CHRISTMAS JOY – Nancy Naigle
St. Martin’s Griffin
Contemporary Holiday Romance
December in Washington, D.C. and Crystal Falls, North Carolina
Joy Holbrook devotes herself to her work as a market research executive. She’s expecting a promotion to be announced soon, perhaps at the upcoming company gala. In anticipation of being the chosen one, she’s bought a stunning—and expensive—new dress in a green to match her eyes.
While admiring her dress with her best friend and co-worker, Renee, she gets a telephone call informing her that her Aunt Ruby is in the hospital with a broken ankle. Her mother’s sister is the only family she has left in the world. She lived with Ruby when and after losing her mother, and is feeling guilty to have not visited her in two years. She takes a leave from work and makes the five hour drive to Crystal Falls.
Joy hasn’t celebrated Christmas since her mother died twelve years ago, but now she promises to help decorate Ruby’s house and farm. While there, she needs to feed Ruby’s rescued animals, a bunny, two goats, a donkey and a 4-H boy’s cow.
Ruby’s best friend, Shirley, has a son who is the administrator of the hospital where Ruby is staying. Christmas is Ben Andrews’s favorite holiday, and he makes sure the hospital is fully decorated. He also promises to help with Ruby’s decorations again this year. They have won the holiday home tour—the Crystal Christmas Cookie Crawl—before, and he hopes to help do it again. He has a surprise in store when he runs into Ruby’s niece or, more accurately, when Joy backs into his truck in the hospital parking lot.
A surprise is also in store for Joy. Molly, the bunny, is not the only Molly Joy will have to care for. The other is seven, and Joy is not fond of children.
Definitely a character driven tale, CHRISTMAS JOY will move readers as Joy learns to open her heart, and Ben captivates us all. Other players will as well. I can think of only one or two minor players in the story who’re not likable, and they are only self-serving.
If you like holiday stories, be sure to get this one.
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