Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances. Read more...
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Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances. Merry Smith is pretty busy these days. She's taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry's well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her--minus her photo--and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl. Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects--or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.
Romance: Meet you under the mistletoe
There’s something special about love stories set during the holidays. Maybe it’s the sparkling lights, maybe it’s the cozy fires—maybe it’s the spiked eggnog—but this season’s crop of romances can warm even the coldest heart.
Christmas doesn’t come without danger in The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray. The Amish Schwartz family has moved to a new farm and is eager to settle in for the holiday. But oldest sister Susanna gets into a buggy accident—instigated, she believes, by gunshots. When she learns that the purchase of their farm was only possible because of the financial woes of the family of Neil Vance—the very man who saved her during the buggy incident—she wonders if their new home will be a happy place. As more dangerous occurrences pile up, Neil puts aside his resentment in order to help the Schwartzes, in particular the pretty Susanna. As they attempt to uncover who is menacing the family, the two grow closer. Will they discover the culprit before Christmas, or will their burgeoning love be the final victim? The Gift is a tender story that melds mystery, faith and the importance of forgiveness.
The last Shaughnessy sibling finds love in Holiday Spice, the final book in Samantha Chase’s series about the close-knit family. Darcy Shaughnessy takes a temp job with wood sculptor Ben Tanner in the wilds of Washington state. Their attraction is immediate, but Darcy wonders if Ben is really interested in someone else—until a heavy storm snows her in at his cozy cabin. Through shared meals and her genuine interest in his work, their feelings grow from deep, mutual understanding to love. But what’s a very private artist to do with a gregarious, family-loving woman? Can they get past their differences to make a relationship work? As Christmas approaches, it seems impossible, and both are heartbroken. Is there a way to heal the breach and for both to get what they want, even with the complications of family expectations, past hurts and geographical differences? Expect to shed a tear or two into your hot chocolate while reading this warm and charming tale.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL
Jayson Bright has no time for seasonal cheer in Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber. With an important work project on deadline, he’s expecting his employees to work extra hours, including lovely temp Merry Knight. Little does he know that Merry is the woman he’s been chatting with on an online dating site. Intrigued by her photo (she chose the Knight family dog in lieu of her face), he reached out to her as “Jay.” Both look forward to their evening exchanges, but when they agree to meet in person, Merry is horrified to see her boss, a man she doesn’t like all that much, waiting for her. She sneaks away undetected, but as the days count down to the 25th, she begins to see him in a new light, while Jayson finds himself torn between two women—his mystery pen pal and the charming worker in his office. When the mistaken identities clear up, can Jayson get over his feelings of being played? And will Merry give the business exec a chance to prove his Christmas spirit? Macomber’s latest holiday romance is as sweet as a plate of holiday cookies and sure to please romance lovers of all ages.
HOT AND COLD
Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer Snow finds two best friends (with benefits) at a crossroads. After years of casually hooking up with NHL star Asher Westmore, Emma Callaway realizes she’s in love with him, but is afraid to ask for a more serious relationship. When Ash is laid up in their hometown after an injury, it affords them unexpected weeks together, and he begins rethinking what he wants. Will pursuing a real future ruin the pleasant present they already enjoy? Change is difficult, and there are dynamics at play in both their families that would complicate an already difficult transition. Then there are their careers to consider—Ash isn’t ready to give up his spot in the league, and physical therapist Emma has a new opportunity that would take her across the country. The pair tries to cool things off, but their desire for each other doesn’t abate. Ash doesn’t want to hurt Emma, but he can’t see himself making a commitment. Yet he can’t let her go. What’s a hockey hunk supposed to do? This is a sizzling story for readers who want some spice in their holiday reading diet.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Kieran Kramer rings in the season with Southern charm in Christmas at Two Love Lane, the first book in her sweet new series set in the American South. Macy Frost runs a matchmaking service from a beautiful old home in Charleston, South Carolina. She welcomes the chance to add New York tech entrepreneur Deacon Banks to her client list, until he explains that he’s after some serial dates, not a soul mate. Deacon’s a short-timer in town and wants to please his beloved aunt by appearing to pursue true love over the holidays. Though this plan goes against Macy’s sensibilities, she agrees to take him on as long as he realizes she intends to convince him that love can be found, and that she’s the one to find it for him. Both are surprised, however, when the matchmaker and the man begin to develop feelings for each other. Macy knows he’s only a temporary resident, and Deacon knows that committed, real romance isn’t his thing, but they both begin to question what they’ve always assumed about themselves—and wonder whether this could be the perfect match. Christmas at Two Love Lane is fast-paced fun with a fabulous sense of setting, and the quirky, intriguing secondary characters add even more sparkle to a delightful holiday story.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Keiran Kramer about Christmas at Two Love Lane.