Wednesday, September 14, 2016

3.5 Wine Glass #Review of No Christmas Like the Present by Sierra Donovan

Author: Sierra Donovan
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 256 Pages
Published: Zebra (October 7, 2014)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Library
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Lindsay Miller is knee-deep in Christmas cards and homemade fudge, but she's never felt more like a Grinch. Why can't Christmas be full of magic, like in her favorite movie, A Christmas Carol. . .?

. . .Enter Fred, a sexy and eccentric stranger who arrives at Lindsay's door out of the blue. Dressed like he just stepped out of a Dickens novel, complete with British accent, Fred claims he's a Messenger, sent from "Headquarters" to help her discover the joy of Christmas. But is Fred an angel from above—or just stone cold crazy?

Fred's used to dealing with skeptics. Telling a stranger you've been ordered to inspire holiday cheer is a tough sell. But there's a further complication. Fred's mission is to help Lindsay right the wrongs from her past that have been holding her back. But somehow along the way, they've become wildly attracted to each other—and falling in love is not part of the plan. Fred only has ‘til the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve to guide Lindsay to the magical future she deserves—even if it's a future without him. . .

Linda's Thoughts:
"Remember, Christmas is always best when you take it out of the box."
He'd bring Christmas to her the best way he knew how: one moment at a time.

NO CHRISTMAS LIKE THE PRESENT by Sierra Donovan is a sweet and clean, fractured retelling of Charles Dickens' 'The Christmas Carol.' It features the ghost of Christmas present calling upon a woman who needs to stop paying penance for a mistake she made in the past as a teenager. I picked it up at my library after a friend recommended it, knowing that I enjoy Christmas romances year-round. I found it to be a fun read. The small-town setting provided the ideal atmosphere. The snowy scenes were unequivocally enticing while I was sweltering in this summer's heat! This was the story of Lindsay Miller and Fred Holliday, allegedly of Camden Way, London.

Lindsay's favorite version of the movie, 'The Christmas Carol,' was the old black-and-white edition. In it, Scrooge's jolly nephew, Fred, was exceptionally handsome. He was elegantly depicted as dark-haired with warm eyes and exquisite features, resplendent in his long, trim overcoat, top hat in hand. For Lindsay, over the years, Christmas has evolved to be a drudgery of chores.

One evening, as she is watching her favorite movie while working on her Christmas cards, her doorbell rings. When she answers her door, she finds Fred there - the very same Fred from the movie - the only difference is that the Fred at her door is in vivid living color. The reader knows that "Headquarters" has sent Fred to reignite the spirit in Christmas in Lindsay. Be prepared for the magic of the season to pull off a few surprising miracles of its own.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:

"You could sell ashes to the devil, couldn't you?"
"Maybe," he said lightly. "But why would I want to?"

"Lindsay, do you think that child in Bethlehem cares how many cards you send out, or whether you have a tree up? Those things are meant to help you remember the holiday, not be swallowed up in it. It's supposed to be a time of joy, and you go about it with such grim purpose. 'I'm going to have a merry Christmas this time even if it kills me.'"

"I just figured out what you are," he said.
"You're a present." He nodded as if in satisfaction. "Tightly wrapped, with lots of tape, lots of beautiful shiny ribbon, all tied up in impossible knots. The kind of present that makes you half mad when you're trying to get it open. Because you know, the whole time, what's inside is going to be wonderful."

He looked down into Lindsay's face, and her eyes were bright once more, her cheeks flushed....
"I thought you were after the fudge." Lindsay didn't move one centimeter toward the kitchen, didn't stir from his arms.
"I found something sweeter."

The story has a lot of humorous moments. LOL! Fred has a love/hate relationship with mistletoe.  The mistletoe scenes are not to be missed and nothing short of hilarious.

NO CHRISTMAS LIKE THE PRESENT is an entertaining read. The epilogue is fantastic and much appreciated as it tidily wraps up the book in a highly satisfying, warm-fuzzies manner!  If you enjoy light contemporary holiday romances, this is a wonderful book to enjoy while curled up in your easy chair.

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