07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two fun Christmas Reads

I’m not usually an overachiever, but for the read a Holiday book and review this month I actually read two short stories. They are by authors who write both historical western romance and contemporary romance. The Christmas stories are both contemporary. 

I enjoy reading Christmas stories this time of year to not only get me in the holiday mood, but to remember it is she season of miracles and what is more of a miracle than finding someone to love you.

A Gift Beyond all Measure by Anna Kathryn Lanier has a bit of a mystery to it.  The heroine has had few people in her life she could ever count on. When a fire destroys the cafĂ© where she was working, she accepts an offer to cook at a ranch outside of town after the cookhouse has a fire and the cook is injured.   She winds up living and cooking out of the owner’s brother’s house.

The hero arrives home late at night and finds himself staring down a rifle barrel.  Not only has his sister allowed a stranger to live and cook in his house but he believes she’s responsible for two fires.

As they live together and grow in their feelings for one another it takes putting aside past painful memories to help them see the gift they have in one another.

The characters have enough baggage to make their fears and insecurities very real, yet the underlying attraction can’t be ignored no matter how hard they try.

Anna  Kathryn has written a poignant Christmas tale full of family, pride, and the right mix of love and respect.
Learn more at: The Wild Rose Press

Small Town Christmas by Nicole McCaffrey is a fun, poignant read that nearly every woman can relate to.  The heroine was a pudgy wallflower growing up and had a huge crush on the handsome boy next door. Now she’s a trim, beautiful TV anchorwoman and she’s returned to her small town to enjoy Thanksgiving with her family and tell them her big news.
Only her childhood crush is more handsome than ever and divorced with twin girls. And he’s living across the street from her grandmother’s house.  After several fun encounters the animosity the heroine harbors toward the boy who kissed her once then disappeared from her life, evaporates and they spend many cozy moments together with the hero confessing he was a cad back in his younger years for not telling her how he felt and ignoring the heckling of his friends for liking the “fat” girl.

Having been the “fat” girl and knowing the pain, I could easily relate to this heroine. And I fell head over heels for the hero who loves his daughters, looks out for the heroine’s grandmother and mother, and runs the family Christmas Tree farm.  With a scene reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life you can’t help but fall in love with this story told with the wonderful humor of Nicole McCaffrey.

Learn More: The Wild Rose Press

Paty Jager


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Paty,

I think I'm getting in the Holiday mood earlier than usual with Genre-istas posting about holiday themed books. Thanks for two reviews that sound like great reads!

It may be just my imagination but the energy of this season feels different (kinder, gentler, compassionate) and I always wish it would last all year long.

Sarah Raplee said...

With an underdog heroine in A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE and a salute to It's a Wonderful Life, my favorite Holiday film, in SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, these books snagged my interest big time!

Thanks for the great reviews, Paty!

Laurie Ryan said...

Oooh. I love holiday stories. That's probably why I'm working on one of my own. These sound like good reads. Thanks for sharing, Paty.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Paty, thanks so much for mentioning my story! I loved writing Small Town Christmas and those characters are still very dear to my heart.

I started reading holiday stories myself a couple of weeks ago --it really is "the most wonderful time of the year" --romance and Christmas go hand in hand, don't they?


Paty Jager said...

I agree, Judith, the feeling of this season should be around all year long.

Paty Jager said...

Sarah, I'm glad these stories snagged you!

Laurie, Holiday stories are fun to read this time or year or anytime.

Nic, You're welcome GF.

Lauri said...

I love Christmas stories, and I'm reading and anthology of western ones right now. These two sound great! Thanks for sharing!

christine warner said...

These both sound like wonderful reads! Nothing better than holiday romances and holiday music. I've already started the music (I know, but I love Christmas songs) but from reading a bit about these two books I think I'll have to now start my Holiday reading!

Thanks for sharing :)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Paty, now you've done it. I have to start reading Christmas stories before Thanksgiving when I'd planned to wait until after November 24th. Nice of you to post friend's books.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Paty,
I enjoyed your reviews and I will certainly go check these stories out.
Thank you.



Paty Jager said...

Lauri, Thanks for stopping in!

Christine, You're welcome! I'm listening to Christmas music already too!

Caroline, Sorry! ;)

Margaret, you're most welcome. I'm glad I put everyone in the mood for Christmas stories.