I am continuing to enjoy Christmas stories and only have one more to read for my 20 Books for Christmas Challenge. Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft is #19, while A Match Made For Christmas and The Highlander’s Holiday Wife make #14 and #15 on the extra list. I can’t believe I have read 34 Christmas stories since the beginning of October. These three are so different from each other, but all were enjoyable and I am glad I picked them up.

Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft, Stephanie Racine (Narrator)

Published November 14th 2019 by Avon

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft, we meet Lily, a woman with a loving family. Growing up she was often ridiculed as she lived in an unconventional family with two moms and a sister, Zinnia. Her world is rocked when she finds out that her birth father was a married man with two children and more than the one night stand she was always told. Determined to find her father and his family, she heads to Middledip and eventually on a road trip to Switzerland. Things do not go well, first, Lily meets her older brother and gets a job working in his pub. She doesn’t tell him who she is, but finds out about her father and brother. When the opportunity arises to drive a teenage band, The Middletones, to perform in the Christmas markets of Switzerland, she agrees to take them, but ends up with a seriously injured arm, so her friend and co-worker offers to be the driver. Zinnia blames her for their mothers splitting up, so when she leaves they are not speaking. With a full van of teenagers and instruments, a dalmatian and a man she is attracted to, they head off.

One think I always expect from Sue Moorcroft is a book with some meat to it, issues that are realistic and relatable and lots of emotions. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, the setting, the snowy activities, the relationships and the food. With Lily on a journey of discovery, there is a lot of fun, and some romance. Of course there has to be some angst that occurs when Lily’s brothers find out who she is and that the man they thought was perfect was not. Isaac was an amazing character, giving up what he wanted to care for someone from his past that needed him. His dalmatian, Doggo, was a hoot. He added some comic relief and cozy feelings to some of the more tense moments. Will Isaac and Lily get together? Will Lily and her brothers be able to have a relationship? What is going to happen to Lily, Zinnia and their mother’s relationships? This is a wonderful story steeped in Winter and Christmas fun that I recommend.

A Match Made at Christmas (The Matchmakers of Harts Haven #2) by Patricia Davids, Meghan Kelly (Narrator)

Published October 4th 2022 by HQN Books, Insatiable Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Christmas is approaching in Harts Haven, and Sophie Eicher has been hired as the new school teacher. She and her sister have moved to start a fresh life as their father has remarried a woman with two children. What the residents of Harts Haven don’t know, is that Sophie has just had surgery and undergone treatment for breast cancer. Her mother and grandmother died from the disease, so she has no desire to marry and give the gene to any children she might have. Meanwhile Rose Yoder, the local matchmaker has plans to find Sophie a husband. Karl Graber is a widower with two young daughters and is busy with his hardware store, home and raising his girls. He is still grieving and has no intention of being part of Ruth’s scheme, but when he is not included in her list of possible husbands, he is surprised. With humor, love, frustrations, secrets, honesty and self-reflection, this story shows that might be a different path to a different ending than the one Karl and Sophie have envisioned.

Having just put together our Christmas Presentation at church, I loved reading about Sophie’s worried, the parents meddling and the children’s hopes. Seeing how this pulled together a whole community was a wonderful path for this story to take. Of course the romance is the major part of this book and I loved how Sophie and Karl became friends, while both trying to play it cool and not have any entanglements. The old adage of wanting what you can’t have really played out with Karl being attracted to Sophie and pursuing that because Ruth told him he was not a good match, crafty lady. Karl’s children, Rachel and Clara were instrumental in getting the Live Nativity off the ground as well as bringing their father and teacher together. Clara’s personality was like her father’s at the beginning, sullen and angry, but as she blossoms in this story, she becomes friendly, accepting of help from others and almost sweet, like her little sister Rachel. All the characters in this book show growth as they come to believe that maybe there is a chance for happiness. A wonderful story of how love, acceptance and faith brought these characters together to form a new family, at Christmas. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Meghan Kelly and she enhanced my enjoyment of this story. She gave the characters their own voices and I could picture them, especially Rose, the smart, eccentric Amish matchmaker and little Rachel. I will definitely listen to more books she narrates.

The Highlander’s Holiday Wife (Clan Kendrick #5) by Vanessa Kelly, Ruth Urquhart (Narrator)

Published September 27th 2022 by Zebra, Tantor Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have enjoyed the Clan Kendrick series and when I was looking for Christmas books to read, I was happy to see that the last one written is set at Christmas, so I settled in with the stories and did a read/listen. The Kendrick family are a group of highlanders, who don’t have the best reputation among the nobles in Edinburgh. Braden Kendrick is the sensible brother, a dedicated doctor who runs a clinic for the poor and makes late-night calls to the city’s slums. On one of these calls, he is attacked by two ruffians because of a woman who helped in the past and is rescued by a woman and her male companion. He doesn’t know that it is Lady Samantha Penwith, who is also helping those in the slums as well as looking for whoever was responsible for her husband’s murder. She is running her husband’s foundation that runs an orphan’s home, but can’t make any headway with the board that is in place. She and her friend/neighbour John, another doctor, persuade Braden to join the board. It doesn’t take long for Braden to figure out who his rescuers were. As Braden joins forces with Lady Samantha, not only does he help her solve the mystery of what is happening to the orphans that go missing, but also who killed her husband while falling in love along the way.

I really enjoy the loud, boisterous, caring, Kendrick Clan. They might be brash, but they will do anything to protect those they love, and that include Lady Samantha. Her father-in-law is such a bully and is constantly threatening to take his daughter from Samantha back to live with him. She will do whatever she needs to do in order to keep her sister-in-law, who is deaf, away from the ogre of a man. Throw in a few uncomfortable board meetings, some exciting, danger-filled nighttime excursions, a dinner and a party that end in anger and threats, and Vanessa Kelly has penned an exciting addition to this series. The chemistry is there between Samantha and Braden right from the start, but they don’t act on it, which was hard on both of them. Once Braden realizes that in order to help Samantha with the foundation and to keep her sister-in-law away from her awful father, he proposes marriage. This is a closed door romance, which I liked, with great characters, some humor, lots of adventure, a mystery and a Christmas Celebration. I recommend this story to those who enjoy a highlander’s romance. Although this is the 5th book in the series, it can be read as a standalone story. The audiobook was narrated by Ruth Urquhart and she does a wonderful job with the story. Her voices, including accents, of all the characters is wonderful and I do not hesitate to listen to books she performs.