The Worst Christmas Ever by Elizabeth and Juliet Rowe

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
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The Worst Christmas Ever by Elizabeth and Juliet Rowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it should almost be the most wonderful day. Christmas is tomorrow! But when mishaps and accidents suddenly hit a family–from the babysitter trapped in the bathroom to a car wreck–the family will learn what can turn around The Worst Christmas Ever, a play by Elizabeth and Juliet Rowe.

That’s right. It’s been a while since I’ve read a play. Moreover, this is the first time I’ve read and reviewed a play for children, written by a young pair of sisters. I’m glad I didn’t read the play’s description/blurb beforehand, since it pretty much gives away the crux and conclusion of the matter. It was more delightful to discover the story’s crux and conclusion for myself.

This was an enjoyable read for me. It’s cute and humorous with a serious and heartfelt holiday message in it. There’s one aspect tied to the message, concerning the child characters, that I wish could’ve been a tad more realistic, but it doesn’t ruin the story.

I’d recommend this play to any Christian group looking to put on a children’s production–or to anyone else who can appreciate a quick and uplifting tale with refreshing innocence and Christmas warmth.

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The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
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The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Amelia and her fiancé James had planned to marry right away, but she hears that he’s been killed in the war, shot down with his plane. Hence, Amelia can’t legally claim the benefits of a war widow, even when she gives birth to James’s child, Jimmy. With nowhere else to turn, Amelia seeks out James’s parents–even though they don’t know that she and Jimmy exist in The Christmas Blessing by author Melody Carlson.

I’ve enjoyed a few World War II Christmas novellas in the past. Without reading much of the blurb for this one, I took a gander at the soft, Christmassy book cover and decided to check it out.

I think this story has much that fans of nostalgic WWII fiction will enjoy. The plot is serious, but not too heavy, and the holiday theme is strong. Except for the very end, which may be somewhat rushed, I found the pacing to be steady, even a bit slow at points, as characters stop to think or re-think things over maybe a little more than necessary. However, I can appreciate a complete tale on the shorter side that doesn’t hurry through or skimp on all the important parts.

There’s some “info-dumping” in the opening conversation, and although it’s not unrealistic for a woman in Amelia’s position to cry a lot, her sobbing loses some of its effect on the page when it happens over and over. Also, I hope this isn’t something widely common that I’m just starting to notice in general now, but it seems that far too many sentences in the story begin with the word “And,” until it feels monotonous. I’m not sure if this issue appears in the final version of the book; I read an ARC.

Overall, it was refreshing to find a holiday tale that wasn’t completely predictable to me, and I think many other ChristFic readers will like this one.

Christmas Reunion by Morris Fenris

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Christmas Reunion by Morris Fenris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Christmas is approaching fast, but Kris Kringle’s got a problem. Mrs. Kringle is missing, and she hasn’t yet blessed all the presents Kris must deliver soon. It looks like Kris will have to take a trip to the alternate world to see if his wife is somehow trapped in the wrong dimension in Christmas Reunion, a tale by author Morris Fenris.

Yeah, don’t look at this story’s cover and think you’re in for a run-of-the-mill contemporary Christmas romance or something. This tale is a fantasy with unordinary turns. There’s humor sprinkled through it, as well as some romantic moments that are on the steamy-ish side.

Now, even for a short, 45-minute or so read, I found some parts of the story to be a bit slow. And I’m not sure I completely followed everything that was happening. Also, I ran into recurring punctuation and capitalization errors around the dialogue.

Nevertheless, if you can appreciate a quick tale of love with holiday whimsy, you should give this story a go.

A Christmas Promise by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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A Christmas Promise by Thomas Kinkade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Maybe Alice had some good news for her…
That would be a miracle. But it was funny; living in this town, miracles didn’t seem as impossible as they once did.

James has a life far away that he’s anxious to get back to. Leigh has a recent past she’s desperate to get away from. And Sam and Jessica are hoping for a future they’ve begun to fear they may never have. But this Christmas in the small town of Cape Light, they’re all in for gifts that will come in unexpected packages in A Christmas Promise, a novel by authors Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer.

It’s been more than a decade since I read the first four Cape Light novels, an all-time favorite series of mine, and maybe five years since I read one of the later Christmas novels. I was curious to see how it would feel to read this one after such a long break from the series.

Although this book will naturally have that much more meaning if you’re already familiar with the people of Cape Light, it’s still a full enough story in itself to read as a standalone. It’s got its share of Christmas corny, and a character’s change of heart that feels too thorough, too suddenly. But overall, it’s an easily-paced tale of heartache and hope, a touch of suspense, gentle romance, and blessings in disguise.

Quintessential holiday warmth for fans of feel-good reads, right here.

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Here are other novels I’ve read in the Cape Light series.

Cape Light (Cape Light #1) Home Song A Gathering Place A New Leaf A Christmas To Remember (Cape Light #7)