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Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek Series #5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak I hate to say it, but

Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak
I hate to say it, but “Take Me Home for Christmas” is only the second novel I have read by Brenda Novak, and the first contemporary, but she has me hooked! “Take Me Home for Christmas” is the fifth book in Novak’s Whiskey Creek...
Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak
I hate to say it, but “Take Me Home for Christmas” is only the second novel I have read by Brenda Novak, and the first contemporary, but she has me hooked! “Take Me Home for Christmas” is the fifth book in Novak’s Whiskey Creek series, but it can easily stand alone. Whiskey Creek is a small town where everyone knows everyone. In high school, Sophia DeBussi was the “mean” girl, and completely self-centered. She had plenty of missteps, but Ted Dixon was her high school sweetheart and the one person knew she was more than the person everyone else in town saw. Unfortunately, while Ted was away for college, made a mistake and ended up dumping Ted for Skip DeBussi, the richest boy in town. Everyone thought she had it all, until the day Skip disappears from their yacht on an anniversary, “let’s start over” trip. That is when we find that looks can be deceiving, in more ways than one. Skip was not only abusive, but a thief who embezzled most of the money he was supposed to have invested, including the money he should have invested for the town. Sophia is left with her daughter, and nothing else. Another friend convinces Ted to give Sophia a job, and he begins to unravel the truth of Sophia’s life for the past 13 years. Sophia faces an uphill battle hard to rebuild a life that she and her daughter can be proud of, all the while trying to find a place in the small town where her husband spent his life acting like he was above everyone else and then stole from those same people. Novak creates characters that are real people. Novak has created a heartwarming story of second chances, as Sophia works to redeem herself. Novak has populated Whiskey Creek with everyday people and creates a story that makes the reader care about the characters and what happens in their lives. This may be my first visit to Whiskey Creek, but it won’t be my last. I can’t wait to read the prior books, and any new ones. Novak is added to my “must-read” author list!

posted by KerryACroucier on October 29, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I was given the opportunity to read and review an ARC of ¿Take M

I was given the opportunity to read and review an ARC of “Take Me Home for Christmas”. I love this series. I like the friendships, the setting and I especially like how Brenda gives each character such a different story from the last. This book, however, was my least fa...
I was given the opportunity to read and review an ARC of “Take Me Home for Christmas”. I love this series. I like the friendships, the setting and I especially like how Brenda gives each character such a different story from the last. This book, however, was my least favorite of the series. I didn’t care for Sophia’s character at all. As a teenager she sounded like a spoiled little witch. I didn’t like that she cheated on Ted but claimed to be so in love with him. I don’t care what happens in life or what the excuses are, if you are in love with someone you DO NOT cheat...you just don’t do it. I don’t like cheaters!!!!! I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for her as an adult either, during her marriage to her abusive husband. I might have been more sympathetic if her story had taken place during the time when women could be abused and not do much about it, but her story was recent and even in a fictional setting I can’t believe that she had no options to get away from her husband. I will say once her husband died she became more likable. I liked that she was a wonderful mother and a hard worker, so she did have some redeeming qualities. I didn’t care for Ted’s character either. He KNEW he was still attracted to Sophia but chose to start a relationship with someone else (I won’t say who) and try to force an attraction just so he wouldn’t be tempted by Sophia. Not cool!!!! Again, he wasn’t all bad. I liked that he cared for Sophia’s daughter and was there for her in a positive role. It also took 3/4ths the way through the book before Sophia and Ted’s romance finally kicked into gear. I didn’t get a lot of time to connect with them as a couple. I wanted a much more fulfilling ending than what I read, maybe an engagement scene or something. Hopefully Brenda will mention more about them in following books so I get more insight into their romance. I give “Take Me Home for Christmas” 3/5 stars. This is a wonderful series and I can’t wait to read the stories Brenda has for Kyle, Riley, Baxter, Eve, and Joe. This may not be my favorite of the series but it was still a good read.

posted by becx on October 29, 2013

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  • Posted November 5, 2013

    4 STARS I kept putting this book off because I thought I would

    4 STARS

    I kept putting this book off because I thought I would not like Sophia's character. There were parts of it I did not admire, but so many more parts I liked. I was not that happy with Ted's character either. I was surprised how much I enjoyed their story. How mad I got at other characters in the book. Especially the Sheriff.

    The plot was good. It kept me reading so much that I did not put the book down until I had finished it.

    I was very invested into their story. I wanted things to workout for everybody. The pacing was good.

    Lots of drama all over the place. I was so disappointed in so many characters with authority in the book. Lots of different relationships problems to overcome.

    Their were some love scenes that I skipped over.

    I liked seeing the old characters from previous books show up again.

    So if you have waited like me to read Take Me Home for Christmas don't wait any longer it is a good story.

    I was given this ebook so I could honestly review it from Netgalley and Harlequin.

    Published October 29th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA 400 pages ISBN:0778315460

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    I was given an ARC for an honest review! I had never read a Bren

    I was given an ARC for an honest review! I had never read a Brenda Novak book! This book has made me a fan. This book is well written and it took me on a very emotional journey! I love a book where I can get emotionally invested in the characters. This is a great book to curl up with! Thanks for the opportunity to read this book and to show me this great author I was missing out on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2013

    Take Me Home for Christmas is a wonderful example of how uncondi

    Take Me Home for Christmas is a wonderful example of how unconditional love can overcome almost anything.




    Sophia and her daughter have just had the rug ripped out from them during their trip to Brazil to celebrate Sophia and Skip's 13th wedding anniversary. Everything Sophia knew about her husband had been a lie. He betrayed her and left her and Alexa with a huge mess to clean up.




    Ted is Sophia's jilted ex-boyfriend and is still bitter that she chose Skip over him. When she walked away 14 years ago she took a piece of his heart with her. 




    Soon Sophia has no one to turn to except Ted. Will flames reignite? Or will Ted fall for someone else?




    Brenda Novak had me tied up in knots wondering if Sophia was going to be able to get through this terrible tragedy. Brenda did a superb job developing the characters in this novel. Brenda was spot on in her research regarding Sophia and her condition. Alexa's pain was very realistic and my heart broke when she started having problems at school. Of course, I could not stand Skip after what he did to his wife and daughter. What a jerk. Eve's character was so sweet and caring and the last thing I wanted to see was her get hurt. I hope that Brenda writes a book about Eve next. Ted was not my favorite at first, but that changed after he went to the school and stood up for Alexa.




    Much to my surprise, this story did not center around Christmas. The plot was dynamic and this book is a little dark actually with a shady sheriff to boot. I did lose some sleep on this one because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. 




    If you believe that all things happen for a reason bad or good and that true unconditional love can conquer anything in its path then you will enjoy Take Me Home for Christmas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak *I received a free AR

    Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak
    *I received a free ARC of Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak in exchange of an honest review*
    Loved, loved, loved this book. This is what I like to call a life-interrupting-reading kind of book. Life just gets in the way of your reading but all you want to do is read the story. This is my first Brenda Novak book and it was amazing. First, her storyline was so original. There are no perfect characters in this book! She also makes the story so real that you just want to keep reading and find out what happens next.
    I never read any of the other Whiskey Creek Novels but it did not have an impact on my ability to follow the story line.
    First, Sophia DeBussi was a high school “mean girl”/ “spoiled-rich-princess” type. Through many different events she ends up penniless and homeless with her 13 year old daugher Alex. From the beginning we learn that Sophia was in a very abusive marriage with the town “has it all” husband. Skip was wealthy, good-looking and a basic scumbag.
    Sophia didn't have any friends because of her past behavior and her marriage to Skip. So when Skip rips off more than half the town everyone at Whiskey Creek holds Sophia accountable. They literally rip her home apart and take everything from her.
    Sophia is very pitiful and in a very pitiful situation. With the help of her daughter and new found friend-Eve she starts to slowly get on her feet. The process is a long and difficulty one and Sophia has some demons in her closet that she has to fight in the process. I loved how Ms. Novak showed her process and I especially loved the little temptation she threw in at the end! ( I don't want to give it away)
    Notice I have not mentioned Sophia's love interest-Ted. I loved how Ms Novak handled their relationship also! Ted and Sophia dated when Ted was in college but basically she cheated on him and got pregnant with Skip's daughter. Ted and Sophia never got over each other and it takes them a very long time to finally find their way into each others lives and develop a friendship.
    I thought Ted was such a great guy. I only hated the way he included Eve in his love-triangle. I also hated that Eve and Sophia drifted apart... BUT! Like all great redemption stories Sophia overcomes her demons, she becomes her own women, and finally becomes the person that she always wanted to be.
    I loved this book and am going to re-read it and recommend it !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Sophia DeBussi hasn't been all that nice to the people of Whiske

    Sophia DeBussi hasn't been all that nice to the people of Whiskey Creek. In high school she was the mean girl. The spoiled, rich, gets whatever she wants girl. Thirteen years ago, she broke Ted Dixon's heart when she married Skip DeBussi. She has since continued to live in the lap of luxury; or so everyone believes. On the outside her life looks perfect: rich husband, huge house, fancy cars, designer clothes, etc. But what no one sees is the verbally, emotionally and physically abusive husband that has pushed her to depression and alcoholism. Then while on their anniversary vacation with their daughter, Skip mysteriously disappears. Part of her is concerned while the other part is relived he is gone. But her world comes crashing down around her when the FBI informs her that Skip is wanted for fraud and then his body washes up on the shores of Brazil. Her "loving" husband and left her and their daughter with literally nothing except a town full of angry people he robbed. How can she get herself back on her feet when everyone hates her.

    Ted still hasn't forgiven Sophia for what she did to him over a decade ago. At first he doesn't give a damn about what she is going through now. But when he sees everyone in town ganging up on her, he feels like he has to do something. He might still be angry, but he isn't heartless. So when no ones steps up to help her, he offers her a job as his housekeeper and assistant. While she works for him, Ted starts to learn the truth about her marriage and sees just how much she has changed over the years. Can he finally forgive Sophia for breaking his heart and marrying another man? Can their reconnection go deeper than friendship and back to the deep love they once shared?


    Take Me Home For Christmas is book five in the Whiskey Creek series, but each story can be read as a stand alone. I read novella 0.5, When We Touch, over a year ago and enjoyed it, but I just haven't been able to read the rest yet. Skipping the 4 books in between didn't matter at all. The author does a good job of filling in about the backgrounds of the supporting characters without being too wordy about, which I find sometimes happens. It is just the right amount of information so that I know what is going on with everyone but also makes me want to go back and read them all to fill in the details.

    Sophia's and Ted's story proved to be an emotional one for me. Sure she made mistakes, but that was in high school and everyone deserves another chance. It both pissed me off and broke my heart that people were so mean to her now. What her husband did wasn't her fault yet everyone in town is out for her blood. Even Ted's attitude was pretty jerky in the beginning. She has so much on her plate with a 13 year old daughter struggling in school and not a dime to her name and he is the only one trying to help. But what really killed me and brought tears to my eyes is how Sophia felt that all the abuse she got from her husband Skip was deserved. That it was her punishment for all the awful things she did in her youth. No one deserves what she has suffered and I really wanted to see Ted put the past behind him and pursue their long overdo happily ever after.

    I found that it ended rather abruptly and I would have liked a little more of an epilogue, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I definitely plan on working the rest of the Whiskey Creek novels into my reading in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A sometimes brutally painful story of repentance, forgiveness, r

    A sometimes brutally painful story of repentance, forgiveness, resilience and love.




    TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Brenda Novak








    My rating: 4 of 5 ¿¿




    If Sophia thought her life was a nightmare before, it was nothing compared to after her husband washed ashore dead, leaving her to face the scorn and derision of the Whiskey Creek population after he swindled most of them out of their life savings. Not that she had friends before. Growing up she hadn't always made the best or the kindest of decisions, evident in her marriage to her rich but abusive husband instead of choosing for the man who held her heart, then and still. Although she would never be able to call her daughter a mistake.....she was her world.




    Having been cast aside over a decade ago in favor of a cushy life with a rich man, Ted wanted to feel a sense of vindication when he heard of Sophia's predicament, he certainly didn't want to feel sorry for her. But the more he discovers about the way she was treated by her husband and is being vilified by the townspeople, the more protective he becomes. Hesitant at first, but more forcefully as time goes by, Ted is taking up for Sophia whenever she is being unjustly treated, which is almost all of the time. 




    Determined to prove to everyone she had no knowledge of and nothing to do with her husband's underhanded business dealings, Sophia refuses any direct financial help other than a paid job from Ted. Her determination to survive on her own convinces him she has truly changed and he finally admits he still has feelings for her as well.




    ***** 




    A harsh and sometimes painfully cruel story with here and there a glimmer of kindness, which towards the latter half of the book has built into a firm column of hope and strength, ending with a beautiful act of repentance and forgiveness, with perhaps a hint of a wrist slap!!




    All aspects of humanity are brutally displayed in this book; the good, the bad and the ugly. But it also shows the ability to change, to grow.....through trial, loss, hardship, but also through friendship, kindness, forgiveness and love. Our adaptability, resourcefulness and resilience is shown in Sophia. 




    Despite the wonderful lift at the end, the book left me a little pensive. I would have loved being able to close the book with a more uplifted feeling than I did, I guess the darkness of the first half clung to me.




    **ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA in return for an honest review.**
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    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2013

    Another Great Addition to Whiskey Creek. Brenda Novak delivers a

    Another Great Addition to Whiskey Creek.
    Brenda Novak delivers another great story of a less than perfect heroine overcoming circumstances and her own bad decisions. With the whole town against her, and Novak's heroines always shine when the community comes out in force, Sophia is more than ready to throw in the towel. Then an unexpected friendship rallies her enough to try to take control of her own disgraceful life. Sophia must struggle through a battered self-image and outside forces that would see her destroyed to rebuild her life or to even feel worthy of being loved. Not only is Take Me Home for Christmas hard to put down, but it makes you anxious to come back to find out what's next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I received an ARC from the author for my honest review, so her i

    I received an ARC from the author for my honest review, so her it is. This is a great story. Sophia learns that her almost perfect life (at least the public view) was over. When Skip (her husband) of 14 years takes her and their daughter Alexa on a cruise to Brazil and he goes missing. When the FBI get involved, she looses everything and then some. And for a recovering alcoholic the stress and depression can not be a good thing. She only has one friend Eve and a promising job with the only man she every truly loved. Can Sophia and Alexa get their lives on track? Will people stop hounding her for what they lost? Brenda Novak has a way of making you feel the emotions she has written. You will feel the pain and isolation Sophia and Alexa feel and the vengeance from some of the townspeople, even from Skip's family. This is a story you should read and enjoy it, there is a HEA for Sophia and Alexa with a little help from Ted and FBI agent Freeman. Looking forward to reading more from this series and Brenda Novak.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    Sophia's life didn't turn out exactly as she planned. She marrie

    Sophia's life didn't turn out exactly as she planned. She married the wrong man and left her true love behind years ago. Now her husband is gone and left her in serious debt, and the only person helping her get back on her feet is the guy she left behind, Ted. This wasn't one of those overly sweet and happy romances, but a story of struggle and how you can overcome a lot of things. At first it took me a little bit to get into the story, but once I did I really enjoyed how heartfelt the characters were. Sophia truly was trying to make a better life for her and her daughter. This was the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it and would check out the rest of the series. I didn't have a problem reading this without having read others in the series, but I would have known more about some of the other characters in the town had I read others, but it didn't take anything away from the story.

    *ARC provided by author for honest review*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    Wow, Sophie went through an incredible journey in this book. Thi

    Wow, Sophie went through an incredible journey in this book. This is my first Whiskey Creek story and I am very glad that I read it. Brenda Novak knows how to craft a wonderful story. Sophie jilted Ted for Skip when Ted was away at college. Ted hasn't ever gotten over Sophie and Sophie never stopped loving Ted. Sophie appears to lead the life everyone else wants – fancy mansion, cars, jewels, clothes, etc. – but no one really knows what happens behind the doors of that mansion. Skip keeps Sophie under his thumb living in fear as he uses physical and emotional abuse to keep up the appearances he wants in Whiskey Creek. After 13 years of marriage the take a cruise on their yacht as a "fresh-start" however Sophie wakes up one morning and Skip is missing. As the story unfolds we find out that he has stolen money from his investors and disappeared. Everyone doesn't blame Skip, many hold Sophie responsible. As Sophie copes with this betrayal by Skip she also has to face the FBI and all the scorn of the community she lives in while realizing she has no money to take care of her and her daughter, Alexa. Ted needs a housekeeper/clerical support and surprisingly offers this to Sophie which gives her hope. From here we get to travel the slippery slope of 2 people that have always been in love trying to deny their feelings while Sophie tries to build a life for her and her daughter. This was an amazing journey to take and had me in tears so many times when Sophie couldn't ever seem to get a break. Truly a wonderful romance novel but I did really want to experience that first Christmas at Ted's Mom's house. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    This Whiskey Creek Novel is a very riveting and emotionally movi

    This Whiskey Creek Novel is a very riveting and emotionally moving tale of how one woman can overcome the past and have hope for the future.
    Sophia’s paid for her past mistakes by marrying an abusive man, when he disappears and is later found dead she thinks things might be better until she finds herself being blamed for her husband’s crimes against the townspeople.  Only a couple of people in the town try to help her and her daughter, one of whom is Ted, the man she once scorned.
    All the characters are engaging and the small town setting is perfect for the story.  The author conveys Sophia’s emotional turmoil with well written words that grab the heart of the reader and doesn’t let go.  The holiday timing of the book also adds a depth to the story as the reader hopes for some holiday happiness and miracles for the characters. 
    The reader finds themselves along for the ride as they follow Sophia’s journey to happiness, the romance between Ted and her is strong, but with the pain of the past, neither wants to trust their hearts. The author paints a vivid picture of the town and the people that captivates the reader.
    This book can be read as a standalone book, but the Whiskey Creek characters are compelling and the story leaves the reader wanting to know more about them and the events taking place in this small town.   If you like romances that include emotional journeys, character growth and  a Happily Ever After, then this is a must read. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    This was my first Whiskey Creek novel and will not be my last. T

    This was my first Whiskey Creek novel and will not be my last. The book is written as a stand alone,
    however I would now like to get to know the background on other characters featured in this last book
    of the series. It isn't as sexy as the books I usually read, however Brenda Novak's writing is so flawless,
    I didn't miss it.
    Sophia DeBussi has gone from the top of the world to the bottom of the barrel in the blink of an eye.
    Even though she was in a loveless marriage, she at least had money to help occupy her time with
    charities and other worthy causes around town. Sophia, her husband Skip and their daughter Alexa are
    on their yacht in Brazil when the unthinkable happens. Skip ends up missing and the story that unfolds
    is like something ripped from the headlines,
    Sophia and Alexa's life as they know it has ended. Now Sophia is the town pariah and to make matters
    worse, is stuck in good ole Whiskey Creek. Yes it was her husband that did most of the wrongs, but
    as a teen, Sophia wasn't the nicest girl to be around. Many of her friends from school remember that girl
    and are not chomping at the bit to help her and her daughter out now, except for Ted.
    Ted and Spohia were once in love, until she cheated on him with Skip and ended up pregnant. I didn't
    feel that Ted ever really got to know the reasoning behind Sophia's decision for taking up with Skip. She
    didn't let him in on how bad her family life was back then and why she was so desperate. Ted seems
    like the quintessential nice guy with a good job and good head on his shoulders. While his head tried
    to forget Sophia for the last fourteen years, his heart just couldn't let her go. When she is at the absolute
    end of her rope, he is there to give her a hand.
    Ted offers Sophia a job as his housekeeper and over time he sees that the mean girl she once was
    is gone and a humbled woman that has been through way to much, has taken her place. He is unsure
    of Sophie's motivations as they try and piece together the friendship they one had. As they work and
    live together, Ted learns that Sophie's life away from him wasn't a picnic and she has some demons
    to battle now.
    I thought this was a great story of the road to redemption and second chances. There is a lot of set up
    with the peripheral characters which makes it a good stand alone as you don't feel lost. It is a well
    written, interesting story. 
    ARC provided for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    I received a ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an

    I received a ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

    I have to admit that Sophia DeBussi has not been a favorite character of mine. Having said that this story has changed my mind about her.

    13 years ago Sophia broke Ted Dixon's heart when she cheated on him, got pregnant and married to Skip DeBussi. As it turns out Skip was an awful husband who abused Sophia physically and mentally. The town doesn't like her and thinks she is a snob but she is really just trying to survive. One day while they are on vacation on a yacht off the coast of Brazil when she wakes to find Skip missing. She quickly realizes that her accounts have been frozen and it turns out he left her and their daughter to escape prosecution for fraud. She manages to get home to find many of the townspeople have turned on her and blame her for what her husband did. Skip's body washes up on shore with money he managed to get before taking off. Sophia has no idea what she is going to do since she has no money, no family and no friends. Eve steps up to be supportive and mentions Ted needs a housekeeper.

    Ted has been hurt over Sophia's betrayal for 13 years and doesn't want to help her with a job. He is afraid of what would happen if he hired her. Once he sees what the town is doing to her he decides he is the only one who will give her a job. Things are awkward at first but the slowly figure out how to exist around one another. After some violence by the townspeople he moves her and her daughter into his guest house to make sure she is safe. He decides to date Eve hoping to forget any feelings he has for Sophia. That ends up not going as planned but can they truly put the past behind them and learn to trust again?

    This is definitely an emotional story that touches on many topics and has many surprises along the way. The only thing I would have liked would have been a little more of the friends getting together at Black Gold Coffee. This book had little interaction with Ted's friends other than Eve. I give this book 4 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    I really liked this book but I did get lost at times because I h

    I really liked this book but I did get lost at times because I have not read all the books in the series and Novak refers back to what happened in the past a number of times so when that happens it makes me want to read the earlier books I missed so I have everyone in Whiskey Creek's story.
    As for this book it made me run the emotional gauntlet. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to throw my Kindle in annoyance. It has what a book needs to grab a reader and make them hold on until the very last word is read.
    I hated how the town was treating Sophia and her daughter and the way they punished them for the sins of their husband/father just made me sick. I wanted to slap them all for how ignorant they were.
    Ted even annoyed me with some of his actions and behavior in the book. I was almost hoping that Sophia would not give him a second chance after what he did knowing all the hurt she was in. Not really I was hoping Novak would throw a twist in there and we would find out he was really Lexi's dad.
    Overall another good book in the Whiskey Creek Series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    Brenda is such a gifted writer! I was excited to finally read Te

    Brenda is such a gifted writer! I was excited to finally read Ted and Sophia’s story.

    There are parts of their story that I liked more than others. For example, I really liked Ted and Sophia’s circle of friends. And, I love Brenda's description of Whiskey Creek.

    But, I didn't like how it made me feel towards the townsfolk. I can’t imagine how so many people in one small town can be so mean towards one person. I felt angry and frustrated more than once about this. It’s my experience that while some people in life might be cruel, most people hold their tongues and just ignore uncomfortable situations rather than overtly get involved.

    Because this book got me so emotionally involved and made me think about it for days afterward, it is definitely one of my favorites in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    In TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Brenda Novak has given us a heart-

    In TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Brenda Novak has given us a heart-wrenchingly raw, but wonderful tale of second chances. Her heroine, Sophia Debussi, has never been very well liked in her hometown of Whiskey Creek. Jilting one the town's favorite sons while he was away at college to marry the wealthiest bachelor in town only added to her reputation back in high school as a &quot;mean girl&quot;. Our hero, Ted Dixon, was heartbroken when Sophia dumped him to marry Skip Debusssi and never really got over her even though it's been fourteen years. <br />
    <br />
    While the residents of Whiskey Creek loved the smooth talking Skip, enough to hand over their life savings in many cases, and were glad for Sophia's charity work, no one called her friend. When her husband truly lived up to his name and tried to skip the country stealing everyone's money Sophia's spoiled style of living was blamed. No one was willing to see how she and her daughter, Alexa, were Skip's biggest victims of all or knew that they had been for the entire marriage. Sophia goes from riches to rags and has no one to turn to. Ironically the boy she jilted so long ago is one of the few who reach out to help her, despite his bitter feelings toward her. Although Ted offers Sophia a job, he too remains determined to keep his distance and protect his heart from the only woman he's ever loved.<br />
    <br />
    This is a well-written story of how Sophia blossoms in the face of a town full of angry people seeking vengeance on her for her husband's behavior and how her integrity and honest willingness to do what is right brings out a strength in her even she is surprised to find. Testimony to Novak's incredible writing, I felt her relief, her fear, her anguish, her love for her daughter, her defeat, her anger, her resoluteness, her hope, and her never forgotten love for Ted. And Ted, he got his second chance too. The chance to have the love of his life, back in his life. Sure he has to fight his own demons, face the worry and disapproval of friends and family, but he gets there as he finally allows himself to see what Sophia's life has really been like and the beautiful woman she has become out of the ashes. Their love story was very romantic in that age old way that Ted became the Knight to help save the Damsel. <br />
    <br />
    TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is the fifth book in the Whiskey Creek series. It is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhanger. I have not read the previous four and had no problem following the storyline although I feel my reading experience would have been enhanced if I had the back story on some of the now secondary characters. I intend to remedy that situation straight away because they were a very engaging group!<br />
    <br />
    *I received this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was provided to me as an early read.

    TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was provided to me as an early read. I have enjoyed the entire Whiskey Creek series, mostly because it delves deeper into the characters' lives; tisn't just some fluffy, small town setting. TMHFC follows the same depth of characters and is not a typical Christmas book.

    Even though it took place during the holidays, Christmas wasn't the central character in the book. The holidays paid a very important part though, if that makes any sense. The book dealt with a very deep and dark subject -- one that may be a bit too close to me -- that makes it a great and enjoyable novel but perhaps a bit dark, and not just a fluff holiday book.

    Ted and Sophia were great characters. Ted was thoughtful and kind, even though he had been burned all those years ago. Sophia was a troubled character that tried so hard to be a part of the &quot;group&quot; but was always left out because of her past behavior. The part I loved about her was that she understood the rejection and dealt with it on her own. She had some pretty heavy things to deal with in her &quot;present&quot; life and it broke my heart to read her struggles. Trust me, this is an over simplification but I believe you'll understand what I am saying when you read this book.

    I highly recommend TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Go! Buy! Read! It will touch your heart, make you cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time. I can't wait for another visit to Whiskey Creek. I just hope it isn't as dark.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    The 5th installment in the Whiskey Creek series is another winne

    The 5th installment in the Whiskey Creek series is another winner!

    This episode tells the story of Ted and Sophia – characters introduced in the previous series’ entries.

    The unthinkable has happened – Sophia’s husband, Skip, has defrauded almost the entire town of Whiskey Creek and accidentally killed himself while sneaking away in the night. (He slips off his yacht while vacationing off the coast of Brazil thinking to swim ashore and run away leaving his innocent and unknowing wife, Sophia, and daughter, Alexa, behind to suffer the consequences – including the ire and treatment of the inhabitants of the town and the FBI.)

    This story is Sophia’s gradual metamorphosis from alcoholic, abused spouse to a capable, independent woman and mother. Yes, alcoholic – Sophia had escaped from her hard marriage through a wine bottle, and the story realistically presents her battle with addiction.

    The change from the icy, privileged princess of the high school memories of the series’ core characters to someone you can really get behind and root for is satisfying and a pleasure to experience. I expected this to be a hard sell but I thought the author really nailed it. The dialogues and emotions are real ones, never contrived. The daughter’s former friends act like kids do sometimes. Ted’s mom has trouble accepting Sophia back into her son’s life. And the relationship between the Whiskey Creek’s inhabitants and Sophia isn’t all wrapped up with a bow for Christmas – although positive steps are made.

    I was hooked by this story (this entire series) from the very first page to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    i recieved this book in exchange for a honest review This is a

    i recieved this book in exchange for a honest review

    This is a very emotional, realistic read, that draws you in. This story is mainly about Sophia who is left in a horrible situation and made to pay the price, even through she has alot of hardships,obstacles and set backs. She is hard working and will do what she can for her daughter. This was a story with alot of angst,forgiveness,mistakes and emotional.
    She struggles with her personal problems, the problems the town blames her for and trying to just survive then Ted gives her a job even though they have a history. With Sophia life with her husband look can be very decieving and thats all i'll say.
    This was a very well written ,realistic read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    Brenda Novak brings us another look inside Whiskey Creek, with T

    Brenda Novak brings us another look inside Whiskey Creek, with Take Me Home For Christmas. Sophia was the spoiled rich girl, who always got what she wanted. She married the man who got her pregnant, and ended up in an abusive 13 year marriage, that only ended because of her husbands' death. We learn that her husband embezzled funds from his investors, leaving Sophia to deal with the ramifications. After the FBI freezes all of their assets, Sophia, having never held a job, must find a way to support herself and her daughter, Alexa. She is offered a job, by and unlikely source, Ted, who was her boyfriend 15 years ago, and whose heart she broke when she married the other guy. 




    Throughout the story, we watch Sophia pull her life together. We see the strength of her character and the women she always wanted to be, emerge from the abusive past that has haunted her. She deals with the hatred of the people who had invested with her husband and with her alcoholism. 




    The story spends a lot of time on Sophia's journey, and not near enough on Christmas. I wish the story hadn't ended so abruptly. I can only hope that we will see a continuation of Sophia and Ted's story in future Whiskey Creek novels. I also hope that Eve will get her chance at a story as well. I was given this advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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