In this book there’s a collection of eight uplifting Christmas stories that provide us the hope to just “believe.”

Secondhand Horses by Amy LeBlanc introduces us to Emily Morgan, a new vet working at her grandfather’s practice and who seems to be having a tough time getting the locals to accept her as a fully competent vet who is working on their animals. But when one of the guys who owns a horse rescue farm needs assistance with his new rescued mare, he doesn’t think twice when Emily volunteers to take a look at her. Once they start working on the mare together at his farm, they start realizing they’re attracted to each other and have a lot in common. Could this be the start of something great between them while helping his precious mare get better?

In Mall Magic by Cat Shaffer, Deeni Crowe heads to the local mall to buy a present for her Aunt Lucy who has always treated Cat well throughout her years growing up. She dreads having to go anywhere near a store for Christmas, but she knows that she doesn’t have much time left to get her aunt something. Heading to the bookstore she stumbles upon a thick murder mystery book and is so engrossed in reading the back cover that she plows her way right into a poor guy who’s carrying his takeout lunch. After making a complete fool of herself, she volunteers to buy him the lunch she destroyed on him. He takes her to this really fancy Italian restaurant and he tells her that it’ll be his treat. Once they sit down to eat together they realize that they’re hitting it off well with one another. Could this be fate working on both their sides?

The third story, Another Quirky Christmas by Tonya Kappes, has Hallie shopping on Christmas Eve for her aunt and uncle who took her in when her parents were killed in a car accident years ago. Her Aunt Grace and Uncle Jimmy mean the world to her, but she’s just not in the mood to be buying a Christmas present because truthfully she hasn’t celebrated Christmas since that fateful night when her parents died. All these years she’s used the excuse that because she’s the manager of Gucci in Chicago and the Christmas season is the busiest one of the year, she doesn’t have time to drive to Cincinnati to visit her aunt and uncle. But once she hears the serious disappointment in her aunt’s voice because she won’t be going home for Christmas another year, Hallie does some soul searching and makes a decision she hopes is the right one. What does Hallie finally decide to do?

Ellie Nichols is on her way home to Chicago when she’s delayed in the airport because of a major snowstorm in Concourse Christmas by Margaret Etheridge. A gentleman not sitting too far from her just can’t seem to mind his manners when it comes to staring at her while she sits and waits for news of her flight being cancelled or not. Eventually Jack Rudolph and Ellie begin talking and although it’s strained at first, they seem to hit it off together. So much so they decide to sit and pass the time while they hear if their flights are leaving the airport that night or not. But fate or maybe even Santa seems to have something different in mind for them both. Does Ellie make it home to Chicago and Jack to Tampa in time for Christmas? Or do they have a Christmas of their own in the airport together?

In the next story, Love in an Elevator by Krista Ames, Melanie, one of the secretaries working at Summerlin Advertising, is head over heels in love with her boss, Grant Summerlin. She knows that he has no idea of her feelings for him, nor is she even brave enough to let him know. All she can think about is being with him and now since it is two days before Christmas, she even secretly wishes that he would be her Christmas present. Finishing up her day’s work, she takes the elevator with the intention of going to her floor to get her stuff from her desk and then she’ll head home. While she’s riding the elevator, it’s called to another floor and when the doors open she’s surprised to see that it’s Grant. Now she’s feeling all flustered and nervous that they’re the only two people in the elevator together. Could this be the time to make a suggestion to Grant? Or could something else happen between them that will change the situation altogether?

Jennifer Langdon and Kathleen Bennett are friends helping each other out in Fixing Christmas by Elizabeth Chalkley. It’s taken them two days, but they both have finally succeeded in fixing Jen’s leaky toilet bowl. Kathy feels bad that Jen will be all alone on Christmas and wishes that she would spend it with someone just not to be alone. Although in the past three years Jen never had a Christmas tree, this year she made certain that she was going to have one. Too bad the one man that she truly loves wouldn’t be able to be under the tree waiting for her. You see, Billy Phillips grew up with Jen and her sister, Linda. Jen and Billy were extremely close right into their teen years until that terrible night happened. Jen was drunk and refused to listen to Billy not to get behind the wheel. Since he couldn’t stop her from driving, he decided to do the next best thing – jump in the car with her. She lost control of the car and although she walked out of the accident, Billy was severely injured. When she went to go see him in the hospital, his mother told her never to come see him again. He was so close to death and Jen just wanted to make certain he’d be okay. She continually wrote to him, but all her letters were returned to her unopened. She eventually stopped writing and moved on with her life. Now, many years later, Linda runs into Billy while he’s in town. The first thing he does is ask how Jen is. Linda is thrilled that he’s still interested in her sister and they begin to put a plan in motion to correct things finally. What does Linda and Billy come up with so he can see Jen and tell her just what happened over the past few years?

In Angel on Board by Janet Eaves, Jacob is down on his luck and homeless. His life wasn’t always this terrible though. He once was a successful businessman and had a wonderful wife named Mary and a daughter named Megan. Unfortunately, he let his work get in the way of his personal life and his family started drifting apart. One night while his daughter was in a ballet recital, she slipped and fell off the stage and sustained a serious head injury. Shortly afterward, she passed away. This was the breaking point for Mary and she packed up and left him. Since then, everything has spiraled out of control for him and today he has made the decision to take his own life to stop the misery. While heading on the bus that would take him to the river where he would jump to his death, the strangest thing happens to him. What happens to Jacob on the bus ride while he’s heading to the river to take his own life?

In the final story, The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas by Marissa Dobson, Jasmine Pierce doesn’t have much, but the most important person in her life is her eight-month-old infant daughter named Alyssa. Her ex-husband wants nothing to do with either of them and she’s trying everything possible to make money to support her and her daughter. Out of the blue, she’s contacted by an attorney named Dave Johnson and is told some surprising news. He explains to her that her grandmother has passed away and has left her some money along with her house. She thinks that he must be mistaken because she doesn’t remember having a grandmother. He explains further that her mother didn’t get along with Jasmine’s grandmother, Vivian, and she ran off with Jasmine at a young age never letting Vivian have the joy of seeing her granddaughter grow up. In Vivian’s will, she wants to right the wrongs that have happened between them and decides to leave her everything. This seems like a blessing in disguise for Jasmine and Alyssa. Though she’s scared senseless that she’ll have to move to Montana and knows no one there, she feels that it’ll be a much better life for the both of them. Ironically, when she finally does arrive, she has no idea just how things are going to change for her and her daughter by making this big move. Do things work in her favor by moving to Montana? Does she have any regrets afterward?

I must say that I really enjoyed this collection of Christmas stories and I guarantee you there is a story or two that will be every reader’s favorite. I personally loved Secondhand Horses by Amy LeBlanc, Fixing Christmas by Elizabeth Chalkley, Angel on Board by Janet Eaves and The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas by Marissa Dobson. Each story has a different flair about it and there is something for everyone to enjoy in this holiday collection. I would highly recommend this to readers, no matter what time of year it is that you might be reading this book. Great job ladies!

Book Blurb for Believe

A collection of uplifting Christmas stories from Turquoise Morning Press. Romance, inspiration, and unexpected gifts—
Reminding us to simply...believe.

Second Hand Horses by Amy LeBlanc, Mall Magic by Cat Shaffer, Another Quirky Christmas by Tonya Kappes, Concourse Christmas by Margaret Ethridge, Love in an Elevator by Krista Ames, Fixing Christmas by Elizabeth Chalkley, Angel on Board by Janet Eaves, The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas by Marissa Dobson

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 4.25