If you're familiar with Kathleen Morgan's Brides of Culdee Creek series, this is a continuation of the MacKay's story, though it can also be read as a stand-alone. Personally, I fell in love with the entire MacKay clan when I read the series a few years back, so I was excited to find One Perfect Gift in my stocking this past Christmas!
We get to catch up with most of the MacKay's during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but we also meet Jessica (Jessie) Ashmore and her six-year-old daughter, Emma. When we first meet Jessie and Emma, they're on their way to Colorado Springs, Colorado in pursuit of a new job Jessie has obtained working as a nurse for Dr. Elizabeth Starr. Due to unforeseen circumstances, things don't work out quite as Jessie had envisioned. This unexpected turn of events is what makes this story so heart-warmingly touching.
Sean MacKay has become the ranch foreman at Culdee Creek. He also helps his parents, Conor and Abby, out as much a he can. Sean's past has taken over his life, so much so, that he has pretty much isolated himself to the ranch. He avoids any unnecessary trips to town, in order to avoid unwanted speculation of his past. Sean is still very heart-broken and bitter about events that took place while he was stationed in France during his stint in the American Expeditionary Force; they were so extensive that his marriage suffered greatly. He has also turned his back on God, which causes his parents to pray that much harder for him to come to the realization that even though he can't seem to forgive himself, Jesus is right there waiting.
Jessie and Sean rub one another the wrong way as soon as they lay eyes on each other, but this makes for an interesting story. Neither of them are afraid to stand up for themselves and confront the conflict head-on. If you enjoy a little tension in your romances, then you're gonna enjoy this one immensely! It moves pretty quickly, it's only 152 pages, but there's a great story packed in those few pages.