By Rachel Bloome
Published by: Secret Garden Press, 2019
Genre: Clean Romance/Fiction/Women’s Fiction
“Love always hopes and always perseveres.”
Never heard of Rachael Bloome? Poppy Creek? Ru and Sprinkles? Take heart, Buttercup. We hadn’t either. Until one of us – the two-legged one- randomly grabbed The Clause in Christmas off her Kindle e-shelf the other day. Maybe cuz it’s finally getting cold out. Just right for snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. And a World Famous Bookish Dog. You know. Yours Truly.
While visions of sugar plums and a nice, thick juicy sirloin dance in our heads. And the prancing and pawing of each little hoof… Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Got a bit carried away with the Christmas spirit for a min.
Merry and Bright
Anyway, today we’re talking about The Clause in Christmas.
All things merry and bright twinkle and shine in this light-hearted, uplifting romance with a sprig of whimsy and a hearty batch of “edible kindness.” It has a homespun, folksy feel to it that’s warm and welcoming without being sappy. Delightful!
Cassie Hayward is a regular Scrooge. In fact, she says she’s “the only person in the world who doesn’t like Christmas.” But when her maternal grandmother dies, Cassie is summoned back to the small town of Poppy Creek for the reading of grandma’s will. Turns out Grandma Edith’s will has a clause: Cassie inherits Edith’s charming cottage in Poppy Creek if she keeps up with every daily activity in grandma’s Christmas Calendar, beginning December 1.
Unemployed and broke, Cassie doesn’t have much choice. So she returns to her hometown with about as much enthusiasm as pre-redemptive Scrooge. She’s also up to her eyeballs in a self-imposed romance ban after a rocky break-up with her ex-boyfriend. (Gag me with fruitcake.) And if that’s not enough to dampen your holiday hall-decking, Cassie’s alcoholic mom slithers into town wanting Cassie to spring for her rehab – to the tune of $15K.
“But like any gift, you have to accept it.”
Well. After meeting with “town lawyer” Luke Davis – who also happens to be one handsome hunk of a man – Cassie reluctantly agrees to the terms of her grandmother’s will. And that’s when the magic begins…
“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.” – A Christmas Carol, as quoted in The Clause in Christmas.
This book is chockful of delightful and intriguing three-dimensional characters. Besides Cassie, Luke is a lawyer” with a heart of gold who may be in the wrong profession. Also coffee roasting camp and curmudgeonly recluse Frank Barrie. What’s he hiding, and why? Also young Ben’s mom Eliza of “endearing honesty and well-meaning meddling.”
“You may be busy, but that’s not a good reason to be a coward.”
Truth? We were going to do an abbreviated version of our review of The Clause in Christmas and include just a smidgeon in a Christmas Reading Wrap-Up along with a bunch of other seasonal titles (Kimber: “Wrap up.” Get it? Don’t blame me. The pun was Mom’s idea, okay?)
But we enjoyed this clean and clever Christmas-themed romance with a touch of mystery so much, we just had to give it its own post. Kimber: It’s tail-waggingly pawsome!
Like the Down of a Thistle
Charming and lithe, the plot flies along like the down of a thistle. The budding romance between Luke and Cassie has its ups and down, thanks to Cassie’s ex-boyfriend, Derek the Jerk. But echoing over all, the plot rings out tidings of comfort and joy. Enough to thaw the curmudgeonliest* Scrooge (*new word we just made up). Or whipped cream on a steaming mug of hot chocolate during Pajama Christmas (you’ll have to read the book to get that).
“Merry Christmas, Ru.”
Kimber: Like I was saying. We hadn’t heard of this book series, author, or Poppy Creek, where “Love always hopes and always perseveres.” But you can be sure we’ll be back for more from this talented author. Fa la la la la la la la la!