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Two moon gifSignet Romance (Paperback), ISBN 0451201450
In a season of hope, she discovered the greatest gift of all…

A Christmas gift from the heart…the return of the happy ending.

(Twelve Days jacket copy)

Bah Humbug! I wish I could give this book a two-hanky rating. It's a tearjerker.

Book: Teresa Hill, Twelve DaysDespite enduring every tragic misfortune that life could throw at them, Sam and Rachel McRae remain married -- and mired -- in Baxter, Ohio. This battered and dysfunctional couple stuck together through the death of a child, the inability to conceive another, near-miss adoptions and the departure of a beloved foster child, because they love each other. They just don't bother to talk to each other any more.

Into their barren lives comes Aunt Miriam, a social worker with an agenda. A ready-made family of 11-year-old Emma, five-year-old Zach and infant Grace need a foster home for the Christmas holidays. But the McRaes may not be a family much longer.

Rachel overhears Sam making arrangements to lease an apartment directly after the holidays and realizes he plans to leave her. Collecting her backbone from wherever she stored it years ago, she announces that she will give the kids a holiday refuge and the best Christmas of their lives, whether Sam likes it or not.

Sam doesn't like it. He interrogates Emma and Zach, and learns about their own sad history. Their mother abandoned them to protect them from an abusive father, and she warned them not to tell anyone their last name, lest the bastard track them down.

The children's pathetic, familiar story runs on the inside cover of nearly every newspaper in America nearly every week. But Sam and Rachel's marriage problems just don't ring true. In addition, Hill portrays Rachel as a person in a deep depression who cures her symptoms and her marriage simply by opening her heart and home to three adorable children.

It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the cover hype. No way does this qualify as "the greatest gift of all." I could go on, but we try not to write spoilers. Let me just say that if you choose to read Twelve Days, keep a box of tissues handy.

Suzanne Frisbee

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