Two strangers. One big secret. And a Christmas to remember…
Cathy Bramley ~ Merrily Ever After
Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles her rapidly-growing business, wedding planning and the two new children in her life, her dream begins to unravel.
Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin, so she can finally have a fresh start. She has always put her family first, leaving little time for happiness and love. When her beloved father Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything.
As past secrets come to light, will this be a magical Christmas for Emily and Merry to remember?
Three pages into this book and I was already in tears. It’s a gentle story, yet it tugs on the heartstrings in several ways. It’s neither complex nor intense, but simply weaves a magical Christmas story together with romance and found family.
Naturally, the suspension of belief is needed, because everyone moves quickly and is quite spontaneous… and of course there are a fair few coincidences. Yet, it’s a beautiful story and it captured my heart immediately.
The characters are well thought out and believable. The romance is nothing to shout home about, but this makes it all the more credible. Love isn’t always warm and fuzzy and this book also looks at the love for family and how we deal with sorrow and challenges within this environment.
There are some lovely touches, especially the surprise singer, Merry’s sister-in-law to be and the visit to Santa.
Perhaps it would have worked without the Christmas setting, but as it does take place during the festive period, we have extra romance points, with gifts, snow and a general sense of merriment and goodwill.
Overall a gorgeous story, that had me crying almost continuously throughout the book.
Thanks Orion Books for my copy and Christmas goodies. Opinions my own.