergreen wreaths.

All in all, it had been a routine day. She never expected that before the day was out, she would be here talking to her husband, the man she had loved since she was eighteen years old. She had imagined this day so many times, had dreamed of the chance to see him again, to explain the choices she had made and the terrible consequences that had resulted from those choices.

Now that he was here, she felt tongue-tied, constrained by all the years and miles and choices between them.

What could she say? No words would ever make up for what she had done.

Of course she couldn't go with him. She had a job here. She worked at the garden center and was busy this time of year selling Christmas trees and wreaths, working on floral arrangements, planning ahead for the growing season.

She was also responsible for the gardens here at Brambleberry House — though admittedly, that wasn't a very good excuse this time of year. She had already supervised the Christmas decorating in the garden and wouldn't have anything to do until spring began its slow return to this part of the Oregon Coast.

Returning to Haven Point didn't terrify her. As he pointed out, she had been back a dozen times over the last several years.

It was the idea of returning to Haven Point with Lucas Hamilton that made her blood run cold.

Her stomach twisted into knots. He wanted her to drive there with him. It was eight hours from here. Eight hours in a car with a man who had every reason to despise her. She couldn't possibly do it.

But what choice did she have? If she could believe him — and she had no reason to think he was lying, as he had always been honest with her — she had to return to Haven Point or he would be arrested. She couldn't let that happen. She had already put him and their children through so very much.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Coming Home for Christmas"
by .
Copyright © 2019 RaeAnne Thayne.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Coming Home for Christmas 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Elizabeth was ill after childbirth with depression. One night she was so down she was going to kill herself and her baby. So she put the baby back to sleep and left her family. After 7 years she is found and returns home. This story is full of emotions of all the characters. Can they learn to trust and love each other again. Well written story with strong and believable characters.Couldn't put it down. joy943
Anonymous 3 months ago
Truly a touching story.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Such a wonderful feel good story about emotions, family, forgiveness and the miracles of Christmas. This is the 10th book in the Haven Point series. It was so good to finally understand what really happened to Elizabeth Hamilton. Sometimes decisions made in extremely emotional times can have the wrong effect and actually create more hurt, loneliness and anger for everyone. Fortunately this magical season brought Luke and Elizabeth back together, if initially only to clear his name. But they both get a second chance at a new beginning. RaeAnne Thayne is a master story teller and does a fantastic job of giving us hope during this magical season of the year.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This was such a feel good book, loved every page. Perfect holiday story!
bella2bg 3 days ago
I rated this book 5 stars, because it was a good story. Highly recommend.
Darlene491 19 days ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this book provided by the publisher and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Coming Home For Christmas, by ReaAnne Thayne, became available at booksellers in September of 2019. Home is book 10 in Ms Thayne's Haven Point series. I was deeply moved by Luke & Elizabeth's story. I read straight through from start to finish. While not perfect, Home is a compelling tale of love, lost and found. Tragedy and rebirth. It's a perfect tale for Christmas time. Our couple have struggles, before & after reuniting. There are children involved so they tread lightly. I couldn't put myself in either of the characters place but I had a connection, much sympathy, and was glad to reach their HEA. #ReaAnneThayne #Netgalley #HavenPoint #ComingHomeForChristmas #HarlequinBooks #ContemparyRomance
LauraMHartman 26 days ago
Luke Hamilton is going to jail unless he can prove he did not murder his missing wife. Ironically, he has recently found her. The good news is she is alive and well so he cannot be arrested. The bad news is the woman he has loved for years chose to leave him and her two young children behind seven years ago without a word. A private investigator confirmed that Elizabeth is alive and Luke was going to leave her alone until he realized he had to bring her home long enough to prove she is not dead and he is not a murderer. Elizabeth understands, but is terrified. Many things have changed in her life since she walked out on her family. She has another life, but has secretly caught glimpses of her family during the last few years. She would love nothing more than spending time with her children, but understands Luke’s protectiveness because of the pain she has caused by leaving them. Luke is determined to get the entire situation taken care of in a few days. Unfortunately, Christmas is just around the corner and the feelings that he has for his wife have never really changed. Yes, he is angry, but he loves her. It will take a Christmas miracle to bring this broken family back together after all they have been through. Coming Home for Christmas is a heartwarming story of love and redemption. The holiday setting enhances the sense of magic in the air. The underlying mystery of where and why Elizabeth has been for the last seven years is woven throughout the pages until the reader finally gets the last pieces of the puzzle in the final chapters. The mystery of her disappearance adds another layer to an already interesting plot that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Thayne, who is a prolific romance writer. She has written several different romance series, including the Haven Point series, of which Coming Home for Christmas is #10. Even though I had not read the previous books in the series, I was never confused or lost. It works well as a stand-alone novel. I really enjoyed this Christmas romance with a bit of mystery. If you are a fan of Debbie Macomber, you will love this book and author. DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman
ScotsLass 3 months ago
Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayer is a wonderful book about love and forgiveness This is part of a series by Ms Thayer called Haven Point. Although it might be good to read the other books, 1-9, I didn’t find that I needed to in order to enjoy this book. Luke Hamilton has been raising his children following the mysterious disappearance of his wife. All the while, he is living under the suspicion of having killed his wife. However, after a long search, he seems to have found his long lost wife living her life without seeming to care about him or the children left behind. What follows is an untangling of events, forgiveness sought and given, and the triumph of love and family over all. The book’s characters draw you into the world of traumatic brain injury and all that it entails and weaves a story of trials and tribulations that must be overcome. The story truly came to life in my imagination as I read. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book
Nanna51 3 months ago
This is a sweet, clean romance that teaches the reader to be sensitive to the problems that others have, significantly depression and grieving. Elizabeth Holt disappeared seven years ago and not that Luke has found her, he brings her back to Haven Point to face her past and their past together. After all, they have two small children that Luke has been raising alone. He did not have any clue that Elizabeth had lost her memory for many years and was still struggling with the after-effects of an horrific car accident. Their story is told with empathy and compassion, set in a small town where everyone knows everyone else and when Christmas is coming, that magical time of the year when anything is possible. This is book number ten in a series, but I had not read any of the other books previously, and I was very enmeshed in the story from the beginning, with no difficulty understanding the plot or the characters. I really enjoyed this tale of forgiveness, second chances and redemption. It is the perfect Christmas read! Fans of romance and Christmas stories will love this book! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Fredreeca2001 3 months ago
Elizabeth has always had some form of depression. But, add postpartum depression on top of the recent death of her parents and it is just too much to bear. She leaves her family one night to protect them from herself and ends up disappearing for seven years. Due to a head injury from a car accident, Elizabeth lost her memory. When her memory finally returned, she was too afraid to go back.
 Luke is determined to clear his name. He has been accused of Elizabeth's death. Even though no body has been found, the district attorney is resolute in her decision that Luke killed his wife the night she left. Luke has secretly known for a while where his estranged wife is living. Luke has a lot of animosity toward Elizabeth so, he has no desire to allow her back into their lives. But...to clear his name...he shows up at her door. 
This is a very unique Christmas romance story. Even though you can guess the outcome. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding what happened the night Elizabeth left. And how did Luke actually find her? And it's not all romance and roses when she shows back up in her family's life. Oh no...it's tough on everyone.
 Need an uncommon Christmas story with a familiar outcome. This one is for you. This is about overcoming past hurts to become a family again! 
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
Momma_Becky 3 months ago
I wasn't sure about this one at first. I definitely wasn't sure about Elizabeth, and it all felt a little depressing for a holiday romance. Nevertheless, the author pulled me in with the rich characters. Reservations or not, I wanted to know the answers, I wanted to understand why things happened the way they did and what would happen between Luke and Elizabeth. I won't go into details because almost anything more than what I've said will give spoilers, so I'll just say that it may not have started out with a holiday feel, but this one will certainly warm your heart as things play out. The characters are well-drawn and each one adds something to the charming town of Haven Point. It's impossible not to love Luke with his big heart and generous nature, and it was heartwarming to see that rub off on others throughout the story. Coming Home for Christmas is part of the Haven Point series, but it easily stands on its own, and now that I've read about these wonderful characters, I will be adding the earlier books to my to be read pile.
nfam 4 months ago
A Family Miracle at Christmas Seven years ago Elizabeth, Luke’s wife, disappeared. Some townspeople whispered about foul play. Now an ambitious district attorney is planning to file charges against Luke for her disappearance and apparent murder. Luckily, an FBI agent and friend of Luke found Elizabeth. Now all Luke has to do is bring her back to town to prove his innocence. He’s been a single father for seven years and can continue, but seeing Elizabeth stirs old emotions. Elizabeth is conflicted. She was severely depressed when she ran away thinking she couldn’t cope with her family and wasn’t good enough for them. Then a serious car accident wiped her memory and left her with lasting physical problems. She now remembers her family, but how can she go back? This story focuses on severe depression and how it can affect a person’s perception of themselves and others. One criticism I had of the book was that the author waited so long into the story before explaining why Elizabeth ran away and how traumatic it was for her. I suspect it was done to build suspense, but I think the story would have been stronger if the truth had been revealed earlier. Luke is a very strong character. He’s put up with so much, but he still loves his wife and family and wants to bring them back together. The children were a welcome addition to the story. However, I thought Cassie was bratty and rude to her mother for too long. Still, it’s typical of young girls to be resentful when absent mothers return to the family. I received this book from Harlequin for this review.
BuckeyeAngel 4 months ago
Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them. But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning? This was a sweet holiday story that feels like it’s a basis for a Hallmark movie! I wasn’t sure I'd like the book when I got it, but I really enjoyed it. It loosely reminds me of an old Cary Grant movie I watched a long time ago. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
ibjoy1953 4 months ago
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK  With Elizabeth dealing with depression, she felt she had to leave to protect her family, but in the mist if that, she suffers memory loss because if an accident. Being home with their son and daughter, Luke is angry that his wife just up and left, leaving him to care for their kids. I enjoyed this story, though I felt there was a lot of repeating information the first half of the story, which got to be a little annoying at times. I reallt liked the characters, but Cassie could be a brat when she wanted to be. The story was a sad one, because of the issues Elizabeth had to go through that kept her away from her family. If only she or Luke would have thought to get her some help. RaeAnne Thayne does a really nice job explaining depression as well as memory loss. This is two very difficult issues to deal with, and I think the excellent writing of this author smoothed out the issues in a way everyone can understand. I loved the Brambleberry House, though I’ve not read any of that series, I’m glad I was able to get a glimpse of what it was like staying there. There is so much more to this story, so much I want to tell but you need to read it for yourself. This is a nice, clean Christmas read, and I hope you will check it out and see for yourself how enjoyable it is. A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  
CCholger 5 months ago
I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been waiting for this story since reading The Cottages on Silver Beach, book #8 in this series. The story of Luke and his missing wife is intriguing, especially once the reader is let in on the fact that she’s actually still alive. I’m also pretty confident that I’m not the only reader of this series that couldn’t fathom how Elizabeth would be redeemed. A mom of two disappears with no word as to where she has gone or if she’s even alive and I’m supposed to end up sympathizing with her? Well, I did. At least for the most part. Elizabeth’s story is tragic and, as she even admits, unbelievable. Luke and Elizabeth have a sweet and tentative chemistry that I found perfect for the Christmas setting in this story. While Luke wasn’t sure if he could truly trust his feelings, Elizabeth didn’t feel she deserved any sort of forgiveness or sympathy. This, of course, made it more difficult than it had to be for the two of them to admit their feelings. The progression of the children’s feelings toward their estranged mother was done very well. Of course things weren’t going to be smooth and easy. Elizabeth had abandoned Cassie and Bridger, no matter her reasons. While an adult can better understand the nuances of what happened 7 years ago when Elizabeth left, children cannot be expected to emotionally understand those reasons. This story is the perfect Christmas romance. Redemption, second chances, love, family, and even something resembling a miracle when it comes to Elizabeth being found. **I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
Evarista 7 months ago
Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne is simply wonderful! Luke Hamilton has been raising his wonderful children on his own for 7 years. His life has been in a holding pattern since the night his wife disappeared and left he and their children behind. Suddenly, his wife, Elizabeth, is back in their lives and longs be be part of the family once again. Can Luke trust her and his feelings or has the pain of the past ruined any future that they might have together? I just loved Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne. Thayne brilliantly captures the complex emotions of deep love and heartache that existence between Luke and Elizabeth. This wonderful story will capture your heart. Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne will warm your heart and make you believe in Christmas miracles. I can't wait for the next wonderful romance by RaeAnne Thayne!!!
BinBlogsBooks 7 months ago
Navigating motherhood, marriage and clinical depression, Elizabeth is a young mother who desperately tries to run away from hurt demons in order to keep her family safe. But her rash decision takes an unbelievable turn and tge consequences echo across seven years. In this story, with well developed characters, a fantastic storyline and a definite hopeful underlining feeling, the auhtor brings a passionate painful tale to a soothing satisfying conclusion. Reading this as a standalone, having never read any of the others in this series, I can't imagine loving this story more. Readers can definitely start with this wonderful tale without feeling they've missed out.
judiOH 9 months ago
a very well written story of second chances and love. there will be tears as the main characters find their way back to each other. there will also be aww moments as well. a story of deep depression, an accident,and a long healing. i will read this one again, it was that good.
lhill82125 9 months ago
I love RaeAnne’s books and I love the Haven Point series. RaeAnne makes you feel like you are right there with these characters in Haven Point and going through everything with them. Their struggles are so very realistic that you and I can identify with. Thank you for such a great book RaeAnne!
AMGiacomasso 9 months ago
Ms Thayne can surely write a book that will keep you hooked till the last page and makes you turn pages as fast as you can. I loved the story and rooted for the fleshed out and realistic characters. It's an engrossing and entertaining read, heartwarming and full of Christmas spirit. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Paula-52 9 months ago
Another great book! This is a continuation of the Haven Point series and this series never disappoints. This one is the story of Luke and his children. His wife went missing and he has been living under a cloud of suspicion that he murdered her, and the town has been whispering for years. This book answers all the question and is so heart lifting and makes you want to cheer for everyone. It is such a good read and a great Christmas story. RaeAnne never disappoints and leaves you wanting more.
ThreesmomDC 10 months ago
This was one of the sweetest second chance romances that I have read. Sonia/Elizabeth is given a second chance to be with her husband and two children. After missing for seven years, Luke finally confronts his missing wife and drags her back to their hometown to clear his name for her murder. Upon seeing her, he realizes that he has seen her disguised around town at different functions that their children were in and this just adds to his bewilderment and anger. It isn't until Elizabeth tells her story to the acting DA that Luke begins to realize just exactly what all his estranged wife has been thru since her disappearance and he begins to question his feelings. Elizabeth is so surprised to see Luke on her doorstep, but once she realizes just what is at stake, she is willing to do anything to keep Luke out of jail. Although she knows in her head that her disappearance affected people, it isn't until she is actually confronted by her husband, children and former friends that she realizes just how deep that hurt runs. This book was a wonderful telling of how two lost, hurting and misguided souls learn to embrace the spirit of forgiveness, not only for themselves, but for each other. It is also touching to read about Elizabeth and trying to reconnect with her two children. I definitely recommend this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Teri1957 10 months ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley and a hard copy from the author, this is my voluntary review of Coming Home for Christmas. This is a fabulously wonderful book exploring love, pain, and forgiveness. No one writes a love story better than RaeAnne Thayne!!! Coming Home is a book that you want to end but you don't want to end. I'm so sad when I finish one of That he's books but my heart is happy! ☺ I highly recommend this book to all readers. Enjoy!
ann03 10 months ago
Great read told about tragic family story. Loved it.
uhave2loveufirst 10 months ago
Luke Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth, disappeared 7 years ago from Haven Point, Idaho. She left him and their 2 children without warning. People had been speculating that Luke had killed her. Elliott is Luke’s former best friend. Elliott is now an FBI agent and engaged to Luke’s sister Megan. For the last 7 years, Elliott had suspected Luke had hurt Elizabeth. A truck driver came forward years after Elizabeth’s disappearance. The driver claimed to have given a ride to a woman fitting Elizabeth’s description, on the night she disappeared. Elliott spent long hours tracking down the lead. And he found her in Oregon! Doing the right thing, Elliott gave the information to Luke who had now known for months that Elizabeth was alive. Things had gotten very serious when the police chief warned Luke the DA planned to arrest him for the disappearance and presumed murder of Elizabeth. Luke had no choice now. He had to go to Oregon to confront her and bring her back to Haven Point. When Luke sees this woman he is shocked, it’s her! But he doesn’t recognize her as Elizabeth. It’s the mystery woman he has seen around Haven Point over the years. But he does recognize her eyes, Elizabeth’s eyes. She has been living under a different name, Sonia Davis. Luke explains how he found her and why she needs to come with him to Haven Point. She can speak to the DA to clear things up and he will fly her back to Oregon. Facing a long drive, Luke makes it clear he isn’t going to make small talk or have anything to do with her. When she asks doesn’t he want to know what happened or why she left, he doesn’t. He only wants her to talk to the DA. Bad weather conditions cause them to find a place to stay the night. Finding one of the last rooms available they stop. As Elizabeth waits for Luke to check them in, she introduces herself to another guest as Sonia Davis. She thinks to herself that is the name she was given 7 years ago. Luke avoids being in the room with her as long as possible. When he goes to the room she is asleep. In the middle of the night Elizabeth is having a bad dream, saying please don’t hurt me. He puts his arms around her and it is like the last 7 years melt away. When she awakens and he asks about the dream she brushes it off. Things are back to being tense. Almost to Haven Point, Elizabeth recognizes the landscape and more memories come to her. As Luke turns on their road she panics She also sees no sign of life. He tells her there’s not much there as he unlocks the door. It’s empty ! No pictures or knickknacks. Very little furniture. She asks where the children are. He says at school until he picks them up and they they’ll be at his home. He won’t let her see or talk to them. More harsh words and he leaves. He will be back in the morning to take her to the DA. Is that going to be it, see the DA tomorrow and fly back to Oregon? There’s much more to the story ........ and well worth your time to read it!