The Gift of Family


Committed to her spinsterhood, Isabel Flores isn’t about to trust a man with her hard-won independence or her heart—especially not lawman Ben MacGregor. But when a little boy is abandoned on her property, the so-called “Debonair Deputy” of their small Tennessee town helps her care for the child. And Isabel begins to hope he might be more than just a handsome flirt.

Ben is well aware of Isabel’s aversion to love and has his own secret reasons for avoiding relationships. But as he and Isabel do their best to make the holiday special for their young ward, Ben wonders if he could be a family man after all. Will this Christmas be the first of many for Isabel and Ben’s little instant family?

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading from Karen Kirst. I was delighted with the characters, the setting, and the storyline. This story is sure to warm your heart and put you in the Christmas spirit. I could so clearly picture the town of Gatlinburg, TN that I felt like I was there.

While I’ve not yet read the other 11 books in the Smokey Mountain series, I didn’t feel at all lost in this story. Yes, there are brief mentions of other characters, but not once did I feel lost. If anything It made me want to read the other books to find out the details of their stories.

Isabel is a strong and independent, blacksmith forge savvy women of the mountains. The last thing she wants is a man interrupting her plans. But under her rough exterior beats the heart of a woman who longs for a family (even if she has buried it so deep, that she forgot).

“Debonair Deputy” Ben MacGregor smiles and the ladies swoon at his feet. He is a self-proclaimed bachelor. However, his actions call into question the sincerity of his claims with the ladies of the town.

When a bank robbery goes wrong, and then a little boy is abandoned on her doorstep, Isabel and Ben are thrust together to not only prevent another robbery but to uncover the mystery of where this little boy came from. Will the tender, trusting smiles of an adorable 4-year old, warm their hearts and change their minds?

Karen Kirst not only breathes life into the setting but the characters as well. From the first page to the last, the story never once lost momentum. I give this story 5 stars. I am looking forward to finding copies of the earlier books in this series, as I’m sure I will enjoy them just as much as I have this one.

(I purchased a print copy of this book for my own collection. I am not required to write positive reviews. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

KarenKirst  Karen Kirst was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn’t until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated…years, in fact. In the fall of 2010, she got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historical wanted to publish her manuscript-a true blessing from God. Now she divides her time between being a wife, homeschooling mom, and romance writer. She enjoys reading, hosting tea parties and spending time with friends.

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