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The Secret Christmas Child

(Rescue Haven #1)

by
4.52  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Will a fresh start heal old wounds?

His high school sweetheart returns with a baby...And a devastating secret.


Reese Markowski can't believe he's hiring his ex-girlfriend--but to save his program for dogs and at-risk kids, the veteran needs Gabby Hanks. Single mom Gabby's fierce love for her infant daughter is undeniable, as is the child's effect on Reese's wounded heart.
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Love Inspired
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Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
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Kelsie Maxwell
The Secret Christmas Child is book one in Lee Tobin McClain’s Rescue Haven series. Lee Tobin McClain is one of my favorite authors, and she did not fail me with this novel.

Reese Markowski is a veteran who runs, Rescue Haven, a program for at-risk kids and dogs. He feels that caring for and training dogs will give the boys purpose and keep them out of trouble. Reese can’t believe that his high school sweetheart, Gabby Hanks, will be working for him. He was tricked into the arrangement by Gabby’s
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BookAddict
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forgiveness, healing, redemption, grace and second chances are the themes of this emotional, moving holiday story. From the hurt and betrayal felt by the two main characters to the rowdy but loveable boys and the discarded dogs getting a second chance, there are a lot of tugs to the heart, and you'll want to have your tissues handy. For a fairly short read, the characters are complex, the setting picturesque and a little quirky, and the wholesome storyline is rich, captivating and poignant.

When
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Pinot & Pickles
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful, heartfelt story of young love, strong faith, emotional secrets and second chances. It makes you realize the harm gossip can cause and how important it is to tell the truth about your true feelings. In the end, the author manages to bring the characters back together where they belong showing that if your faith and love is strong enough, it will conquer all. Beautiful to read and a very happy ending.
Kav
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Help! My heart has been skewered. I'm in desperate need of resuscitation. Another gander at that sweet epilogue should do the trick. Be back in a jiff...

Phew! Much better. Still a bit achy but I'll live to read another book. :-) And I think I can muster up a raspy Squeeeeeppp!!! because this is a new series by Lee Tobin McClain and there are dogs. Lots of dogs which is sending me into a frenzied tailspin (ha-- get the pun there?) of bibliophile delight!

Warning: a very clever, heart-rending plot
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Faye
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
High School sweethearts reunite before Christmas, could this be their second chance at love?


Reese Markowski has returned to his hometown to work with at risk youth and dogs. He hires his ex-girlfriend, single mom, Gabby to work for him, they reconnect, but will the secret about her daughter keep them apart?



It is uncomfortable for Reese and Gabby at first, seeing each other after so long, and on the terms that they had broken up. Gabby is excellent with the children, and has big ideas to help the
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Joyce Stewart Reviews
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover . I love it ! The blurb sounded good so i thought i would give it a try. Right from page one it drew me in.The heartbreak that both main characters had been through pulled at my heartstrings. I loved the authors writing style and the fact she described all of the scenes so well. It was as if i was standing right there with them. Can't wait to read other books by this author. Def a 5 star read. If you are looking for a great short romance ...more
Tiffany
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a second chance romance with loveable characters, this is the book for you. Gabby and Reese were high school sweethearts that were town apart by cruel circumstances. When they finally reconnect they are little more broken, but still in love. My heart broke for both of them and I was instantly hooked as they tried to find their way back to each other (I was rooting for them the whole time). I also loved the rescue dogs helping troubled teens heal and find their way in this ...more
Dawn Leonard
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The characters are well-developed. I had trouble putting it down because I got invested in Reese and Gabby's story. The story deals with many societal issues. Some of those can be triggering. Reese is a wounded veteran dealing with feeling inadequate at times. His former girlfriend Gabby was raped and has a child as a result of that rape. However I thought these very personal and life-altering topics and others were handled sensitively and respectfully by the author Lee Tobin ...more
Emma
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Christmas Child by Lee Tobin McClain
Will a fresh start heal old wounds?
His high school sweetheart returns with a baby…And a devastating secret.
Reese Markowski can’t believe he’s hiring his ex-girlfriend—but to save his program for dogs and at-risk kids, the veteran needs Gabby Hanks. Single mom Gabby’s fierce love for her infant daughter is undeniable, as is the child’s effect on Reese’s wounded heart. Their holiday reunion is a joyful surprise, but nothing prepares Reese for the
...more
Joy E. Held
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Secret Christmas Child
Rescue Haven Book 1
Love Inspired
Lee Tobin McClain

The Secret Christmas Child by Lee Tobin McClain gets five stars because the book tackles some tough topics with grace, compassion, and dignity. And, of course, love.

The characters are the real strength of this novel. I’ve read many of Tobin McClain’s novels. She is an artist with the way she peoples her stories, drawing the reader into their lives and positions in the plot. The right amount of detailed description and
...more
Margie
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gabby Hanko's Nana has been ill so Gabby and her baby daughter Izzy return to Gabby's hometown to help out with Nana. She has lost her job so staying with Nana is a blessing. She just needs to find a job if she wants to stay. Unbeknownst to Gabby Nana has set up a job interview for her with her former boyfriend Reese Markowski. Reese is a wounded war veteran who originally planned to work as a carpenter but losing his right hand to an IED while overseas meant a change of career. Now Reese has ...more
Pam Graber
Dec 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
When Gabby Hanks walks back into Reese Markowski's life as his new assistant, Reese is stunned to learn she has a baby girl. They were inseparable and planning for a future together until she went to college and he joined the Army. He knows he's not the baby's father, and he can't believe her morals would have changed drastically in the last 18 months, but her baby girl tells a different story. Already devastated by the loss of his right hand in a bomb blast, Reese's self-esteem is as low as it ...more
JoAnna G
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well rounded holiday red. Chock-full if forgiveness, love, lies, secrets, and second chances. It was a great book to put you in the holiday spirit. This is a new author to me but the blurb just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

The characters are likable and it such a great story they are telling. Old high school sweethearts are reunited when Gabby comes home. She is hiding something and when she comes home she brings a child.

She gets a job at the least likely places she wants to. She
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Jessica Figueroa
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, arc, contemporary
Veteran Reese Markowski isn't exactly thrilled about hiring his ex Gabby Hanks, who is a single mother, to help with a program for at risk children and dogs but she seems to know what shes doing. Assumptions are made, old feelings arise and things get complicated but maybe by helping eachother they can make this holiday and program a good one.

Overall this was an interesting little contemporary romance. I enjoyed getting to know the characters as the book gone on and really appreciate the dual
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Debbie
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Gabby comes home to help Nanna she knows she has to avoid Reese. Reese is shocked when he comes into Nanna’s house and hears Izzy crying. Gabby is trying to raise Izzy and help Nanna . Reese is trying to help me the boys he is in charge of. The characters in this book are all very special people who you will love reading about. The author will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. I had the honor to review this book for the author for a honest review. I would ...more
Joan Arning
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The full truth is not always apparent! I admired Reese Markowski who lost his hand in the military and now works with at-risk boys and dogs! The boys and dogs help heal each other! Reese's former girlfriend, Gabby, now has an infant daughter and hasn't told anyone who the father is. Reese knows it isn't him though some people in town think so. Gabby needs a job and is great with the teenage boys. Gabby is a strong protagonist who does what she feels is the right thing but learns we sometimes ...more
Susan
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked on this book from the first page to the last. This author is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects and did a wonderful job. I loved the story and the characters. One thing that I liked was that she was able to show the consequences of making snap judgements without all the facts. One line stuck with me, probably because I needed it. “God is in control, so you don’t have to be.” This was a great book and I would recommend it.
I received a copy of this book from the author and was
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Marie Pinkham
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovable characters? Check. Conflict that keeps you reading to see how it is solved? Check. Broken pasts and second chances? Check. Finding love in the midst of heartache? Check! Now add to that Christmas, babies, and puppies... and you have Lee Tobin McClains latest heartwarming story - the first in the Rescue Haven Series (and i cannot wait for the next!) I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but no review was required. These are my own honest thoughts. Truly, after ...more
Connie PATTERSON
Reece is a wounded Vet who works with teens and dogs WOW. He needs help his old girl friend comes back to town to care for her grandmother but she brings a surprise and a huge secret with her a baby girl. Who some say is his but he knows it’s not they made a promise to each other that obviously she broke. Will the truth destroy them or will they be able to overcome? Awesome book
Cathy
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Christmas Child is the 1st book in the Rescue Haven Series. This holiday reunion is a great one with a surprise baby. I recommend this Christmas story. I can't wait to see what Lee has in store next. Is someone hiding some truth? Read how dogs can help heal young boys well those boys are helping them.
Kristen
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartfelt story of second chances, past mistakes, secrets, redemption, and love. Gabby and Reese are likable characters, and the setting of the youth center and dog training program add to the charm of the story. I’m delighted that it is the first story in a new series and I look forward to returning to Rescue Haven in future stories.
JoAnn
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author has written another entertaining inspirational romance. A great plot with well developed characters. This is a good quick read. If you enjoy reading inspirational romance I highly recommend this book. My thanks to the author for my advance book. This is my unbiased review.
Harlequin Books
Categories
Inspirational Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Wholesome Romance
Miniseries
Rescue Haven (Book #1)
Jenna Blair
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Secret Christmas Child’ is a sweet little romance story that captures the Christmas themes of love, compassion, contrition, forgiveness and giving. It’s perfect to read this holiday season!
Kathy Church
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading the story of Reece and Gabby. It is a heartwarming book that can be read in a day.
Harlequin Books
Categories
Inspirational Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Wholesome Romance
Miniseries
Rescue Haven (Book #1)
Joy
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a really fun quick read
Jaime Brooks
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Robin
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super story of second chances with lots of emotions to deal with. Very well written. Thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas story. Highly recommend. I received an advance reader copy from the author. Opinions are my own.
Nancy Ali
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gabby and Reese had a relational history since school days and had looked forward to spending their lives together. Life happened however and Reese went off to war and Gabby found herself in a situation that caused Reese to doubt her loyalty. They became reacquainted many years later when Reese returned to his home town after a severe injury and Gabby to her grandmother’s house with additional responsibilities. This story is a trip down the road of life and gives insight into life’s challenges. ...more
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