Can they forgive the past and pull off a Christmas miracle?
Mariana Vasquez has always adored the historic waterfront Brampton Mansion, but the beloved building has succumbed to years of neglect. When Baltimore City inherits it, there's only one chance to keep it from being demolished. Mariana plans to earn the mansion a second chance and the money to pay for its upkeep with a designer Christmas showcase.
A mix-up on Scott Ashford’s last renovation job has shaken his confidence and harmed his business. He needs a fresh project and great publicity to caulk over his disgrace. Donating his expertise to save a historic property sounds perfect…except the opportunity is dangled by an old friend. Well, ex-friend, since he abandoned her ten years ago…
Mariana has too much pride to ask Scott to return to Baltimore for her, but she’s desperate enough to ask him to come back to save the mansion. There’s barely time to finish all the restorations, so Mariana’s sure she won’t have any time to fall for Scott again. But maybe the mansion isn’t the only thing that deserves a second chance this Christmas…
The Christmas Project by Christi Barth
I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley and I am voluntarily reviewing it.
I can see this story being turned into a Hallmark movie. It was a very sweet and clean romance.
The setting is Baltimore, MD. A historic mansion is desperately in need of restoration. The problem is if it can't support itself, it will be demolished. It is up to Mariana Vasquez to accomplish the task. A big problem is one of the bigger designer has quit and fallen through one of the treads of the staircase. She is down a designer and now there is a safety hazard on site! The only one who can save the mansion is her BFF from 10 years old. Unfortunately he left her after grad school to make a name for himself in New York City instead of starting a business with her as they planned.
Scott Ashford, is a big-time designer but there was a snafu on his last project. Scott received a gift package with all the wonderful treats from Baltimore. He knows a bribe when he sees one. The only thing, getting away and working on this charity project with his old BBF, Mariana, is how he left her. He left and then sent her an email!! Ouch! This project though is one that he also needs desperately.
This story is about two people overcoming their past to create a masterpiece of a time-capsule in the form of the mansion. Can these two survive the hurts and mistrust to get the job done? You will have to read the story for yourself.
I adored the dual POV format. Getting the glimpse into both of the characters thoughts, really help me as a reader to connect to them, this was especially true for me on Scott's side.
If you love a sweet, clean romance with a Christmas time setting, then you should give this a try. The only down side for me, it was a HFN ending and not a HEA. I wished there was an Epilogue with their future being nicely tied up together. To me that is the ultimate in romance.
Originality and romance
Christi Barth’s latest book, The Christmas Project, is rife with all the goodness that will have you feeling the Christmas spirit. From once best friends to rediscovery, and the love that even years and distance can’t diminish, Ms Barth has crafted two characters in Scott and Mariana who will live in your heart long after the story has ended. Along with strong secondary characters, who are relatable with multi dimensional personalities, you’ll find yourself drawn in, invested, and engaged from the story’s onset.
This is one feel good holiday story that in its originality will have you emotionally invested and surely saddened when it reaches its HEA end.
This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publisher. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
Right at the very start we see the conflict Mariana and Scott have due to their shared past. Yet due to circumstances, Mariana seeks Scott’s help on restoring an historic architectural mansion, and he is in dire need of doing a good deed for the sake of his firm.
It is difficult, but Mariana tries to put the past behind her for the sake of getting the restoration done in a record-setting pace. Plus it’s her reputation and job on the line. Scott keeps trying to prove he is a better man than when they went to grad school together. But everyone has their noses to the grindstone and do not have time for breaks. Unless it’s a PR event for the mansion. There are still minute opportunities to get in a friendly word or two but not much. Each of them think about all the “what if” scenarios. A huge emergency erupts just before a bunch of dignitaries arrive at the mansion but teamwork saves the day. At this point, both Scott and Mariana realize they cannot let things go back the way they were.
For me, the ending was incomplete. What I mean is they get together, proclaim their love, and then that’s it. Maybe an epilogue about how their future joint business works, or if they marry. Just more details about their joint lives after we had an entire book about their single lives.
I received an advanced reader copy for free from Tule Publishing and am voluntarily leaving my review.