I have a rule...no Christmas songs, decorations or fa-la-la-la-la fun until December. Over the last few years I've become a little fanatical about it as stores begin decorating in October. But when it comes to books from my favorite authors I'm more impatient than a child on Christmas morning. So when I got Gail Gaymer Martin's new release "Christmas Gifts" in the mail I started reading it immediately (even though Halloween hadn't arrived.)
You'll want to read this book anytime of the year-curled up by the fire in December or on the beach in July.
Frazzled father Mike Russet is the man and the mom of the house. The widower is raising precocious seven-year-old twins Holly and Ivy.
Teacher Amy Carroll's life is in upheaval. Budget cuts force her to leave her job in Chicago for a job in a small town. Even as she makes her new life she must deal with her baggage from the past.
Amy sees a chance to help Mike give some tough love to the twins.
Mike sees beyond Amy's beauty and hard shell.
The twins see a chance to help their favorite teacher find a permanent place in their school and in their daddy's heart.
While Mike's genuine faith challenges Amy to put the past to rest, Amy awakens feelings that the father thought he had buried with his wife.
The novel wraps up realism, romance, faith, and the magic of the season in one small package (It's 110 pages and I read it in one sitting.) And "Christmas Gifts" keeps on giving with a bonus novel "Her Christmas Cowboy" by Brenda Minton.
I'm putting "Christmas Gifts" on my keeper shelf and I have a feeling I'll be pulling it out this summer for a little Christmas in July!
*I was provided with a free copy of this book to review.
When Amy Carroll is laid off from her teaching job in Chicago she takes a temporary position in tiny Harrisville, Michigan, the home of her grandmother. Almost immediately, she is introduced to the most disruptive students in her class, twin girls suffering from the aftermath of their mother's death three years earlier. She also meets their apologetic, overwhelmed father. The two hit it off almost immediately, but Amy's past makes her unsure about entrusting her heart to him. And Chicago is never far from her mind. How could quaint, little Harrisville possibly compete with the exciting lifestyle the Windy City provides? As Christmas approaches, she learns that her temporary position could become a permanent one, and Amy is forced to make a life-changing decision, one that will force her to rely upon the God she fears has abandoned her. As usual, Martin's characters are believable and engaging. We are immediately drawn into their lives and quickly come to care for them.
Small Town Christmas is paired with another charming tale, Her Christmas Cowboy by Brenda Minton in the book Christmas Gifts from Harlequin's popular Love Inspired imprint. This title is a quick and easy read that will provide the perfect retreat from the hectic pace of holiday preparations and will help us to refocus our attention on the real reason for the season. The phrase "curling up with a good book" could have been invented for Martin's latest romance.
A must buy for romance connoisseurs this Christmas
October 26, 2011
Gail Gaymer Martin has woven another heart-warming tapestry of love with her latest book, Small Town Christmas. Part of a two-book collection, Small Town Christmas follows Amy Carroll's journey to her grandmother's small town for a temporary teaching job. Determined it will be just thatâ€”temporaryâ€”Amy plans to return to Chicago where the big city holds her heart. She didn't plan on widower Mike Russet, her grandmother's neighbor, and his 7-year-old twin girls, Ivy and Holly, capturing her heart.
Guarded from her own experience of losing her mother and her father's inability to fill the role of both parents, Amy's journey is one of growth and forgiveness. From his gentleness with Amy to the romantic way he kisses her the first time, Mike's role as hero is sure to please romance fans.
I enjoyed the genuineness of the characters and their real-life struggles of recovering from loss and opening their hearts to love. The little girls are adorable, whether they're getting into mischief or pulling on your heartstrings as they deal with their own grief.
Ms. Martin's spirituality and her gift for spinning a story flow through this wonderful Christmas romance novel. A must-buy for any Christian romance connoisseur this holiday season!
Amy is not sure if she will be staying around after the school year is done, Holly and Ivy, twins in Amy's second grade class have decided that they would like Miss Amy for a Mom. Mike and Amy begin to fall for one another but are cautious. The Lord has a surprise for them all...after all He gives us the desires of our hearts. In the end 2 twins and their teacher show their Dad that love is possible. Again.