Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Book Room: Christmas Edition 2012, Part 1

Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

Additional notes: This book is technically part of the Lancaster County Secrets series. You can read my review of the first book in this series here, my review of the second book here and my review of the third book here.

My thoughts: Jaime, as a character, is supremely annoying, but this book had a great heart to it and a great lesson. I love Christmas Amish books because I feel like they, more than any other book, cut right to the reason of the season.

Eight-year-old Lucy Turnbull knew better than to wish for a pony that Christmas in 1937. Her mother had assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony was the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they needed at their boarding house were the paying kind. But when an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, Lucy starts to believe her Christmas wishes might just come true after all. The queen of the Christmas novel, Melody Carlson pens another magical tale of expectation and excitement as one little girl dreams big and the impossible becomes possible.

My thoughts: This story was such fun to read. It's quick and easy. I love that it's set in 1937 - a wonderful period of time for a Christmas story. Lucy is a doll, and while one should never judge a book by its cover, this book's cover is just divine.

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

My thoughts: This book was predictable, but a really great story. Romance, adventure, mystery - all set during the Christmas season of course! What more can I ask for?

Experience the magic and wonder of the holiday season with this collection of four irresistible stories, headlined by #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author Fern Michaels. Includes tales by Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter, and Terri Dulong.

Additional notes: The story by Terri Dulong is considered book 2.5 of her Cedar Key series. You can read my review of the first book in this series here. As of this writing, I have read the second book but not yet posted my review.

My thoughts: First, I did not like this book. Second, there was way too much romance. Third, the best story in the book, by far, was Terri's. I may be biased since that's why I picked up this book in the first place, but oh well. I would definitely skip this one, unless you're reading the Cedar Key series, then I would read Terri's story and skip all others.

While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger . . . and begins an amazing Christmas journey.

Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband’s idea for a big family holiday up north. Last year she planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments for their newborn. Now that room stands as empty as her heart.

Then a neighbor’s mishap turns into a last-minute chance for Amanda to take a much-needed vacation to tour the Holy Land.

An extraordinary turn of events allows Amanda to help answer a young mother’s plea for healing. Then, filled with a sense of awe, Amanda visits the place of Jesus’ birth. There she discovers anew the miracle of the Christ child—God incarnate as a tiny, vulnerable baby.

Her return to Florida marks a momentous shift in her soul and in her marriage as she begins to realize that her journey didn’t end in the Holy Land. And that God doesn’t just answer prayers of strangers . . . but also those of her own heart.

My thoughts: I thought I wouldn't like this book. I picked it up, thinking it would be one of those books where I read ten pages and toss it aside {really, I toss it back into the library bag to go back to the library, but same thing!}. But I really fell for this book. I fell for the story, the characters, the love, the anguish, the journey. A great read.

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