Virginia Gems: An Informal Christmas by Heather Gray

an-informal-christmas-by-heather-grayThis is the first book that I have read by Virginia author, Heather Gray.  Although this is a clean romance, this author deals with deeply emotional issues that come with seriously ill, hospitalized children.  I found myself on the emotional rollercoaster with the main character, Rylie, as she dealt day to day with the joys and sorrows of tending to children, (and their parents), with cancer and cancer related trauma.  Having had a mother who died of leukemia, I can understand the burden, guilt, helplessness and at times, hopelessness of the situation.  Rylie’s romantic interest, Zach, struggles with hurt and a sense of helplessness, but who has brought such pain to his eyes?  His determination to help Rylie’s hospital program baffles her until she comes to terms with her own reasons for helping the children and starts to see Zach’s actions as a way of dealing with his own helplessness.  A special Christmas request gives Rylie the chance to give the children, but especially Zach a gift of hope and a promise of love; but is he ready to receive the gift?  Romance readers will find this story filling their hearts with compassion as much as romance.  I’ll be adding more Heather Gray books to my ‘To-Be-Read’ shelf.