The Kidnapped Christmas Bride by Jane Porter

Posted December 21, 2017 by lenoreo in 2017 Beat the Backlist Challenge, 2017 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, The 12 Books of Christmas Challenge / 1 Comment

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The Kidnapped Christmas Bride by Jane PorterTitle: The Kidnapped Christmas Bride
Author: Jane Porter
Series: Taming of the Sheenans #3, A Marietta Christmas #5
Published by: Tule Publishing Group
Release Date: November 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 206
Format: Kindle Book
Find it: AmazonB&NGoogleKoboiBooksIndieBoundGoodreads
My rating: three-stars

Blurb:

All he wants is a Christmas memory...

Trey Sheenan has cultivated his reputation as Marietta’s resident bad boy, until one day he lets things go too far and he loses everything—his freedom, his fiance McKenna Douglas, and his infant son.

McKenna has loved Trey since they were kids, but she’s had enough. When Trey is sent away for five years, McKenna is determined to do what’s right for her and baby TJ, which means putting her mistakes—namely Trey—behind her, and move on.

When Trey is released early, he returns to Marietta determined to beg McKenna’s forgiveness and become the father TJ needs him to be, only to discover that he’s too late. McKenna’s marrying local insurance agent Lawrence Joplin in a candlelight Christmas wedding.

Or is she?

Once again, Trey risks everything, but this time it’s for love….and the memory of one perfect Christmas together as a family.

Taming of the Sheenan series Book 1: Christmas at Copper Mountain Book 2: Tycoon's Kiss Book 3: The Kidnapped Christmas Bride

My Review:

3 stars — This one ended up just being OK for me.  It had some great moments, and it had a lot of moments that frustrated me or made me want to shake my head.  And honestly?  By the time I got to the end, I wasn’t feeling super satisfied.

I will note that from my perspective this was a clean read…I don’t even think there was fade to black, it was just sort of like all of a sudden it was the next morning and we learned they made love…  I don’t mind clean reads…though I prefer fade to black in those cases, b/c at least we get to see where they are heading instead of just being blindsided after the fact finding out we missed all of it.  Made it so that the chemistry between them that was already only so-so became even more disappointing.  Perhaps that is one area that explains my lack of satisfaction.  Might work better for a different reader.

I wasn’t thoroughly enchanted by either character.  Trey at least felt a bit more redeemable, and honestly I just felt really sorry for him.  My heart ached for the situation he was in, and how much you could feel he really loved both McKenna and TJ.  I had a hard time understanding this supposed other side to him that was wild and free…I don’t get how fighting and drinking (and did he seriously drink and drive, b/c it was implied at one point, and that is NOT cool) are signs of a spirited personality.  That’s where he lost me…those things we learn about his past self just didn’t jibe with a lot of the rest of the stuff.  Sure, as a teenager, but he did that as an adult too?  I just…I don’t know.  I liked the Trey we saw in the book, not the one that was implied.  AND OMG!  I don’t understand the whole reason he went to jail.  Like AT ALL.  And why that was some bad thing he should be ashamed of.  I also don’t understand McKenna’s reaction to Trey and the climax at the lake part…I get being worried, but she initially made it out like the things he was doing were BAD QUALITIES.  I know she eventually figured it out, but how could she have needed to figure it out???  Was I missing something??

And hence I wasn’t a huge fan of McKenna.  I know we were given sort of explanations for a lot of things, but the choices she made were not really inspiring.  Not communicating with Trey?  Not telling him why?  Not telling him she was getting MARRIED?  Like WTF?  Seriously.  WTF?  And I was disgusted by her relationship with Lawrence…  I get he didn’t seem to be a prize, but way to use a guy…and the explanations we were given for her reasons for going that route were not enough…I needed more…otherwise it just made her look really really bad.  And way to pay attention to how the situation is affecting your kid that you’re trying to protect.  Ugh.  Apparently my tolerance is down the drain people.  I’m not saying she didn’t have redeeming qualities, but these other things just overshadowed.

Now TJ, in a total twist, was awesome.  And I’m not a kid person you guys.  But he acted his age, he was precocious, realistic, and I loved how they both loved him.  And I appreciated their togetherness as a family after we got past the whole beginning part.  And some parts of this story were really heartwarming, like the day playing in the snow, or the flashback to Trey and McKenna in high school.

*sigh*  And I don’t know if it was just me, but I kept feeling like I was missing a lot of stuff.  There was a lot added to help give Trey and Mac depth, but I don’t know if it worked.  Like the stuff that happened to McKenna as a child…that sounded horrific, but I felt like I didn’t really get enough to understand what I was supposed to be drawing from it.  Like I know in theory, but I don’t know if it was successful.  And without reading any of the other Sheenan brother stories, I felt like maybe I was missing a bit there as well.

So yeah.  There was definite potential, but it fell fairly flat for me.  Maybe if there’d been more in the romance department it would have bumped it up a bit.  Also?  I was happy to read that the author is from California, b/c that explains why she thought that someone would be driving a motorcycle in winter after a snow and ice storm…but that doesn’t excuse the editors.  If you’re gonna write a story in Montana, at least get someone who lives somewhere a bit north to check it over…

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