Synopsis from Goodreads
SOMETIMES THE BEST GIFTS CAN’T BE WRAPPED
All Mandy Carson wants for Christmas is a distraction…and maybe a date to her friend’s New Year’s Eve wedding. Ghosts from the past always loom larger this time of year, and Mandy’s having a hard time faking her usual fun-loving demeanour. But when her much-needed distraction arrives in the form of the man who rocked her world the long-ago night of their junior prom, she’s forced to confront the painful scars that caused her to bolt back in high school.
Wildlife rescuer Calvin Rocha always regretted letting Mandy slip out of his life, so when fate brings them together on a snowy mountain road with an injured hawk on Christmas Eve, he’s determined to make the most of this second chance. He agrees to be her wedding date, hoping the romantic weekend will bring them back together. And as the clock counts down to midnight, Cal and Mandy might just discover that the best gift they’ll receive this season is each other.
Rachel Lacey ties together the end of the Risking It All series and the start of her Almost Royal series in spectacular fashion. celebrating the wedding of one of our couples from the Risking It All series at the venue which is the focal point of the Almost Royal series 😍
Mandy is a difficult character to get to grips with. From the beginning, there is a sense of grief that overshadows all of Mandy’s life, although the cause of her melancholy is not revealed for quite so time. Uncovering Mandy’s background and family situation provide understanding to her negativity, personally, I cannot imagine what impact it would have on anyone’s sense of self.
Calvin had a huge crush on Mandy through school and only plucked up the courage to approach her at the senior prom, resulting in an unforgettable night for the both of them. When a freak road accident traps a bird in Mandy’s car grill it is as if fate has handed Calvin a second chance at the woman of his dreams.
However, Mandy is very skittish where relationships are concerned, mainly due to a lot of unresolved issues concerning her family. Undertaking a weekend together to attend Carly and Sam’s wedding (Rock with You) provides Calvin with the opportunity to turn their reunion into something a little more permanent!!!
I loved witnessing Calvin break down Mandy’s barriers gently with a great deal of care and consideration. It is through Calvin’s tender care Mandy is able to shed the cloud that has been covering her for most of her life and create a happy and loving future for herself and Calvin.
My only small gripe with My Gift is You was the abrupt ending, I really could have done with an extended epilogue to gain insight into the future of the couples featured in the Risking It All series 😉