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Literary Friday: The Christmas Secret

Friday, November 20, 2015

This week I read The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.  If you enjoy reading cozy Christmas Chick Lit, then you should like this book.  It's a quick read, and although the plot is slightly predictable, there are a few twists and mysteries to maintain your interest.

Christine Eisley is a single mom to two young children, seven year old Zach and five year old Haley. She is working double shifts to pay back-rent and purchase Christmas gifts for her children.  Her ex-husband, who's a deadbeat dad (he hasn't paid child support in months), constantly harasses Christine for visitation rights via the court system and DHR.  She's plagued with less than reliable babysitters, and she could lose her job if she's late to work again.  In desperation she writes God a letter begging for help and places it under her Christmas tree.

Jason is a victim of downsizing at his large accounting firm in the city.  His grandfather offers him a holiday job at the family business, Wilson's Department Store, in a small town.  Vapid and conceited, Jason thinks the opportunity is beneath his college education.  He accepts the offer anyway and moves into a small garage apartment.  To make matters even worse, his grandfather Marshall refuses to pay him unit he knows everyone who works for Wilson's.  He also sends his grandson on a series of quests and community service opportunities that slowly open Jason's eyes to others' challenges.

On one of these quests, Jason meets Christine while she's waiting tables.  She mistakenly thinks that he is a spy sent by her evil ex, so her misapprehension snowballs into a series of missed opportunities and cross-purposes.  I truly became frustrated with these two!  There are many lovely characters who help Christine and Jason as they struggle with tough decisions.  I love Jason's story arc because it is anything but static: He grows and matures into a dreamy, loving man.

The novel is written from Christine's point of view and an omniscient point of view with the other characters.  I found this jarring when the point of view switched several times in a chapter, but this is truly my only complaint because overall it is a delightful, uplifting Christmas story.

Last year it was made into a movie for Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel.  Here is the trailer:

I plan on reading several cozy Christmas romances, mysteries, and Chick Lit books during the holidays.  I can't wait!  I hope to read  a few of these:

Do any of these look good to you?

What have you been reading?  Please share!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill


  1. All of these looks like a nice read with a cup of cocoa!

  2. I love the Hallmark Channel and look forward to the movies at Christmas. Thanks to you I've got some great books to look forward to....Right now I'm finishing Patricia Cornwell's Depraved Heart. I l link up but I havent started my 'reading" post yet!

  3. Hi, Ricki...I have been looking for good books for a friend that loves to read, for a Christmas gift.
    I think she would like any of these...a couple of good books, a pretty cup and a tin of good tea would put her over the moon. Thanks for the heads up on these. I'll ck with Amazon to see if they have them.
    Have a great Thanksgiving....

  4. Ricki Jill many of the books you showed in this post look interesting and I'll read a few of them, thanks.
    Have you ever read "A Paris Christmas Immovable Feast" written by John Baxter who also wrote "We'll always have Paris". I really enjoyed it.
    Have a fun weekend.

  5. The covers make me want to see all the movies or read all the books. We need to have some feel good moments. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  6. You and I are on the same wavelength this week thinking about books. I'm adding the books you listed to my list. :) Pinning also.

  7. That sounds really like a fun, quick read, Ricki Jill. I wish I had more time to read...maybe next week...hahahahaa. xo Diana

  8. I might pick up Christmas at Lilac Cottage!! Will let you know!

  9. It looks like Finlay is the cover model of that last book! I've definitely been in the mood to read some Christmas-set books this year. Unfortunately, most of those seem to be romances and most romances I find vapid (enough of them that I've read have been, to make me wary of the genre as a whole even though I know there are some really good ones our there). It's nice to see that one above that's a cozy mystery. The world needs more Christmasey non-romances, for those of us prejudiced against the genre. ;)

  10. I am looking for some light beach reading for our Christmas vacation in Kauai (26 days away) and I think I'll hunt for this. My other books are much deeper.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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