The Gift of Christmas: Stuck with Each Other\Undercover Santa\Epiphany Kindle Edition
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"Stuck with Each Other," by Jan Freed: The Anderson household has grown apart, so Jim surprises them with an expensive skiing vacation just sixteen days before Christmas. Unfortunately, his wife Sharon resents being taken away from her new career without warning, and the children prefer to hang with friends rather going off with family. At Jim's insistence, they accept the opportunity, detouring by his father's mountain home before heading to the ski resort. Seeing the tension and bickering between adults and children, Grandpa arranges his own holiday surprise, hoping to remind them of the love they still share.
Freed's story will echo many readers' own lives with the stress and responsibility that tear this family apart. The Andersons are wonderful; Jim and Sharon have been married for a number of years, taking one another and their three children for granted without meaning to. The children react against absent and busy parents with bids for attention and outrageous behavior. A wonderful story of love and healing, "Stuck with Each Other" kicks this collection off with a bang!
"Undercover Santa" by Janice Kay Johnson: Sergeant Reed McCall might be wearing the padding and beard of Santa, but he feels more like Scrooge when he receives his undercover assignment. Someone threatens to kill a Santa, so as many cops as can be spared are assigned to Santa duty. When an armed man takes a woman and her son hostage, along with "Santa", they find themselves locked in a storeroom, discovering the magic of unexpected encounters.
Readers familiar with Johnson's marvelous stories of men in uniform will recognize her indelible style and unorthodox approach to the holidays in "Undercover Santa." For a cop that does not like kids, Reed will undergo a remarkable transformation that readers will treasure. Unexpected twists to the tale will both surprise and amuse readers, making "Undercover Santa" a delightful read.
"Epiphany" by Margot Early: Born to hearing impaired parents, Carmen Dinesen never felt accepted by her family and their world. When her parents died unexpectedly, Carmen took responsibility for her younger, hearing impaired sister, Bizzy. Now Bizzy wants only one thing for Christmas; she wants to adopt a wild mustang. Unfortunately, they do not fit in small apartments or small budgets. Then Chris Good Rider proposes marriage, providing a home and a mustang to fill Carmen and Bizzy's dreams. Too bad he does not profess love as well.
Author Margot Early paints a world most hearing people never consider, reversing roles so that it is the one who can hear who feels left out. Carmen's struggle with self-acceptance results in a unique kind of healing. Flaws suddenly become endearing, and with love anything becomes possible. Indeed, Early creates a beautiful world of wisdom, rich with heritage and love, for the holiday season.
Stuck with Each Other by Jan Freed: The Andersons are a family in name only. The five of them live in the same house, but go their seperate ways. This Christmas, one member is willing to take some measures to remind the Andersons exactly what the word family means.
Undercover Santa by Janice Kay Johnson: Sergeant Reed McCall never expected to spend the Christmas season dressed up as Santa. But when a wacko threatened Seattle's Jolly Old Elves, the police department had to step in. Of course, that surprise is nothing compared to being held hostage in a storeroom with a woman and her little boy...
Epiphany by Margot Early: Carmen Dinesen's young sister, Bizzy, wants only one thing for Christmas--a horse. Chris Good Rider, a Blackfeet Indian, can give her one...if Carmen marries him. If she and Bizzy move to his ranch in Montana. That's a lot to ask. But as Carmen knows, love makes all things possible. Love for Bizzy. And love fore Chris...
And my review:
The first story was okay. Entertaining while you read it, but not only you'll re-read over and over. If you like the whole scheming relatives and people getting back to the things that really matter, you'll enjoy this. Three stars.
The second story was good. Very interesting. The fact that it takes place mostly in one room over the course of a few hours doesn't detract from the story at all, but actually enhances it. And the twist at the end just leaves you with a smile at the end. Five stars.
The last one was boring. I didn't even finish it. For one, I don't like this author's writing style. It reads like the story is not actually happening while you read it. I don't really know how to explain it, but it gets annoying for me.
More importantly, I couldn't like any of the characters. I found the heroine to be a stupid, wimpy pushover, him manipulative, and her younger sister the same. Sorry, but being disabled does not mean that your family has to sacrifice their own happiness in order to please you. Every girl wants a horse. Being deaf doesn't entitle you to one, no matter what the cost to your family to provide you with one. Can you say SPOILED? And I had no respect for a guy who would use his wealth to buy himself a woman. Yeah, you married her, but if she does it for money, to me that reeks of prostitution.
This book was a really mixed bag. Still, the second story redeemed it, I think, and made it worth buying.