'Tis the Season!

Are you in need of a little Christmas inspiration or looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the reader on your list? I have been reading a few of the 2014 Christmas books over the past few weeks and want to share my favorites with you. There is a little bit of everything on the list, from mystery to romance, with both historical and contemporary settings.

A New York Christmas by Anne Perry 

This suspenseful and deeply moving Christmas novella stars one of the characters from Anne Perry's historical mystery novels and takes place in New York City in 1904. Twenty-three-year-old Jemima Pitt is crossing the Atlantic to attend a high society wedding that will join together two of the wealthiest families in New York. Jemima is asked by the future groom's brother to help track down the mother of the bride-to-be, who disgraced the family years earlier and has not been seen or heard from since, and prevent her from showing up and ruining the wedding. An exciting adventure ensues as they roam the snowy streets of early 1900s New York City searching for answers. There is a hint of romance when Jemima meets a handsome young police officer and together they work to solve a murder for which she has been set up and framed. The descriptions of the city, from Fifth Avenue to Central Park, are amazing. This one would make the perfect gift for a historical fiction reader.

Christmas in Cowboy Country by Janet Dailey

Don't let the title fool you. Christmas in Cowboy Country is not a fluffy romance about some good looking cowboy who rides into town and steals the hearts of all the women. There is a cowboy, Marshall Stone, but he is an undercover FBI agent investigating possible real estate fraud. Property is the main bone of contention in this book as the town buys up more land every year and ranchers find it harder to make a living. Shady deals are afoot with some of the vulnerable older people in town and as the story unfolds you realize it is about a small town that pulls together and takes care of its own. Former ski instructor, Annie Bennett, is the main character and, yes, her heart does flutter when she first meets Marshall, but the book focuses more on the townspeople and lifelong friendships. It seems as though the entire town has a hand in the annual Christmas pageant and you can almost feel the children's excitement as they perform. Janet Dailey has another winner with this one.

The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere

For those looking for a title focusing on the spiritual meaning of Christmas, The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere would be a perfect choice. It is a heartwarming and inspirational story about the power of love and faith that takes place in the fictitious small town of Grandon. The lives of five different people and their families each dealing with their own personal issues intertwine and all come together for one of the greatest Nativity reenactments I have read in a long time. Anyone who has suffered loss or heartache in their own lives might find comfort in this novel. There is an inspirational quote at the beginning of each chapter which I think adds to the overall message of the book. VanLiere publishes a Christmas novel almost every year and this one is one of her best.

Other titles to consider:






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