Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas, Actually Review

Christmas, ActuallyChristmas, Actually by Anna Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! It was a wonderful look at life in Christmas Town Maine. I love how the book consists of three stories by three different authors and all center on one member of the same family. It was truly a delight to read these stories.
The Christmas Gift tells Jack and Sophie's story. Jack is a talented, dedicated surgeon. Sophie is the nurse he was with before returning home to Christmas Town. They were together for two years and have a baby on the way...one Jack was not even considering having. I have to say for a smart woman Sophie was pretty dumb in my opinion. I would think with two years gone by you would have discussed whether or not you want to have children together.
The Christmas Wish tells the story of Callie, Dean and Eliza. It is my favorite from the book. Callie is Jack's sister and a school teacher. She meets Dean, a single father, through a student, Eliza. Eliza hates Christmas and Dean doesn't do a lot to encourage his daughter to love it. Callie is all caught up in Christmas. It is a delightful story that has some hurt, happiness and mischief in it. I love, love, love it!
The Christmas date tells the story of Nick, Gina and online dating. This is a wonderful story. Nick is a handyman who is in love with Gina. Gina has a scar and insecurities that make her feel that it is difficult to find a man to look beyond her face. She decides to try online dating. Will she fall for a man she has never met or will she see that love has been waiting for her?
This book is a wonderful look at a magical time of the year in a town that is all about Christmas. It is absolutely clean reading with no sex scenes or harsh language. Get caught up in the magic that Christmas brings with Christmas, Actually.

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Emma Blooms At Last Review

Emma Blooms At Last (One Big Happy Family, #2)Emma Blooms At Last by Naomi King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved reading Emma Blooms At Last. It is part of the 'One Big Happy Family' series. I believe it is better to read them in order, so you don't get lost in who is who, but also because story lines get carried over. I love the fact that the previous stories are woven into the new ones. I love being able to visit with old friends and catch up with them while reading the new chapter. I think it is the way the author leaves no one behind that makes this series so special to me. In this book we get the story of Emma. Emma is living at home taking care of her parents. She had been in love but the man married someone else. Now she feels there is no one for her and, due to her hurt at being rejected, fights the prospect of someone else. I think that is a reality for many. You get so caught up in the love you thought was yours that you can't see the love being offered to you. While reading Emma, (and really the other books in this series), I felt like I was there, visiting family. I love when an author can draw you into the story so that you feel a part of it. The story has plenty of emotional moments, some happy and some sad with some where you want to shake someone in frustration. Just like real life. I think what I took from this book is sometimes you need to let go of a dream that isn't working for you so you can embrace your reality. We all need that push at some point. We get so stuck on what we think our life should be that we don't see the opportunities for a new dream, a realistic one. We carry hurts with us and project them unto those who have not hurt us. The fear we hold distorts the reality offered. I really love the way Naomi King brings that message to us in Emma. Another thing I love about this story is that the characters are flawed and not just Emma. Jerome has broken engagements and hasn't committed to the church. Hmm commitment issues for him? I can certainly see why Emma would think twice before trusting him. He may be a good man but he has his issues too. Which is the point...don't we all have issues? It doesn't make us good or bad only human. I think when we look for the "perfect" mate we get in trouble. Emma brings home the message that a perfect mate isn't perfect. As flawed as Jerome and Emma are together they make the perfect couple. Sigh. Isn't that what we all want?

I would highly recommend This book and series, (as well as any written by Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King), for anyone interested in the Amish lifestyle and/or clean romance. These are books you can trust to make your heart flutter without the pressure to add sex to every date. I love the way the author writes in the sexual feelings we all have but leaves out the falling into bed as soon as I know your name. It is refreshing to know we can have the feelings and longings and not die if we decide not to have sex on the first date. We can say no to ourselves and others without dying. It is a worthy message for many young women who get caught up in the pressures of sex with no commitment. There may be no commitment but there is always a consequence.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. Thoughts and opinions of the book are my honest feelings of what I read.

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