- File Size: 624 KB
- Print Length: 179 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1530007666
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Haley Jordan (December 11, 2014)
- Publication Date: December 11, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00QXU9PKW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,357 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$8.99|
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Candy Cane Kisses: A Jasmine Lane Novel Kindle Edition
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Anne Baumann is the owner of a craft store called Candy Cane Stitches located in Venice, Florida. She has taken her love of cross stitch and made it into her career. Her store is extremely successful...at first. But as the Christmas season approaches, her sales plummet. She starts to panic, thinking starting her own business might have been more than a little hasty. After all, she had a great job as a paralegal before she left to open Candy Cane Stitches. If only she hadn't gotten involved with Dexter Pendegrass at the law firm. If only that relationship hadn't crashed and burned to cinders. But "ifs" weren't going to help her financial situation. She should have realized the cross stitch world was pretty much seasonal, and no one would be making last minute cross stitch purchases right before Christmas. Now her finances are a mess, and she's truly not sure where to turn.
Anne's parents have just moved to Florida after her father retired from being a CPA. While she's helping put up their Christmas decorations, they invite her to go to the Jasmine Lane Christmas block party. There Anne meets Jim Grant, her parent's neighbor from across the street. He's grumpy, unsocial, and downright rude! But there's a reason for that. Jim lost his cherished wife, Ellen, three years ago, just before Christmas. He's been in mourning ever since, but the holiday season is by far the worst. His Ellen used to take such joy in the Christmas season, and now he can't handle the memories.
After Jim's rudeness to Anne, you wouldn't imagine anything could come from that chance meeting. But Anne's mother has decided to help her daughter and the man who lives across the street to at least become friends. Anne is stubborn beyond belief, and she refuses to have anything to do with a man who can't get over his dead wife. Jim, in his own way, is just as stubborn as Anne. He's stuck in his grief and doesn't really want to move on. With Anne's financial problems a secret from everyone but her best friend, Jan, and Jim's hermit-like existence outside his job, can anything bring these two together, even as friends? It certainly seems like every step forward brings two, and maybe even three, steps back. Secrets abound. Can Anne and Jim break through their own self-imposed walls and move forward? Or will they fall back on old habits and stay buried in the pain and hurt of the past? Will Anne's store survive? If not, what will she do? Her relationship with her parents is certainly going to get rocky if she has to tell them that she's failed as a businesswoman. And what about Jim? Does he even have the will to move forward, or will Ellen's ghost always be there reminding him of what could have been? There are so many questions and obstacles that you have to wonder exactly how anything can ever work out.
Haley Jordan does a masterful job of bringing all the conflicting elements of this story together. He's crafted an extremely complex tale with twists, turns, and totally unexpected events occurring throughout. It's not just an ordinary romance. The characters, environment, emotions, and events all draw you into the adventure. And although Venice, Florida is very real, and the descriptions of the area given in the book are entirely fictional, you still feel as if you're really there. What I found extremely delightful was the description of the Floridian Christmas traditions. I've always lived in the north or midwest so I've never experienced a Florida Christmas, and I felt like a child experiencing Christmas for the first time.
Candy Cane Kisses was not at all what I expected. It went so far beyond my expectations, and I'm so glad I took the time to read the book. I'm eagerly looking forward to Haley Jordan's next book, Gingerbread Dreams. If you love well-written characters, Christmas, and romance with unexpected developments around every corner, you'll love Candy Cane Kisses. I give it my best recommendation!
Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!
Jim was wonderful, I fell for him immediately. His grief over the loss of his wife was sensitively dealt with. His struggle to let go of the past to start to breathe again came over very clearly, but his inner strength shone through, even when he was forcing himself to join in the festivities that his wife had so loved. Anne, while determined to maintain her distance could not help but be drawn to Jim, maybe subconsciously recognising a kindred spirit.
Misunderstandings borne from the fear that should they take the risk on love it all might come crashing down caused a few hiccups along the way but fate and a little Christmas magic had other ideas. I did feel that Anne seemed rather harder on Jim than I felt he deserved (& towards the end I was a bit frustrated with her implacable attitude), especially once it was clear that their frozen hearts were starting to thaw and that a chance at love might well be theirs for the taking. However, I presumed that she was just making sure this wasn't yet another doomed romance. The characters were thoughtfully written, flaws and all, which made them very real and easy to relate to.
The style of the author is fast paced without rushing and I loved the way the Christmas story was incorporated seamlessly into the narrative without sounding sugary or giving the impression that an agenda was being pushed. That the author felt it unnecessary to let sex define Jim and Anne's burgeoning romance worked very well too, their hesitancy about risking their hearts again would have been at odds with that kind of theme. Loved it!
I enjoyed the characters and the backdrop. While a little more religion than I generally care for in my books, it was not overwhelming and played nicely into the holiday nature of the book. I will definitely look for more by this author as sometimes lighthearted reading is great as well.