Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts

Delightfully Festive

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts is a charming, contemporary Christmas novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the second book in the Life In Icicle Falls series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Christmas is a time for family. Family comes in all shapes and sizes, sometimes it includes ex’s, especially when there are grown up children involved. A wedding could potentially be very awkward until everyone realizes that A family pulls together.

Icicle Falls is a place of community. Even the reader feels included in the warm welcome. Strangers quickly become friends.

Various characters have differing skill sets and own shops within the town. The bakery is particularly appealing, especially at Christmas with all the festive treats.

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A Gift Called Hope by Eva Jordan

It Takes A Village

A Gift Called Hope by Eva Jordan is a beautiful, poignant contemporary Christmas novel that will tug at your heart.

This is a study of a family and of grief from two years earlier. The family has fractured as each member retreats into themselves as they each process loss. There is no right or wrong way through grief, each journey is unique. Each must ravel their own pathway.

We mainly ‘see’ the loss as experienced through the mother’s eyes. Her arms are empty of her son, as she draws her grandson closer. In her own grief, she fails to see how others are suffering. She fails to see what was under her nose. Her memories are rose-tinted and not a true depiction.

Grief and guilt go hand in hand. Characters feel guilty for what they did or did not do.

There is a community atmosphere as characters offer support where they can. There is also a tense atmosphere at the school gates as mothers try to outdo others.

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The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas

Perfectly Charming

The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas is a perfectly charming timeslip novel that I loved.

Travel back in time to a snow-covered Vermont in December 1943. Here we lose ourselves in a quaint, old-fashioned town that is warm and welcoming as Christmas approaches.

Elyse Douglas captures the reader’s imagination with her comprehensive descriptions as we spend a few hours immersed in the novel. Modern day gadgets are far from our minds as we settle into a simpler time.

In times of war, people pull together – but there will always be the unscrupulous black marketers who are out to make a quick buck.

All the characters were delightfully drawn. They had a charm that endeared them to the reader.

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The Christmas Hummingbird by Davis Bunn

Love & Care

The Christmas Hummingbird by Davis Bunn is the most delightful tale set in the run up to Christmas. It is the seventh book in the Miramar Bay series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The area around Miramar Bay is a hotbed of forest fires. The fire service and police are on high alert as the dry weather sparks new fires daily. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of the fires to steal and loot from the householders who are evacuated. The police and fire departments work together to solve the crimes.

There are animals to rescue too, including the smallest hummingbirds. A young boy, just eleven years old, talented but mostly silent, comes out of his shell to save the hummingbirds. He forms a bond with one in particular.

We learn that the young boy is extremely talented. He has a vivid artistic talent, being able to draw from his imagination, as well as what he can see.

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