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Christmas with the Best Man (Christmas in Manhattan) Mass Market Paperback
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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After an emotionally distressing incident when Dr. Helena Tate was a teenager, she has tried to move forward. Though she is a successful emergency room doctor, there is no one special in her life at this time. Yet she hopes one day to find a man with whom to have the family that she desires. While Helena does often interact with Dr. Elijah Davenport at Manhattan Mercy hospital, his reputation of not wanting to settle down with one woman lets her know they can never be anything but professional coworkers.
When Elijah’s twin brother gets married and he along with Helena are attendants, there are several playful moments after the ceremony which have them really noticing the other for the first time. The couple then seem to come in contact more often at work after the wedding. Although there is certainly much physical longing between Helena and Elijah, his attitude about relationships is nothing like hers, so she feels giving in to the strong pull will only result in future misery.
Holiday stories are always a favorite of mine, and I had a great time visiting several decorated sights in New York along with the characters. The latest Christmas in Manhattan installment even has a wedding that was imaginatively seasonal. How Helena reacts to the snow had me grinning, since I am also a southerner. When it comes to any medical procedures, each problem is handled in a way which had me convinced every detail is accurate. Getting to see these two dedicated doctors during a crisis let me know just how much they cared about their patients.
From the start of CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEST MAN, I really like Helena and Elijah. While both have a good reason for letting an event cause them anguish in the past, she has not let it dictate much of her current life as he still does. These two individuals will have to do much soul-searching before their short fling can become more than a few days of pleasure, and Susan Carlisle gives each much to ponder when unexpected feelings are experienced. I thought all responses were spot-on for the happenings in their lives, and a few reactions left me worrying how everything would ultimately turn out for the spirited Helena and Elijah.
I voluntarily reviewed the book, and all comments are my honest opinion - 4.5 Stars
Helena is the heroine and Elijah is the hero. As the author states, “they each have a dark past to overcome. Love isn’t an easy thing for them.” I loved how, despite Helena’s past, she still believes in love and dreams of having that happy ever after with her dream match. Helena’s dark past was much more believable than Elijah’s dark past. However that could be because I grew up with a family more like Helena’s than Elijah’s. I can’t imagine keeping the secret like the one Elijah did. Of course I can’t keep secrets to save my life. I don’t know what I would have done if I was in Elijah’s shoes. The author did a nice job justifying Elijah’s decisions and feelings to the point where I was able to go with it.
Despite their past heartbreaks, the question in my mind was “will they overcome their fears and give love a chance?” I’m happy to say that this story was written very well and never did I feel like banging my head as the couple worked towards their happily ever after. The book flowed nicely and retained my interest from beginning to end. It would have been nice to have a more developed cast of characters for the reader to bond with besides the hero and heroine, but there are honorable mentions for some of some of them. It also would have been nice to have an epilogue that would have shared with me how things turned out for Marcy and her baby, Olivia. As far as side characters go, the main ones were the most developed and relative to Helena’s character. I would have enjoyed a conclusion where Elijah made peace and reached closure with his parents. Mostly it would have been nice to have a more solid ending with Elijah and Helena five years down the road, perhaps sitting around a Christmas feast at his parents.
The Christmas season was nicely incorporated throughout the story and was a splendid touch to the romance budding between Elijah and Helena. I enjoyed the day they spent in New York doing Christmas related activities. I could feel the Christmas magic.
Overall this was an enjoyable book to pass away a few hours. The love and chemistry between Elijah and Helena was emotionally heartwarming. I would recommend this book despite all the things I wish were different.
originally posted at long and short reviews
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