Friday, January 24, 2014

Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker

Merry Humbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday RomanceMerry Humbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance by Sandra D. Bricker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by B&H Books
ISBN 1433680750 (ISBN13: 9781433680755)

Once Upon a Jingle Bell - Every year Joss and her close friend take a Bah Humbug? cruise in order to avoid the Christmas "spirit." This year, her friend has other plans and Joss is left to go on the cruise by herself. And if by herself isn't bad enough, the cruise line switches her cruise and Joss is thrown into a world of Christmas. She's determined to stay in her cabin the entire cruise, until a new friend won't leave her alone and Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome sits at the same dinner table.

I never thought much about the fact that there are some people out there who just cringe at the thought of anything Christmas. For me, that was an interesting touch to a story. I'm not sure I could really relate to Joss' aversion to Christmas, but the story that unfolded was just beautiful. At points, I just shook my head at Joss and thought, what are you thinking. And at other times, I smiled and laughed along with the fun and adventure her and Patrick found together. Funny how God weaves the right people together at the exact right times.

It Came Upon a Midnight Deer - Instead of taking her usual cruise with her best friend, newly engaged Reese heads to "Norman Rockwell" to meet her fiancee's family. Nervous, but excited, they begin their journey to his parents' cabin. However, when a deer runs out in front of them, it turns into a tragedy of errors. Unbelievable happenings, one right after the other, leads Reese to wonder if Damion's family will ever accept her into the family, if they even ever want to see her again.

I couldn't believe how many mishaps could happen to one person. I really started feeling bad for Reese. I couldn't imagine trying to make a good first impression on my future in-laws and then causing so many mishaps, injuries, and damage. I really liked the way his family accepted her and welcomed her with open arms, despite her tendency to inflict trauma to the family. My only dislike for this story was the quick way the family handled Reese's singing ability, or should I say lack there of. I felt it was just cut short, perhaps because it was a novella, but I think there could have been just a touch more. And that is a very minuscule dislike and did not take away from the story at all!

I wish I would have paid more attention to the synopses of these two stories. I would have loved to pick up little nuances in the first story in order to carry them over to the second story. Not that it took away from the story at all, just that it would have been neat to pick up on what Joss said about Reese. However, I didn't, and that's ok too, I enjoyed both stories equally.

These are my first stories by Sandra Bricker and I can't wait to read more. I just know that if I enjoyed these two novellas this much, when I get my hands on one of Sandra's full stories, I'm going to love it even more!

I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in partnership with The Christian Manifesto to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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