Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot is the loveliest story I've read in a very long time. Even though it's a Christmas novella, it's just a plain good book to read any time of the year. I read it in January and it was just the cure I needed for those post-holiday blues. I was amazed at how beautifully this story developed in just 169 pages. The characters were endearing, the story compelling, and the historical setting was well researched. I loved everything about it!
I love Christmas romance stories, but it takes a very special story to make me want to give it as a gift to friends and family. Amanda Cabot is one of those authors who makes the characters in her books feel as alive as your neighbor next door. The small mining town in 1882 Wyoming Territory is the perfect place for Mark, an itinerant carpenter and widow Celia Anderson to meet and fall in love. Mark may seem too good to be true, but he's the spittin' image of my husband. Mark's anticipation of Celia's needs, his forward thinking to what would please her and enchant her daughter, are not a fairy tale. There are men in the world like that. You'll be delighted with the recipe for Swedish Pound Cake. We all expect a Christmas miracle, one that we can tuck in our hearts for the year ahead, even if it happens for someone else. About the time you think that there can't be another successful variation on a Christmas romance theme, Ms. Cabot slips in a delightful twist. You'll walk away with your own bouquet of Christmas Roses when Celia whispers, "Mama was right, Christmas is the season of miracles."
Christmas Roses is a wonderfully charming story that will bring tears to your eyes and make you smile. Celia's young daughter needs a father--but Celia isn't sure she wants to marry again. Mark is a man on a mission. He agrees to work on Celia's boardinghouse in exchange for room and board, but he won't be in town for long--unless he finds the person he's been seeking for over two years. The lives of these two needy people intertwine, but will Mark's mission send him away, just when Celia decides she wants him to stay?
You'll love this engaging story and want to make reading Christmas Roses an annual event.
Celia and her 6 month old daughter Emma live in the Wyoming territory in 1882. Celia has been widowed for over a year now and the bachelors are vying for her hand. Her arranged marriage to Josef was pleasant enough, but not the kind of love Celia longs for. She wants a soul mate, someone to bring her roses at Christmas.
Carpenter Mark is traveling through the town on his search for his father who abandoned him when he was young. His trail grows cold and Mark is uncertain what he will do next. He boards at Celia's boarding house and works for the towns folks making Christmas gifts for their loved ones.
Celia is an independant, beautiful, and dedicated woman. She has a sharp mind and a love for serving others. She is the type of character that can survive the toughness of this mine town, but she would be even more if she could find the love she dreams of.
This is a beautiful Christmas story. God as our heavenly Father can restore lost time, mend broken hearts, and lead us all to forgiveness.
I've enjoyed reading 3-4 of Amanda Cabot's books. Probably because most of her books hold a redemptive grace story, lined with the need for forgiveness. This one stirred my emotions (nothing new there!) and I loved the rose aspect of it. Thanks to my husband roses are my favorite flower.
Set in 1882, Christmas Roses is a pleasant story and one I'd read again at Christmas time, just for the mushy story. Every now and then I get in the mood for one of these and this weekend was one of those times.
While the romantic part of the story line was predictable, it's an endearing Christmas story sharing the joys of redemptive grace, healing, forgiveness and love. Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
I liked how gifts of service were emphasized in the story because I think it is a way we can show our spouses or love interest we love them, but not every couple will be the same so there needs to be a balance, as well as discovering what our loved one appreciates the most.
As a side note, I was short on time and asked my daughter to read this book first (I ended up reading it at the last minute and then found out it wasn't due until the end of the week_it's done early for a change!) and while she liked it she isn't crazy for mushy romance novels. She agreed that Christmas Roses was predictable and she knew who was going to end up with who.
A thumbs up from me!
"Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
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