[BLOGMAS] BOOKMAS DAY EIGHT: BOOK REVIEW: COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS BY RAEANNE THAYNE

Elizabeth suffered from severe postnatal depression after having her second child, Bridger, with husband, Luke and after also losing her parents in a horrific accident, she decided that leaving her family would be for the best, however there’s more to the story than you can ever imagine and she’s returning home seven years later to tell her story and prevent her husband from being arrested for murder.

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To start off with, I couldn’t believe that a woman would just up and leave her family with no explanation, live eight hours away and have plastic surgery on her face, looking nothing like she did seven years ago. At the first read, you would automatically assume the worst, as Luke did, that Elizabeth left her family in an attempt to make their lives better and started a new life without them – leaving Luke and their two children to grieve the loss of their wife and mother. Due to her mental health issues, Luke had every right to believe his wife may have taken her own life, but I can’t even imagine what’s worse – your partner taking their own life or finding out they ran away and started a new life? I really felt the anger coming off of the pages through Luke and started to feel the anger with him. All that being said, when we find out what actually happened to Elizabeth, you will just immediately melt in to your seat and want to cry for the pain and trauma she must have gone through for the past seven years, wanting to return to her family, knowing she couldn’t.

I never disliked Elizabeth through the story, you could tell from the beginning that she had been through a lot and she didn’t even hesitate when Luke demanded her return to clear his name – it was clear from the start that she wanted to help and make amends. That wasn’t going to be an easy ride though, as there was two children involved who still didn’t know their mother was well and alive – the plan was to always clear Luke’s name, sign the divorce papers and return to her new life. It seems though that even after seven years, Luke and Elizabeth’s feelings towards each other were still there and after finding out the real story behind Elizabeth’s disappearance, Luke is willing to let Elizabeth back in to his and their children’s lives.

I absolutely adored every second of the family bonding, despite their eldest showing hatred towards her mother’s return, although completely understandable. Elizabeth fell back in to her motherly role pretty swiftly, but also kept her boundaries, knowing the two needed to still adapt to her return. Snowball fights, board games, evening meals out, attending the school production – Elizabeth slowly but surely fit back in to the family and the life she once had. The locals were extremely hesitant about Elizabeth, baring in mind her face looks nothing like it once had, but soon warmed right back up to her and let her back in.

Luke was a gorgeous male lead, who prioritised his two children more than anything. Their little routine was incredible and it was easy to see the two children absolutely doted on him. As he said many times, he was far from the perfect father, but I couldn’t have admired him more. They are such well-behaved children, who worked as a team with Luke and my most favourite tradition they had during Christmas was looking at all the Christmas decorated houses and choosing their most favourite, then delivering a prize to them for winning. How adorable!

Coming Home For Christmas is a stunning read from RaeAnne, and the first book I’ve read from her. I will definitely be purchasing all of her other books, if they’re just as outstanding as this one! Looking at the book cover and not reading the book synopsis to start off with, you would never believe how hard it was going to go as you read on, I genuinely thought it was going to be an easy, light-hearted read, but you get so much more than that. It’s a gorgeous, emotional and moving read from start to end that touches on mental health, as well as many other serious issues. The perfect Christmas read filled with romance, drama and plenty of tears – you’re not going to want to miss out on this one!

Shelby x

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