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An Almost Perfect Christmas: (Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 4) Paperback – September 21, 2014
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"...heart-wrenching, sweet, touching, and requires a box of tissues. In this story, life isn't always perfect, but happy endings are still possible. Fasano captures the range of emotions and brings us into the fold to celebrate this couple's new chapter." ~USA Today
From the Author
An Almost Perfect Christmas is truly a book from my heart. Once little Izzie started dancing around in my head and chattering at me, I simply HAD to write her story. I hope you enjoy this holiday read.
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There are many elements in play with this story, and not all of them are happy. Aaron has been both father and mother to his daughter Izzy for the past few years after her mother died. While that would be enough to tug at your heart: his determination to give her everything that a child with 2 parents would have, and trying to see she is well-adjusted and happy, Izzy is battling leukemia and does not have a particularly positive prognosis.
Izzy is just amazing, at eight years old she has had more piled into her life than most adults, and while she has those moments of worry and fear, her outlook and her attitude are incredibly positive. Smart and clever, with a nice side of ‘beyond her years’ Izzy has one big worry – what will happen to her father after she is gone. She wants to see him happy, with someone to take care of him, and she thinks that she can move this along with her wish – a ‘family’ Christmas with a ‘pretend’ Mommy and family to share in the day. Aaron is so delightfully determined that he speaks with the staff in the pediatric oncology unit to see if there are volunteers who will step up to give Izzy her wish.
Christy is a nurse in the pediatric oncology ward – and we already know in our own hearts that it takes a special sort of person to do that job and do it well. While her own desire is to help others and make the children and families as comfortable as possible as they get the care they need, she decides that helping Izzy to check off one more thing on her list (yes, she does have a list of things she wants) is no hardship so she volunteers.
And that, as they say, is just the beginning. Christy and Aaron are ‘pretending’ at first, but they both soon find comfort and attraction in their pairing for the wish for Izzy. For her part, Izzy is a bit of a schemer, pushing them together with subtle and not so subtle manipulations: she really LIKES Christy, and she thinks her father does too. With tears, giggles, smiles and some outright cheering on the characters, we think we know what will happen, we even fear some of it, but Donna Fasano manages to keep the reader engaged as we run through a gamut of emotions, all leading to the end. Not every story always needs to be happy and easy, and sometimes the best reminders of the hope we should have at Christmas (and every day) are found in the challenges and twists that life throws at us. No one manages to mix all the elements together quite as well, and bring us a story to read and read again.
I purchased a copy of the title for my own library. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.