FERN MICHAELS, MARIE BOSTWICK, JANNA MCMAHAN, ROSALIND NOONAN
Rating: 4 Cups
Hope House is the fulfillment of a dream for Grace Landry. The counseling and safe haven she is able to offer abused and battered women brings such joy to her life, she truly feels blessed.
Hearing people tell him that time heals all wounds only makes Max Jorgenson want to punch somebody. The two years since his wife’s death have not lessened the pain, and no amount of alcohol or trite condolences will ever make it easier.
When Max moved into his beautiful mountain retreat, he had dreams of family and holidays within its cozy walls. However, his dreams were shattered on Christmas Eve two years ago when his pregnant wife was shot in the line of duty, and he has had no desire to share his home or his life with anyone else since, until Grace lands on his doorstep. Grace tries to make the holidays special for her underprivileged and often times terrified residents, but this year her plans go awry, and she ends up at the home of one very cantankerous and undeniably handsome man.
The Pollyanna personality that Grace exudes in the beginning is hard to understand in someone who does abuse counseling for a living. However as the story progresses, she lightens up her attitude and shares an amazing connection with a man so terribly hurt.
The Presents of Angels
Coming from New York City to a small town in Vermont should have been a huge culture shock, but Kendra Loomis found exactly what she wanted and needed in this tiny community.
The life of any preacher worth his weight is one he cannot call his own, and Andy Loomis is finding that balancing home and church is not any easier the second time around.
The holidays are approaching and with each passing week Kendra is getting bigger and bigger. Her pregnancy is progressing wonderfully, but her marriage seems to have hit a stumbling block. Andy is becoming more and more distant, and his teenage daughter is testing the boundaries of her parents’ patience. Kendra wants her sweet step-daughter, her loving husband, and the view of her feet back, but God has a plan that she can only hope will keep her family in one piece.
Andy and Kendra Loomis are the perfect example of what it means to be dedicated to God and family. They must make hard choices that many times mean their own happiness or comfort is secondary to those around them.
After fifteen years of marriage, Michelle Duncan was fairly certain she knew her husband, but when times get tough she finds out what kind of man he really is.
The life he had envisioned never came to fruition for artist Baxter Brown, but he cannot deny he leads an interesting existence.
The pains of caring for her elderly mother come right on the heels of her father’s death for Michelle. She cannot bear to see her mother put in a home, but bringing her to live with her and her husband Randy proves disastrous. Eventually it becomes too much and when she finds a daycare facility for her mom, she also finds a new lease on life. Baxter is so far removed from her old life, that she feels very uncertain of herself, but the holidays are a time for dreaming.
Michelle could be your sister, your friend, or even yourself. She is an everyday woman facing the horror of losing her parents and the security of her marriage, but she proves what a survivor she really is.
Miracle on Main Street
Holiday cheer and goodwill are completely lost on NYPD Officer Joe Cody, and he has no idea if he can ever reclaim them.
She knows that times are hard and money is tight, but Sheila Cody wants to have a nice Christmas for Joe and the kids. Unfortunately, she has no idea how she is going to pull it off.
It has just gotten to be too much for Joe, and he feels the threads of his sanity unraveling one thread at a time. Christmas Eve is no time to be telling a man his son is dead, but that is exactly what Joe finds himself doing. He does not want to do this anymore. When he blows up at Sheila and she prays to God for a miracle, Joe’s life goes into rewind.
A disheartened cop with more bills than paychecks sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Sheila’s faith is strong enough for both of them. They are in the same situation as most of the country, but they hold the key to survival.
This holiday anthology is a test of faith for each of the characters involved. Whether directly religious based or not, they all come to find the strength it takes to make miracles happen. I enjoyed each character for their strength and humility. I especially like Michelle in Decorations, because she takes on the responsibility of caring for her ailing mother when so many others would take the easy route. Reading this in the holiday season may just be the boost you need to make it through all of the commercialism and chaos that seems to have taken over the holiday spirit.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More