Review by Veronica

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Series Name: The Cornish Midwife Series, #3

“Toni had wanted- with all her heart- to undo the words she’d said to Aaron that afternoon on the phone, words that might have left him in any doubt about how much she loved him. Seeing him lying there, with all life extinguished, she’d have done anything to bring him back.” 

As winter descends on the coastal town of Port Agnes, midwife Toni Samuels’ mood is as dark as the winter clouds that roll in. Toni loves her job as a midwife, but her private life is falling apart. Because Toni is keeping a secret– a relationship with fellow male midwife Bobby that no one can ever know about.

A damaged hope…

Kind and gorgeous, Bobby is a huge hit at the midwifery centre, but he’s tired of keeping his feelings for Toni a secret – of always coming second best. He knows that Toni’s past is painful, but unless she can be open with her feelings for him, he’s prepared to walk away from their love.

Can love find a way?

Toni loves Bobby and wishes things could be different between them. But torn between her past and a future with him, everything seems hopeless. Until fate hands Toni one last chance…

Now Toni’s secret wish is in her hands…if only she can be brave enough to take a chance and make her dreams come true.

A Winter’s Wish for the Cornish Midwife is the third book in The Cornish Midwife series, and this book can be read as a stand-alone. Readers who have not read the other two books will still enjoy the world Jo has created. But for me, I would have personally preferred to have read the previous two books before jumping into this one. I felt like I was missing the backstories for many of the main characters, and I wasn’t as excited about those big life-changing moments they were experiencing in this book. Now that being said, I still really enjoyed this book and planned on reading the previous two books. Also, I was expecting this book to be a light, easy romance read. It has romancey moments, but this book has more depth than I thought it would. It also deals with complicated issues and problems, and it includes so many big emotional moments within its pages. 

Toni is a more serious romance main character; she isn’t that happy-go-lucky bubbly character that you often find in romance books. Toni has been keeping many secrets in her life; her friends don’t know that she lost her finance five years ago, and no one knows that she has been secretly dating Bobby, a fellow midwife. All the secrets Toni has been keeping start to boil over in this book. Toni feels like she is under constant pressure because of all these lies she has been keeping. She also feels like she needs to keep her fiancé’s parents happy. Now, the last sentence sounded awful, so let me explain before you think her would-be in-laws are terrible people because they aren’t. Toni blames herself for Aaron’s (her finance’s) death because she thinks the stress from their fight caused Aaron to have a brain aneurysm. This blame caused Toni to promise herself that she would do whatever it takes to make sure that she could ease the grief Aaron’s parents were feeling, and she also promised to always be a part of their lives. Toni finds herself going to their house for Christmases, birthdays, and other celebrations and realizes that she is stuck in this world where she will never be able to move on romantically with another man.  The situation Toni finds herself in is quite complicated. And honestly, I don’t know if I would have done anything differently; grief and trying to protect loved ones is a difficult thing to navigate through. A good portion of this book is focused on Toni’s journey of starting to forgive herself and learning to move on from the loss of her fiancé. There are lots of highs and lows in her journey, and I thought Jo did a fantastic job at showing readers that sometimes the answers to life’s difficult questions can come from unexpected places.

The romance between Toni and Bobby is sweet and tender. There is definitely some tension between the happy couple. Bobby is tired of keeping their relationship a secret, and rightly so. A lot of their relationship is in this “limbo” state. Neither one wants to separate, but they also know their relationship’s current state can’t last. There is a lot of angst in this relationship. But like most romance books, it does end on a happy note and has that cheesy romantic finish that romance readers expect.

This book was so much more than just your typical romance novel. Readers get to see what many couples often go through while trying to get pregnant, while being pregnant, or while trying to become a foster parent. I loved that Jo included such a diverse cast of couples in her book. I also loved seeing the world of midwifery, and hats off to these extraordinary ladies (and men) for doing what they do. Their ability to stay calm under pressure is impressive.

A Winter’s Wish for the Cornish Midwife is an extraordinary book with so much heart. 

 Thank you to Boldwood Books for the ARC in exchange  for an honest review.