A charming small-town Christmas romance filled with family, love, and hope from the USA Today bestselling author of the Last Chance series.
Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she's determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself...
After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it's harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime.
Ramsay (the Last Chance series) launches the Chapel of Love contemporary series with this well-written, gratifying romance. After blowing the whistle on her employer's misdeeds, Willow Peterson loses her job and returns to her northern Virginia hometown of Shenandoah Falls to start a new life. She decides to restore Eagle Hill Manor, a local inn formerly owned by her deceased best friend, Shelly, in time for another friend's Christmas wedding. David Lyndon, Shelly's widower, is a politician, not an innkeeper; he refuses to play host and instead puts the inn up for sale. However, his humbug attitude proves to be no match for Willow's fortitude, wit, and love for David and Shelly's eight-year-old daughter. At the behest of David's high-society, political family, he and Willow (whose mother is known as a troublemaking hippie) embark on a relationship, but they frequently clash over plans for the inn. Ramsay places sacrifice at the heart of the story. David's strength is evident from the start, and readers will be eager to see how he balances his obligations against his desires.
A wonderful story that brings all the shiny feelings of Christmas, hope and love forward
It’s so early for a Christmas-themed story, but Hope Ramsay’s ability to put often broken characters together with compassion and a wonderful story trajectory had me sold. The first in a new series, we’re moving to a small town to regroup, reconnect and refresh hearts, heads and lives.
Willow has returned to Shenandoah Falls to regroup, realign and restore an old manor house as a way of honoring her now deceased friend. The home is owned by this friend’s widower’s family, and her first task, after determining that she can do this, is to convince David that it is both needed and right.
David is still reeling from the death of his wife, dealing with their young daughter and trying to not open wounds that are still barely contained. He wants no part of anything Willow has to say, and is particularly disturbed by his own reaction to her.
Oh these two – so afraid of moving forward and gripping tightly to what they ‘think’ is appropriate. Their hesitation in acting on their attraction is understandably uncomfortable, and the flak that both will take from everyone who purports to have a say (and in a small town – this means EVERYONE). Even more intriguing is the issues that both have to work through, and the gradual softening of David to the outside world. Until Willow, only his daughter Natalie saw that gentle side since his wife’s death, even though it did take some time for Willow to see it…..
But, knowing her friend, she knows his heart is there, if buried under cotton wool with a hard-shell for everyone BUT Natalie. With a wedding to plan, plenty of conflict from the outside do-gooders who question nearly everything and the occasional head to head battles where David seems to feel the need to put his foot down, the story proceeds through all of the difficulties with healing, growth and heart shining through.
Secondary characters were plentiful, but most outstanding was Natalie. At eight years old, she could be a hindrance to the overall plot progression, and it is understandable that David is rather guarded of her, but her effervescence and brightness shine through, giving everyone that child-like hope and excitement for the next day.
A wonderful story that brings all the shiny feelings of Christmas, hope and love forward – I can’t wait for the next.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
A Sweet Christmas Romance
A Christmas Bride is an adorable and sweet romance. Even though the cover and title both scream Christmas romance, I would read this story any time of year. Young children in novels are typically either a great fit or they are rather annoying. Natalie was adorable and a great fit. Now David's mother was a nightmare of a woman who I wouldn't have been able to stand in the presence of without wanting to snap.
Mrs. M and her bridge club were my favorite part of the book, as well as Willow's mother. The bridge club playing matchmaker and gossiping about David's libido was hilarious. A Christmas Bride is the perfect combination of romance and comedy.