Christmas Kiss From the Sheriff

Christmas Kiss From the Sheriff

Book - 2016
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A Christmas to remember! Clear Springs' new schoolteacher, Gemma Starling, feels as if she's been given a fresh start. So long as no one discovers her dark secret--she once shot a man in self-defense! Sheriff Craig Parker has forsworn love, but delightful Miss Starling intrigues him. And when events at the school turn dangerous, Craig won't let her face it alone. Gemma might just be the one woman he could ever love, but will the secret she's hiding tear them apart or bring them together by Christmas?
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin Enterprises Limited, [2016]
ISBN: 9780373299072
Branch Call Number: PB Historical Series HHI
Characteristics: 282 pages ; 17 cm


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FindingJane Jan 20, 2017

For a woman determined to protect a secret, Ms. Starling really chatters a lot. She keeps telling herself not to reveal too much to the sheriff who interrogates her and then winds up spilling her guts anyway. While respecting her independent streak and strong nature, Sheriff Parker has no problems with telling her what to do, to the point of threatening to handcuff her to a post. We’re meant to excuse his behavior because he is a lawman and used to getting his own way. We’re also meant to excuse his gruff way of acting sometimes because he’s a rugged outdoorsman who doesn’t know how to talk sometimes—and that includes making a woman a proper marriage proposal.

The people of Clear Springs seem to want a schoolteacher—to the point of hiring new ones whenever the previous ones get married. But you have to wonder just how much value they attach to it. The ability to skin animals, use them for meat, sell their hides for money, track your position by the stars and shoot a firearm are all shown to have their uses. But there lies a faint denigration of so-called book learning that keeps cropping up (although the townspeople never voice it). Sheriff Parker seems especially prone to such blinkered thinking, wondering how a woman can grow up and never learn astronomy or how to fire a gun.

The novel gets its happily-ever-after ending by having Miss Starling give up her dreams of being a Boston lawyer and settle down to being a small-town schoolmarm—no, wait. She abandons that work as well to being a lawman’s wife (as if she couldn’t do both). So much for being independent and strong willed.

This is just another generic entry in a long line of romantic heroines giving up their lives to wait on men. If that’s what lights your fire, you’re welcome to it.


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