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Christmas Roses Hardcover – September 1, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
"My husband was a good man," Celia said, "and I grew to love him, but ours wasn't the kind of marriage I dreamt about, and it certainly wasn't the kind I read about."
A raised eyebrow telegraphed Mark's feelings. "Are you talking about novels? They're not real."
"The stories may not be real, but the love they portray is. I've seen it. I want a husband who looks at me the way Reverend Pearson looks at Bertha. I want a man who will love me for myself, not for my cooking or because I would be a mother to his son or even because he's lonely." Celia closed her eyes for a second before she said, "I want a man who will give me roses for Christmas."
When she opened her eyes, Mark was staring at her, his expression inscrutable. "That's a pretty tall order. Roses don't grow in December, leastwise not in Wyoming Territory."
Forcing a laugh to cover her embarrassment, Celia gave Mark a wry smile. "Then I guess I won't marry again."
From the Back Cover
Celia Anderson doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a traveling carpenter finds lodging at her boardinghouse, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle, though, to find roses during a harsh Wyoming winter.
But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .
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It's 1882 and Celia Anderson is a widow with a young daughter, trying to make a living running a boarding house. More boarders would be wonderful. Of course she has suitors but she wants to marry someone she really cares for and even loves. As Christmas approaches Mark Williams arrives for a stay of a day or so, he's looking for his father who left home years ago. He wants to know what happened and why he left. When he arrives he's just in time to help Celia, who has a crisis and doesn't know how to handle it. Mark has some experience and is able to resolve the problem. Celia invites him to stay without paying for his room, in appreciation for his help. By trade Mark is a carpenter and he immediately begins to repair some of the problems that Celia hasn't been able to take care of.
With winter setting in and Mark beginning to get orders for his work, he decides to stay until he has built up traveling money. And there is a lot to be done to help Celia. Mark has lessons to learn and Celia needs to make a decision on what's more important in her life. Very well done.
Mark is searching for his father. For the past two years, he's followed leads all over the country until he ends up in the town of Easton. When he tries to find a place to stay, he finds a mother holding onto a sick baby that needs his help.
Celia runs a boardinghouse and needs boarders or she may not be able to keep doing what she loves. Her husband is dead, and she has a baby to take care of. The people in town tell her that she needs to remarry to provide her daughter with a father, but Celia won't settle for anything but love.
This is a sweet tale where you know what's going to happen ahead of time, so there's not really any surprises. I wish authors would be a bit more creative and stop using a sermon as the epiphany moment for characters, it just seems to be overused.
This is a well written story that I did enjoy. It's the kind of lighthearted thing I like to read around Christmas and this didn't disappoint. I liked the little details of Swedish traditions that the author incorporated and may just try the pound cake recipe at the end of the book.
Her friend Bertha and Emma’s friend Aaron kept bringing up the subject of marriage. Times were hard, but she’d manage some how! One more boarder would make a huge difference in her life. Until one day she suddenly spies Emma goes into a coughing fit that doesn’t stop! Ceila senses something is terribly wrong and doesn’t know what to do. She has no way of getting word to Dr. “All the other women were in Cedarville, planning the Thanksgiving celebration. Celia was on her own with no idea how to help Emma’s suffering.”… Now she was helpless…Help me Lord. Save my baby.” She prays.
Mark Williams rides into town in search of his father. “It had been two years, three months, seventeen days, and more miles and towns than he could count.” A man asks if he can help. Mark says he’s looking for a place to stay. “We ain’t got no hotel, but you might wanna talk to widow Anderson. She opened a boarding house back 10-11 months ago, and every body knows it ain’t full. I reckon she’d let you stay for a night or two.”
Mark Williams arrives at Ceila’s house and knocks, then yells “Mrs. Anderson?” No one answers…He opens the door, it’s quite. “Then He heard it! A painful cough and an even more alarming shrill cry.” He heads toward the noise. “Mark stared out the most beautiful young woman he’d ever seen, a woman who was cradling a desperately ill child.”
Ceila is in her 20’s and looks up. She sees Mark. She pleads for his help. Mark wasn’t a Dr. but had seen this before and knew what to do. He tells Ceila the things to get. They work side by side to help Emma breathe and stop the cough. All was well. Cecila looks at Mark and says, “I don’t know how to thank you, you were the answer to prayer.”
“Mark Blinked. It was the first time anyone had called him the answer to anything, especially prayer, “
Amanda pens a tender story that will pull at your heart strings, as Mark searches for his father. Celica is thankful for the new boarder and the help he is offering around the house..
A sweet admiration develops between Mark and Cecila. Aaron’s dad sees this and asks Ceila to marry him. Cecila is stuck at what to do. She’s known Aaron and his dad for a while. She loved Aaron and knew the marriage would be for her daughter Emma and Aaron. Mark would not settle down in one place until he found his Dad! He was a drifter. No hope of a marriage there. What was she to do?
One thing you can expect in Wyoming is surprises. Nothing is what it seems. And the reader will be all aglow when they learn about the meaning of the Christmas Rose. You won’t look at roses the same! This book will help you get in the Christmas spirit and leave you with a satisfied feeling. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. It won’t be the last.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
Celia runs a boarding house after her husband from an arranged marriage passes away. Mark passes through town looking for his father who had abandoned him as a young child. He was only going to stay for a day or two, but of course that gets extended.
While I did like the old fashioned aspect of this story, it seemed like a bit much at times. I liked how the two other guys were trying to marry Celia, but she only wants to marry for love. The one is all your daughter needs a father, my son needs a mother, I need a wife and you need a husband. I will wait a few weeks, but then I am putting an ad in for a mail order bride. So romantic!
Celia is determined not to marry just anyone. She wants someone who will give her roses for Christmas, which at the time would be difficult. She loves roses, like over the top loves them. Everything is about roses. I would hate to live in her place with the rose room....it seems like it would be way too much for me. They make her happy though so okay. Of course things slowly build with Mark and everything works out in the end.
Overall it was a sweet, but sappy story. Celia, and really everyone, was deeply religious and skimmed some of those parts, but overall not a bad story.
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