Series: Made for Matrimony (Book 1)
A FLURRY OF REIGNITED PASSION IS IN THE FORECAST!
What would the holidays be without joy and cheer? A regular Christmas for Mack Lawless. Along with the first snow come regret and confusion when his ex-wife, Darcy Kramer, returns to Holden's Crossing. Even seven years later, her abrupt decision to file for divorce burns deep. And it doesn't help that he's practically forced to bump elbows with her at a Christmas tree farm during the most festive time of year…
Why did she leave? Darcy's deeply buried secrets still hurt, just as much as seeing Mack again does. But time and distance have done nothing to help her forget about their love. Now, with the holiday spirit on her side, she can try to make amends. Can a sprig of mistletoe lead to a real forever family?
Very emotional book. Seven years ago a tragedy tore apart Mack and Darcy's marriage. Unable to explain her feelings, Darcy filed for divorce and fled to Chicago. Now she's back for a short time, to help her aunt and uncle with their Christmas tree farm, not knowing that Mack has been helping too. Seeing him again brings all the pain and guilt back, but she's committed to staying.
Mack had no idea Darcy was coming back until his brother told him he had seen her. He's tried to convince himself that he's moved on and gotten over the devastation of her leaving, but one look proves him wrong. His heart starts pushing to try again, but his head knows that she's planning to leave again. Why put himself through all that pain again?
Mack and Darcy had married because she was pregnant and Mack wanted to do the right thing. There was no doubt that he loved her and was sure that their lives together would be great. But when a terrible accident caused her to lose the baby, everything fell apart. Darcy shut him out and Mack didn't know how to reach her. She filed for divorce, left for Chicago, and hadn't been back since. Now they have to find a way to work together without hurting each other more.
The attraction between Mack and Darcy is even hotter than it was before. Put the two of them in the same room and the sparks really begin to fly. However, they still aren't able to talk about their past and what went wrong. I ached for Mack and how he's still bewildered about why she left. I also hurt for Darcy, who is carrying a tremendous amount of guilt over what happened and how she dealt with it. Their youth had contributed to their inability to actually talk to each other, and even now they both avoid having the hard conversations.
It isn't long before the attraction gets the better of them. That opens a tiny crack in the door between them, and they tentatively start getting to know the people they are now. It becomes obvious that they are falling for each other all over again, but until they can be honest about those feelings, it can only end in heartbreak. Mack is still pretty clueless until his mom says something that makes him look at their past from a different angle. Darcy also realizes that until she can make Mack understand why she had left, nothing is going to change. The satisfaction of seeing them finally face those demons and talk about them made the ending just right.
Besides her feelings for Mack and what had happened in the past, Darcy also has to deal with her feelings about what is going on with the tree farm. By staying away for so long, she lost touch with her connection to the land. Her reactions to what is going to happen reinforce the truth about her life in Chicago, and force her to decide what she really wants to do. Of course, there was really no doubt about what it was going to be, but her journey to get there was a painful one. I loved what she decided.
I also loved seeing the softer side of Mack as he worked his veterinarian magic with the various animals. There was no way that Darcy was going to be able to resist a man who treated animals the way that he did. I hope that a future book includes what happens to the two dogs that were such a big part of the book.