by Karen Schaler
Publisher: William Morrow
With all the glittering decorations, twinkling lights, snow angels, gingerbread men and mistletoe, Christmas is Emmie’s first love.
This year, she can’t wait to share her favorite Christmas traditions with her boyfriend, Grant. She thinks he’s “the one.” So when Grant’s hectic work schedule has him more “Bah Humbug” than “Ho, Ho, Ho,” Emmie creates a holiday-themed scavenger hunt to help him find his Christmas spirit. At the end of the journey, Grant will arrive at the charming town of Christmas Point where she’s planned a romantic weekend filled with holiday activities.
But Emmie’s plan backfires when a mix-up has the wrong guy following her clues! Sam, a best-selling mystery writer, thinks Emmie’s clever Christmas riddles are from his agent, who is trying to help him get over his epic writer’s block.
When he arrives at Christmas Point and finds the stunned Emmie, he immediately feels she’s someone special, but she can’t see beyond the fact that the wrong guy has shown up. Inspired by the small, charming town, Sam decides to stay and convinces Emmie to join him in a little holiday fun while she waits for Grant.
When Grant finally shows up, Emmie is disappointed to discover he’s not enjoying the activities she planned and can’t help but wonder if he’s really the one for her. She also can’t get Sam out of her mind and all the great times they had together. With Christmas coming fast, Emmie will need the magic of the season to help steer her in the direction of true love…
I’m no Scrooge--I love Christmas. And I certainly love Hallmark Christmas movies like they’re those tasty pretzel turtles you make at the holidays and eat until you’re sick. This story definitely makes an excellent Hallmark movie, but I’m not entirely sure it carries over into book format as well as it does for weekend-guilty-pleasure-TV.
I could handle the Christmas glitter, bows, ribbons, fake snow and tinsel that seemed to explode over every page of the story. Christmas was literally its own character in the novel and that was fine, but the heroine, Emmie, stretched the very edges of my patience and good humor with her willful ignorance of her boyfriend Grant, her overreactions and unfair accusations at Sam (leg three of the triangle), and well, perhaps a little nauseated by her Everything Christmas attitude.
Emmie was a lovely, giving person; and I understand throwing yourself into the holidays and bedazzling everything in red and green rhinestones. I just rather felt someone of her caliber would have dumped Grant six months ago because they weren’t a fit--and not drawn it out so painfully by dragging him to a “Christmas themed” vacation that a six-day corpse would have seen was going to be disastrous. And for such a lovely person, she was rather crappy to Sam, who is as much a Christmas-addict as she is, and no matter what snarky ‘keep away from me’ attitude she throws at him, he rolls with it like he totally gets it.
This may sound like I’m giving away the whole thing--but really this is in the back blurb. Emmie plans this magnificent Christmas romantic getaway, and her boyfriend keeps putting it off due to work, which is more important than her or Christmas. Meanwhile she’s at this romantic getaway alone, but there’s Sam, who’s there by mistake (that part of the plot is actually really cute)--and Emmie is just frustrated. All she wants to do is make this a PERFECT Christmas with her boyfriend, and Sam just happens to be willing to fulfill all her Christmas making-memories fantasies.
By the time Emmie did her black moment, going off on Sam and giving him the cold shoulder, I nearly threw the book at the wall. What did Sam do? He thought it over and decided she had every right to be mad. Then I threw the book at the wall. That said, it was a quick read and I would say the characters are memorable (though I still maintain Emmie is as dim as a box of broken light bulbs.) I loved the town of Christmas Point, the characters that populated the town, and the Christmasy things Emmie and Sam did while they were waiting for Emmie’s boyfriend to finally show up. It made me want to plan a trip to a town like that and shop and eat cookies to my heart’s content. There’s an adorable dog that tries to steal all the scenes; and a very brief, cute secondary romance for a character I wanted to be.
Obviously this is my opinion of the heroine--and the fact I have such a reaction to her does prove that her character is rather vivid on the page and proof of the writer’s voice and style. I imagine those who love both Hallmark movies and Christmas may not be as Scrooge-like about Emmie as I clearly am, so do let me know what you think if you read this book. I do imagine this book will be popular this holiday season...Christmas books and love stories always are.
PJ, here. Do you enjoy Hallmark movies? I admit, my DVR is loaded with them every holiday season. Tell me about your favorites of seasons past. Or which Hallmark movie you're most anticipating for the season ahead.
One person who comments before 11:00 PM, October 10, will receive a print copy of FINDING CHRISTMAS. (U.S. addresses only) (Must be 18 or older)
I saw this book on amazon and had added it to my want to read list. Thanks for offering a chance here. Am excited to see all the Christmas books coming out.ReplyDelete
Forgot to mention that I do love the lifetime movies and usually cry for most of them. LOL.Delete
One of my favs were A Christmas to Remember with Mia Sorvino and Cameron Mathieson. I also like the Finding Father Christmas and the others in the series.ReplyDelete
Karen T. (Natty's Mama)
Finding Father Christmas was a WONDERFUL movie! I loved it...and even cried. *sighs* So lovely.Delete
I love Hallmark movies and the Christmas ones are particularly fun.ReplyDelete
Love Hallmark movies!ReplyDelete
A Boyfriend for Christmas is one of my all-time favorites.
OMG, I love those Hallmark movies. I loved Switched for Christmas with Candace Cameron-Bure (really anything she's in) and The Christmas Ornament with Kelli Martin. I am guilty of binge watching that channel.ReplyDelete
I love Hallmark Christmas movies. Some of my favorites are with Doris Roberts playing Mrs. Miracle. I haven't look into the new movies for this year.ReplyDelete
I have really enjoyed some of the Hallmark Christmas movies. But, I have to take them in sort of small doses. (Please do not hang me in effigy for saying this) When I watch too many too close together, I have felt that all the plots run together. And at times, my teeth ache from too much sweetness. I do like the ones with Doris Roberts playing Mrs Miracle and I enjoyed the Boyfriend for Christmas. Yes, I know, did I mention my middle names is Ebenezer?ReplyDelete
I absolutely love the Christmas movies and look forward to the Hallmark Christmas season each year. I have added this book, I don't mind sappy, but I will see if I can deal with hanging on to the deadbeat boyfriend.ReplyDelete
My coworker and I have an analogy about this. I have a niece who has "traded up" boyfriends recently, so she shares these stories about why ABC is better than XYZ--and I assure you the reasons are negligible. ANYWAY...so I said, "She acts like she upgraded phones--but it's like she had a flip cellphone and now she's got some Nokia with a QWERTY keyboard--but nothing close to an iPhone which is what she should be looking for, or at least a Galaxy." Thus whenever referring to her deadbeat boyfriends, we say, "Oh, there she goes about her flip phone again."Delete
I am looking forward to the Hallmark Christmas movies. I have some old favorites and hope they are shown again this year. This time of the year I look forward to decorating, baking, getting together with friends and family. I have a bookcase of Christmas books and try to reread favorites. Of course I add new ones every year. I already have two plus a few on my list that sound pretty good. I can understand Hellie's review. Characters can certainly be clueless, but that is sometimes what drives the story. The clues and trip Emmie planned sounds like something I would do. Actually I have done a few things similar with similar responses to those she gets from both Grant and Sam. What seems like a great idea to me does not always translate to my husband the same way. Some have been total flops and others worked out pretty well. We still love each other, so no big deal. I am curious to see how Emmie reacts to how these two guys respond to her plans and how/when she realizes who is best for her.ReplyDelete
I did love her scavenger hunt, et al. I totally dig those kinds of things, especially at special times of the year--because I can be a bit extra like that. *LOL* I just wished she'd figured it out sooner. *LOL*Delete
I do like some Hallmark films, but some films are just to sweet and give me a toothache. Since I changed how I receive my TV programming, I have to buy Hallmark films if I want to watch them so I am very selective. The same goes for cozy books. Some I can handle, others, not so much. Thanks for your review of this book. If I'm lucky enough to win it, I promise to give it a good try before throwing it against the wall! LOL Happy Holidays already?ReplyDelete
Bahahhaaahaha. I understand if I'm alone in the book throwing. I also understand that when I read this book for review, I might have been in a bad mood in other areas of my life...and had less patience for my escapist reading. There are other books and plots I've let slide that others were not crazy about...probably just for those reasons.Delete
And Halloween is around the corner, which for me is a great holiday, so yes, Happy Holidays already! Then after that: TURKEY! Yasss!
Hallmark films are cheerful and give me hope. I will be looking forward to this season's movies greatly.ReplyDelete
That is what I love about Christmas...and these sorts of movies: the hope and cheer. :)Delete
I do enjoying watching the Hallmark movies, particularly the Christmas ones. My favorites have been The Mrs. Miracle ones.ReplyDelete