The Nine Lives of Christmas

Finding himself on a tree limb and in danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose the cat, makes a desperate plea to his creator. He’ll do anything if he can just survive and live a nice long life. His prayer is answered by a stranger who comes along and saves him. Now he just has to figure out how to hold up his end of the bargain.

Firefighter Zachary Stone is in need of serious relationship help. If Ambrose can somehow unite Zach and Merilee, the cat lady who works at Pet Palace, he’ll have a healthy ninth life. Unfortunately, the path to success is not easy, especially for a cat trying to act as a matchmaker. Merilee is too shy to make the first move on a ladies’ man like Zach and Zach doesn’t want anything to do with a permanent relationship, so nice girls like Merilee are not his type.

It’s going to take all of Ambrose’s wiles and an old fashioned miracle to make Zach and Merilee realize what they are looking for is right in front of their eyes.

The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts is the sweet, heartwarming tale of two lonely people brought together by a cat. While this story takes place around the Christmas holiday, it’s not necessarily a holiday romance. The main plot is mostly about love and family. I found Ambrose, the cat, to be a delightful character, whose first person narrative was both funny and insightful. While I’m not currently a pet owner, I’m sure some of the pets in my past have had similar thoughts about the humans in general.

When Ambrose gets chased into a tree by a large and dangerous dog, he prays for help. Help arrives in form of handsome firefighter Zach Stone, who saves Ambrose from death and un-intentionally becomes his caretaker. He wasn’t looking for a pet, Ambrose just tracks down his house and moves in determined to repay his debt by fixing whatever’s wrong in Zach’s life. This turns out to be Zach’s fear of commitment and family. He never expected his attitude towards romance to change or for the interference of a cat to help change the relationships in his life.

Merilee White is a young, single woman, who still thinks of herself as the overweight teen of her high school days. Determined to someday finish veterinary school, Merilee currently works at Pet Palace and runs into Zach at the grocery store when he’s making his first run for cat food. While she’s attracted to Zach, her shyness gets in the way of doing anything else but helping him pick out some food. As the story progresses, Merilee a character I really loved. She’s a decent, responsible and caring person who never thought she’d get the love she desired.

The scenes between Zach and Merilee are great; you can tell from the first time they meet, they’re destined to be together. Unfortunately, like Shakespeare said, “the course of true love never did run smooth” and there is a fly in the ointment so to speak, the woman Zach’s currently dating named Blair. As each character interacts with Ambrose, we discover they’ve all played a part in one of his past lives, some in a good way and one which was not. As Ambrose works at helping Zach realize what he wants, he realizes he’ll have to fix Zach’s relationship with his mom, if he’s ever going to get Zach to open his heart to a future with Merilee.

Will Ambrose be able to help Zach heal the pain from his past so he can look to the future? And will Zach realize taking a chance on love is the test of real courage? You’ll have to read The Nine Lives of Christmas to find out. I loved it and I think you will too.

Book Blurb for The Nine Lives of Christmas

Bestselling author Sheila Roberts brings us aÿhumorous, heartwarming Christmas novel about a matchmaking cat who brings a couple together just in time for the holidays.

When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator.and Ambrose the cat is no exception.ÿInÿdanger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea.ÿ He'll do anything-anything!-if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him, and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a fire fighter named Zach, the quintessential commitment- phobe who's in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it's bound to earn him a healthy ninth life.ÿ Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever anticipated.ÿ Now it's going to take all his feline wiles-and a healthy dose of Christmas magic-to bring them all together in time forÿthe holidays.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2012 5.00