Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Spirit Reviews

I am getting close to the end of my Christmas Spirit reads and am working on my last Christmas themed book. So far I have read
The Sound of Sleigh Bells (Apple Ridge #1)
Waterbrook Press

Beth Hertzler fell in love with the wrong guy and they both paid for her decision. Instead of allowing herself to be open to love, she decides to throw herself into her job working with her maiden Aunt Lizzy. As Beth travels around looking for Amish made goods to stock in the store, she falls in love with the work of an Amish woodcarver. Jonah, and begins writing to him after her matchmaking aunt lets her believe Jonah is an old man. Can Beth open her heart to Jonah and can Aunt Lizzy be open to love herself? Christmas love is as simple as a sleigh ride. This was a sweet and stress free read for one of my book club groups and a 5 cups of cocoa read. I don't read much Christian fiction and this is my first Amish read, but I really liked it. The characters work through problems that are not as simple as their lifestyle would lead you to believe.
The Christmas Promise (Christmas Hope, #4)
St. Martin's Press

Gloria, affectionately known as Miss Glory by all those she helps, is faced with the daunting task of helping her fastidious neighbor Miriam, after Miriam's house floods. Miriam has always resented the "trash," people drop off at Gloria's, but Gloria always restores the broken cars, refrigerators, and other donated goods as well as restoring the faith and life of those she helps. Gloria always embraces these challenges as a tribute to her late husband and has one wish to help her lost son. This Christmas she helps a pregnant woman, an abused woman, and receives the best miracle of all. A heartwarming story and another book club read. 4 cups of cocoa!
When Christmas Comes

This one is also known as Trading Christmas and has been made into a Hallmark movie. I haven't seen the movie, but it was a cute read. Widowed Emily Springer does not want to spend Christmas without her daughter Heather and when Heather says she cannot travel home, Emily decides to surprise her in Boston. Emily and a stuffy Harvard professor, Charles Brewster trade homes. Charles will stay in Leavenworth, Washington and Emily will be in Boston. Emily's divorced friend, Faith, worries about Emily being alone and decides to travel to Leavenworth to spend Christmas with her. Emily is shocked when she arrives in Boston and Heather runs off with a biker rather than spending Christmas with her. Charles and Faith are both shocked to see each other in Leavenworth and decide to make the most of a bad situation. Meanwhile a heart-broken Emily ends up with Charles' brother Ray on her doorstep and they decide to embrace the season. Can all hearts be mended by Christmas?
This was a sweet read too and had a nice storyline. 4 cups of cocoa.
The Perfect Christmas

This was not my favorite Christmas story by Macomber. Even for predictable romances this one was really predictable and the romance just fell flat for me. Cassie decides to go to a professional matchmaker, Simon, to help her find the perfect man and to have the perfect Christmas, since her bad relationship with her father seems to have ruined both. Simon is rude, but generally effective in his matches, since he uses complicated psychology to achieve them. He promises he will match Cassie with a man named John if she correctly completes three tasks. Cassie's friend, Angie, who recommended Simon, is discreetly in love with Cassie's artist brother, Shawn, and this is all but obvious to everyone, but Cassie. Will Cassie and Angie both get happy endings? Will Cassie allow her heart to mend? I am not saying anymore than that, because it would give away the ending. This was only a 3 cups of cocoa read for me, despite finishing it in a day.
The Christmas Singing (Apple Ridge #2)
Waterbrook Press

Okay I got sucked into this series and the last book I am working on for this Christmas is the third and final one in this series. This is the second one. Mattie always loved Gideon, since she was a young girl, and he seemed to always love her, until she catches him hugging an Englischer woman. Gideon allows Mattie to believe he doesn't love her and she moves away from Apple Ridge and opens her own cake shop. There she mets Sol, who loves hunting and both see that they could have an easy life together each pursuing their own passions, until Mattie's shop burns and she has to return to Apple Ridge while rebuilding. There she must face her past and find out if Gideon's true reasons for letting her leave are enough to make her trust and love him again. Where will she spend her Christmas singing, with the nice man who she trusts but has no passion for or with the one she truly loves, but is not for sure she trusts? Do good intentions outweigh past hurts? This was another sweet only slightly complicated story and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first one in this series. 4.5 cups of cocoa!

With the Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall, I will write the review separately, since I am using it for COYER too.

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