by Jeanette Murray (Goodreads Author)
Published November 5th 2012 by Carina Press
review courtesy of netGalley
Dan Beckins isn't sure how he let his best friend con him into volunteering to build Santa's Winter Wonderland at the local hospital. He's got no problems with charity work, but anything Christmas-related is off-limits ever since he lost his parents on Christmas Day years ago. The only bright spot is working with smoking-hot Anna Smith.
Anna Smith loves Christmas and volunteering at the hospital is one of her yearly highlights. She had leukemia as a teen and then a breast cancer scare in her mid-twenties, and is now operating under a self-imposed rule that she can't have a relationship until the doctors give her a clean bill of health.
A little fling might be permissible, though, and sexy lawyer-turned-carpenter Dan seems like the perfect candidate. But when chemistry flares and the two start forming a real connection, will Anna run away before like turns to love?
Are you still trying to decide what Christmas themed romance book to read this year? Add this one to your list, this was an heartwarming and highly emotional read. My emotions were on a constant rollercoaster.
Anna is the "Christmas cheerleader", she loves the holiday season. She displays so much enthusiasm and Christmas spirit, it wouldn't surprise me to find that she has a private shuttle with a direct flight to the North Pole and to the big guy himself. When she was a teen her Christmas memories consisted of time spent as a patient in the children's ward. She knows first hand what it is like spending the holiday in the hospital, so each year she is the lead organizer in charge of transforming the children's ward into a Santa's workshop aka "Winter Wonderland". I am very humble to the fact that I was able to spend my Christmas mornings unwrapping presents under the tree, when there are many children who are spending Christmas away from their home and in a sterile environment, hoping to go home soon. Their wish to be cured.
Dan is rangled in to volunteering to help transform the hospital into the "winter wonderland". Dan has his own holiday demons he struggles with, if it was up to him he would have his bags packed and enjoying the tropic sun. Talk about Grinch, but his story is tragic.
His mom and dad loved Christmas, it was their favorite time of the year, that all changed one year.. While on the way to visit his grandparents, there was an accident and his parents died.
Anna has some clock that she created for herself, it is too early to get involved with someone. She is in remission with her latest cancer scare. They don't realize it, but these two need each other to get through the holiday season. Dan is the one who chips away at his own block, he knows that he can deal with the holiday if it includes Anna. And once Dan gets into the holiday spirit he is then able to get Anna to accept that her illness should dictate her happiness. If there is a lesson learned here, it is that you can't put a time frame on love, it happens when it happens. Carpe Diem!!
There were several secondary characters that provided depth to this story. I enjoyed this story and I recommend you pick this one up- it surely will make your thankful for all you have and may even spark some of you to bring some holiday cheer to those less fortunate.
My Favorite Quote: