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These clean historical holiday novels share stories of love blossoming during the Christmas season while characters overcome unexpected obstacles. Authors include several who are Mormon.
Finding hope in the holidays when potential disappointment and heartache loom is a common thread throughout the four short, clean historical stories in “Christmas Grace.”
In “Let Nothing You Dismay,” by Jennifer Moore, Camilla Prince and Ben Talbot fall in love and plan to elope in Scotland when he is summoned to join his father in India. But Camilla doesn’t come to their rendezvous point.
Years later, he returns with a gift for her he impulsively bought. Flashbacks are mixed in as this story of overcoming unintended secrets unfolds.
Julia Seaton, a new governess to three young children, wants to make sure Christmas is special for them in “Christmas at Canterwood,” by Krista Lynne Jensen. With the children’s parents away, their grandmother asks Julia for help with a project that may have more than altruistic purposes as Julia spends more and more time with the young local pastor.
Anita Stansfield’s “Winter Angel” follows Mariah Pritchard, whose family bakery has a tradition of handing out bread to those who need it. She’s planning to do something special for Christmas. During one of her morning rounds, she finds a stranger who appears ill, and her family takes him in while he heals. This is a sweet story of how a little service can help bless others, with an unexpected romance along the way.
In “Christmas Grace,” by Chalon Linton, it’s been a year since Grace Hershaw became a widow, and she wants to return to their home to carry out her late husband’s annual Christmas celebration. En route, she encounters a storm, and she and her traveling companions take shelter at Gordon Burgess’ home.
As Grace continues plans for the celebration and Gordon offers to help, both find hope in their situations as a romance slowly blossoms.
Each of these is an enjoyable story for a winter’s day.
“A SEASON OF LOVE,” by Carla Kelly, Sweetwater Books, $10.99, 315 pages (f)
Overcoming unexpected challenges while hoping to have a Merry Christmas is the theme of these five short stories by Carla Kelly.
In “Let Nothing You Dismay,” Christmas has always been a tough time for Lord Trevor Chase, a lawyer. When his brother and his wife have trouble coming back from visiting relatives, he’s called in to help supervise his nieces and nephews, including one who is wrapped up in planning a wedding.
The second daughter, Lucinda Chase, is being accompanied by one of her teachers, Cecilia Ambrose, on her way home from her boarding school.
Cecilia, who is half Egyptian and half English, agrees to help Trevor as emotions are tender, challenges arise and no one seems in the Christmas spirit.
In “No Room at the Inn,” Mary McIntyre is grappling with recent news from her family as she heads to visit a previously unknown relative’s home. She’s traveling with friends Thomas and Agatha Shepherd and their children when they are forced to stop at his younger brother’s home due to the weather. And it’s not the Shepherds’ first choice of accommodations. What ensues is a clash of personalities between brothers, other unexpected guests, a chance at love and facing fears to make way for hope at the holidays.
This collection also include a trio of previously published “Christmas Gifts” novellas, each showing Kelly’s knack for creating love stories.