Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Christmas Child (Rescue Haven Book 1)” as Want to Read:
The Secret Christmas Child (Rescue Haven Book 1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret Christmas Child

(Rescue Haven #1)

by
4.36  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  51 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. Their
...more
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2019 by Love Inspired
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Christmas Child, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Christmas Child

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  51 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Secret Christmas Child (Rescue Haven Book 1)
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
...more
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
...more
Shirley Chapel
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anne
At first I wasn't completely drawn into this book but then closer to the end I was completely into the story. What a emotional rollercoaster. I must admit my eyes were wet in the ending chapters. To be honest this reader was reaching for the Kleenex box. If a book has the ability to grab me into the story to that extent than I feel it deserves five Stars.
This story is about two teenagers in high school that dated and planned a future together in the years to come. The boy graduated and entered
...more
Elaine
This truly is a love inspired story, featuring an injured veteran, Reese Markowski, trying to make life better for dogs and at risk boys in the town where he spent his teen years. He hadn't anticipated seeing his high school sweetheart, Gabby Hanks, again and certainly hadn't realised she'd had a baby since they last met.


This is a story where the lies and actions of someone else have negatively impacted on the relationship and lives of people around them. It is a moving story of trusting in God
...more
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.
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
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
...more
Faye
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jill booksandescape
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads.

The Secret Christmas Child by Lee Tobin McClain is the first in the Rescue Haven series. It follows Reese and Gabby. Veteran Reese runs a program for at-risk kids and dogs, and is in need of some extra help during the Christmas season. He needs to hire Gabby, his former love. He doesn't want to because their relationship ended badly, but there is no one better for the job. Gabby is a single mom and desperately needs this job to care for herself and her
...more
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
Dawn Leonard
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica Figueroa
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, adult, arc
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
...more
JoAnna G
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rebecca Hicks
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy all of Lee Tobin McClain's books, and THE SECRET CHRISTMAS CHILD is one of my favorites. This novel hits all the right marks for me. Veterans who still want to serve live in every community, and Reese is one of these. He has a special soft spot for at-risk kids and dogs who also need rescuing, so being involved in life and making sacrifices are important themes of McClain's book. The female lead is someone we can identify with. Gabby has experienced love and heartbreak. While she, like ...more
Helen
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a refreshing change from some of my other reads lately!
I took a long time reading this book, not because I didn't want to, but because I wanted to savor it. The main characters (Reese and Gabby) are so sweet & their romance so endearing, your heart will fall in love with them.
This exquisite book is so inspirational, it definitely belongs with the "Love Inspired" stories of faith, love, hope and forgiveness. I'm definitely going to read more of Lee Tobin McClain and just borrowed "His
...more
Traci L.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author choose to write about some adult issues (sexual assault and bad parenting), but in a respectable way. The are no sexual or profanity content in this book. This book is a second-chance love story. Gabby comes home after an eighteen month absence with a nine month old child. Reece doesn't understand why Gabby cheated on him after he left for the military? He knows the child is not his because they decided to what until marriage to be intimate. Reece is ...more
Dana Busenbark
Who are Reese & Gabby? Why is Gabby apologizing? What happened after Gabby was seen on social media with Reese's cousin? What secret is she hiding? What is Nana up to? That lady is up to no good I fear, just 2 chapters into the story. Who are Jacob and Connor? Where are they coming into town from? What happened the previous summer with Jacob? Mr. Romano is a scrooge! UGH! Who is Izzy? Who is her father? What do we learn that made my heart break for Gabby? Who is Brock? I don't like him or ...more
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
abdulia ortiz-perez
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
I received this free book from the publisher for honest review.

4.5 stars

This is the first time reading from this author.
This is a real cute read. It melt my heart .
I felt like I was watching one of those Romance Christmas from Hallmark movies.

What a beautiful wonderful amazing read.

What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel did just that to me.
...more
Kim
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this read! Gabby going back to her hometown and then running into her ex well actually now he is her boss. While she tries to hide the secret of her baby it makes it a little hard when Reese shows up at her Nana's house. The chemistry between Reese and Gabby is great and you hope they get back together and that all goes well but does it? Do they pull off the show to save Reese's program? Well for that you need to read the book but I tell you this book had me from the beginning ...more
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
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
...more
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
This was beautiful. I won't lie, you might need a few tissues (or a small box) on hand, there are a few tear jerker moments. You know from the start Reese and Gabby belong together, but it's a long road to get there. The boys of Rescue Haven will steal your heart as the boisterous crew navigate their own obstacles. A masterfully woven, heart-warming story that will remind you of the real spirit of the holidays, and that even out of sorrow can come great joy.
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
Angela Suzanne
This book was a delightful read of young love finding a way to overcome snap judgments and old hurts. I really enjoyed that the main characters were trying to help at risk youth, especially while they themselves were in their early twenties. The faith aspect of the story was well woven through where it didn’t feel forced and it brought an extra depth to the story and the characters.
Crystal Gray
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Gabby was easy to connect with. She was running from a past that she had to face eventually. Small towns are hard to keep secrets in. I loved the work that was being done with the at risk boys, and the rescue dogs. While this was a Christmas story, it doesn't really have to be read at Christmas. I think it would be enjoyable any time of the year.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Tale Of Two Christmas Letters (Texas Legends: The McCabes)
  • Holiday Homecoming Secrets
  • Western Christmas Wishes
  • A Rancher to Trust
  • Her Cowboy Till Christmas (Wyoming Sweethearts #1)
  • The Rancher's Holiday Hope
  • Stranded for the Holidays (Love Inspired)
  • Wrapped Up In Christmas
  • Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian England
  • Christmas in Silver Springs (Silver Springs, #6)
  • Soldier's Christmas Secrets (Justice Seekers #1)
  • Coming Home for Christmas (Haven Point, #10)
  • Her Secret Alaskan Family
  • Safety Breach (Longview Ridge Ranch #1)
  • The Rebel Bride (Daughter of the Mayflower, #10)
  • Wrapped Up for Christmas
  • Stealing Kisses in the Snow (Rendezvous Falls, #2)
  • A Wyoming Christmas to Remember (The Wyoming Multiples #6)
See similar books…
223 followers
Publishers Weekly bestselling author of emotional, heartwarming romances. Visit http://www.leetobinmcclain.com to join newsletter, get book release details, and find out more.