I love to read Christmas stories and this little novella by Virginia author, Elizabeth Maddrey , offers plenty of holiday cheer and faith points to garner my interest in the story. Victoria Spencer has had a rash of bad Christmases. From divorcing parents to broken legs, “Tori” has given up on Christmas having any redeeming qualities. She focuses on her journalist career until she’s given the task of writing an uplifting article on her former college crush, Gabe Robertson. Gabe is a successful businessman and in December he likes to transform his property into a Christmas wonderland as a way to celebrate the birth of Christ with the community. Through this project Gabe supports Operation Mistletoe, an organization that gives American troops stationed overseas some Christmas joy to fill their lonely holiday. Tori, however, only sees the guy who was self-centered and self-serving in college. How does she write an article with so much prejudice clouding her judgement? Is it possible that Gabe has changed? Is it time to give Christmas another chance?
I’m not sure that Tori overcomes her fear of Christmas by the end of the book, (you’ll have to read it to find out why), but it is interesting to watch her overcome her prejudice and bitterness without losing the core of her personality and professionalism. She is a capable, confident woman able to take care of herself despite the misfortunes she’s faced. I enjoyed the dynamic of her personality especially when weighed against Gabe’s personality, a man who has been transformed by faith. This is a good novella and I’ll definitely be reading more of Elizabeth Maddrey’s books.