Annie Dunbar runs a respectable boardinghouse and lives a quiet life. No one knows the truth about her less-than-spotless past, except for the man she left behind, steamboat captain Isaac Chase. When Isaac is injured and brought to Annie's house, her peaceful life is over.

Isaac has nursed his anger over Annie's desertion and her and the man she married stealing all he had. But now that he sees her every day, Isaac notices that this Annie is not a cunning thief, she's honest, compassionate and vulnerable. They fall in love again, and the spirit of the holiday encourages them to trust and forgive.

Pritchard gifts us with a lovely holiday story that's not only about second chances, it's also about the importance of understanding and redemption. The lessons of Annie's story will reverberate long after the holidays are over, and the heartwarming glow of this sweet tale will keep you warm all winter. SWEET (Oct., 380 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin