A Cedar Cove Christmas
  • A Cedar Cove Christmas
  • A Cedar Cove Christmas

A Cedar Cove Christmas

4.4 70
by Debbie Macomber

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Mother-to-be Mary Jo Wyse arrives in Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve, searching for her baby’s father. David Rhodes had said he’d be in town. But he isn’t. Which leaves Mary Jo stranded, pregnant and alone. And there’s no room at the local inn.…

So Grace Harding brings Mary Jo home to her nearby ranch. She and her husband, Cliff, have a

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Mother-to-be Mary Jo Wyse arrives in Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve, searching for her baby’s father. David Rhodes had said he’d be in town. But he isn’t. Which leaves Mary Jo stranded, pregnant and alone. And there’s no room at the local inn.…

So Grace Harding brings Mary Jo home to her nearby ranch. She and her husband, Cliff, have a houseful of guests, but they offer her a room over their stable (currently sheltering the animals—including a donkey and a camel—for Cedar Cove’s Nativity pageant!).

When Mary Jo goes into labor that night, a young man named Mack McAfee, a paramedic, comes to her rescue, just as her brothers—the three Wyse men—show up in town. The people of Cedar Cove join them in celebrating the birth of baby Noel. But no one has more to celebrate than Mack. Because this Christmas brings him faith, hope and love...

What would the holidays be without a Christmas story from Debbie Macomber?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

A young expectant mother trying to warn the father of her child that her three brothers will soon be on his trail comes to Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve only to find the cad gone, the town inn full, and her only refuge, thanks to the kindness of the town librarian, an apartment above a stable filled with animals for the upcoming Christmas pageant. A fainting spell introduces Mary Jo Wyse to firefighter/paramedic Mack McAfee. When she goes into early labor, he rescues her once more-by delivering her baby. Familiar townspeople, three impulsive brothers on the hunt, and a pair of appealing protagonists bring to life this sweet, humorous romance that, with its many obvious parallels, is a satisfying, almost tongue-in-cheek retelling of the Christmas story. The Cedar Cove books are set in a town much like Macomber's own Port Orchard, WA.

—Kristin Ramsdell

Product Details

Publication date:
Cedar Cove Series
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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Even though she was listening to Christmas carols on her iPod, Mary Jo Wyse could hear her brothers arguing. How could she not? Individually, the three of them had voices that were usually described as booming; together they sounded like an entire football stadium full of fans. All three worked as mechanics in the family-owned car repair business and stood well over six feet. Their size alone was intimidating. Add to that their voices, and they'd put the fear of God into the most hardened criminal.

"It's nearly Christmas," Linc was saying. He was the oldest and, if possible, loudest of the bunch.

"Mary Jo said he'd call her before now," Mel said.

Ned, her youngest brother, remained suspiciously quiet. He was the sensitive one. Translated, that meant he'd apologize after he broke David Rhodes's fingers for getting his little sister pregnant and then abandoning her.

"We've got to do something," Linc insisted.

The determination in his voice gave her pause. Mary Jo's situation was complicated enough without the involvement of her loving but meddlesome older brothers. However, it wasn't their fault that she was about to have a baby and the father was nowhere in sight.

"I say we find David Rhodes and string him up until he agrees to marry our sister."

Mary Jo gasped. She couldn't help it. Knowing Linc, he'd have no qualms about doing exactly that.

"I think we should, too—if only we knew where he was," she heard Mel say.

Unable to sit still any longer, Mary Jo tore off her earphones and burst out of her bedroom. She marched into the living room, where her brothers stood around the Christmas tree, beers in hand, as its lights blinked cheerfully. Eversince their parents had been killed in a car accident five years earlier, her older brothers had considered themselves her guardians. Which was ridiculous, since she was over twenty-one. Twenty-three, to be precise. She hadn't been legally of age at the time of their deaths, but her brothers seemed to forget she was now an adult.

All four of them still lived in the family home. Linc and Ned were currently seeing women, but neither relationship seemed very serious. Mel had recently broken up with someone. Mary Jo was the only one eager to leave, chafing as she did at her brothers' attempts to decree how she should live her life.

Admittedly she'd made a mess of things; she couldn't deny it. But she was trying to deal with the consequences, to act like the adult she was. Yes, she'd made a massive error in judgment, falling for an attractive older man and doing what came all too naturally. And no, she didn't need her brothers' assistance.

"Would you guys mind your own business," she demanded, hands on her hips. At five-three she stared up at her brothers, who towered above her.

She probably looked a sight, although at the moment

her appearance was the least of her problems. She was dressed in her old flannel nightgown, the one with the Christmas angels on it, her belly stretched out so far it looked like she'd swallowed a giant snow globe. Her long dark hair fell in tangles, and her feet were bare.

Linc frowned back at her. "You're our sister and that makes you our business."

"We're worried about you," Ned said, speaking for the first time. "You're gonna have that baby any day."

"I don't know nothin' about birthing no babies," Mel added in a falsetto voice.

If he was trying to add humor to the situation, Mary Jo wasn't amused. She glared at him angrily. "You don't have to worry about delivering my baby. This child is my concern and mine alone."

"No, he isn't."

From the very minute she'd tearfully announced her pregnancy four months ago, her brothers had decided the baby was a boy. For some reason, the alternative never seemed to occur to them, no matter how often she suggested it.

"You're depriving this baby of his father," Linc said

stubbornly. It was a lament he'd voiced a hundred times over the past months. "A baby needs a father."

"I agree," Mary Jo told him. "However, I haven't seen David in weeks."

Mel stepped forward, his disapproval obvious. "What about Christmas? Didn't he tell you he'd be in touch before Christmas?"

"He did." But then David Rhodes had made a lot of promises, none of which he'd kept. "He said he'd be visiting his family in the area."

"Where?" Ned asked.

"Cedar Cove," she supplied and wondered if she should've told her three hotheaded brothers that much.

"Let's go there and find him," Linc said.

Mary Jo held up both hands. "Don't be crazy!"

"Crazy," Linc echoed with a snort of indignation. "I refuse to let you have this baby alone."

"I'm not alone," Mary Jo said. She gestured toward them. "I have the three of you, don't I?"

Her brothers went pale before her eyes. "You… you want us in the delivery room?" Mel asked in weak tones. He swallowed visibly. "You're joking, right?"

Mary Jo had delayed registering for the birthing classes because David had promised to attend them with her. Only he hadn't managed to show up for the first session or the one after that or the following one, either. Giving up on him, Mary Jo had begun a session that week—a lot later in the pregnancy than she should have. She'd gone by herself and left the class in tears. Although she'd considered asking Ned if he'd be her birthing partner, she hadn't found the courage to do it yet. And she wasn't sure he'd be the best choice, anyway. Her other options were her girlfriends Casey and Chloe; however, Casey was terrified by the idea and Chloe, married last year, was expecting her own baby.

"Right." She struggled to maintain her composure. "That was a joke."

They released a collective sigh.

"You're distracting us from what's important here." Obviously, Linc wasn't going to be put off. "I want to talk to David Rhodes, just him and me, man to man." He clenched his hands at his sides.

"And when Linc's finished, I want a turn," Mel said, plowing his fist into his open palm.

Mary Jo rolled her eyes. She'd defended David to her brothers countless times. She'd defended him to Casey and Chloe—the only other people who knew David was her baby's father. Casey worked with her at the insurance company in Seattle, so she'd met David, since he'd come to their office for meetings every few weeks, representing corporate headquarters in California. David had charmed just about everybody—with the possible exception of Casey.

He'd always had such good excuses for missing the birthing classes, and she'd believed him. It was easy to do because she so badly wanted to trust him. He claimed to love her and while the pregnancy certainly hadn't been planned, he'd seemed genuinely pleased when she'd told him.There were a few legal and financial matters that needed to be cleared up, he'd explained, but as soon as they were dealt with, he'd marry her.

For a number of months Mary Jo had convinced her brothers that David's intentions were honorable. Now, though, she had to resign herself to the fact that David wasn't willing or able to marry her. She realized she didn't know as much about him as she should. Granted, he was older by at least twenty years, but her infatuation had led her to dismiss the significance of that. Now Mary Jo had to doubt his sincerity. She hadn't heard from him in more than two weeks and he wasn't answering his cell phone, and even during their last conversation, he'd been preoccupied and abrupt. He'd mentioned that he'd be in Cedar Cove for Christmas with his father and stepmother and would call her then.

"Do you want to marry David?" Ned asked. He was the only brother to take her feelings into consideration.

"Of course she wants to marry him," Linc answered, scowling at him. "She's about to have his baby, isn't she?"

"I believe I can answer for myself." Mary Jo calmly turned toward her oldest brother. "Actually—"

"You're getting married," Linc broke in.

"I won't have you holding a gun on David!"

Linc shook his head, expression puzzled. "I don't own a gun."

She sighed; her brothers could be so literal sometimes. "I was speaking figuratively," she said loftily.

"Oh." Linc frowned. "Well, I'm not talking figures, I'm talking facts." He raised one finger. "You're having a baby." He raised a second. "The father of that baby needs to accept his responsibilities."

"He will," Mary Jo murmured, although any hope that David would take care of her and the baby had long since been dashed.

"Yes, he will," Mel said firmly, "because we're going to make sure he does."

"And that includes putting a wedding band on your finger," Linc informed her, giving her a look that said he wouldn't tolerate any argument.

The baby kicked as if in protest and Mary Jo echoed the child's feelings. She no longer knew what she wanted. In the beginning she'd been head-over-heels in love with David. He was the most exciting man she'd ever met, and without even trying, he'd swept her off her feet. Mary Jo had been thrilled when he paid attention to her, a lowly accounting clerk. Compared to the boyfriends she'd had—as naive and inexperienced as she'd been herself—David was a romantic hero. An older man, confident, witty, indulgent.

"Mary Josephine," Mel said loudly. "Are you listening?"

Blinking to clear her thoughts, Mary Jo focused on her middle brother. "I guess not, sorry."

"Sorry?" Mel stormed. "We're talking about your future here and the future of your son."

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Mary Jo yawned. She couldn't help it. She covered her mouth with one hand and placed the other on her protruding belly. "I'm going to bed," she declared.

"Mary Jo!" Linc shouted after her as if she were a marine recruit and he was her drill instructor. "We need to decide what to do here and now."

"Can't we talk about it in the morning?" She was too exhausted to continue this argument with her brothers at—she glanced toward the antique clock—almost midnight.


"Linc, be reasonable."

"We have to get this settled." Mel joined forces with his older brother.

Again Ned didn't speak. He cast her a look of quiet sympathy but he wasn't taking sides. Mary Jo could see that he felt Linc and Mel were right—not about becoming Mrs. Rhodes but about the need for her to make some kind of decision.

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Cedar Cove Christmas 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. I have enjoyed the series and am waiting anxiously for the next one. I felt like i was a part of the family. Small town America--where everyone cares about each other, isn't it great!!!
I have read most of Debbie's work and have enjoyed every bit of it.
I would recommend this as a definate must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is just an awesome book. Well, all of her books are awesome. We are going to be reading this book starting December 1st, 2008 with our Debbie Macomber Book Club. It is a Yahoo Group. So anyone interested in this group is more than welcome to join us. The more the merrier. We read nothing but Debbie Macomber books. We will be alternating reading next year the Cedar Cove Series and the Blossom St Series (and in between a regular non-series book)
Again, this is a great book. She manages to get you hooked from the first chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down, finished it in one day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great story by Debbie Macomber. I love visiting Cedar Cove and its residents every chance I get!
Valene59 More than 1 year ago
I love Christmas stories so I picked this one up, haven't read the other books in this series. I found it very enjoyable and original in its parallels to the first Christmas. Must reading for the holidays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a very fast read and I enjoyed it very much. If you have read the Cedar Cove series you will know the people in the book. It is a touching Christmas story that makes you smile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the 1st Macomber book I have read and I loved it. I am now a die-hard Macomber fan. The only other book that has had such an impact on me lately is A YEAR SINCE YESTERDAY by George Edward Zintel. I recommend these 2 great books to anyone who loves to read and laugh and cry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fans of Debbie Macomber have found her Christmas novels to be nothing short of a delightfully necessary part of Yuletide cheer. A Cedar Cove Christmas will exceed these expectations! Mary Joe Wyse has previously believed everything David Rhodes said but is now having intense doubts that don't bode well for the future, especially a future with a soon-to-be-born baby he fathered. Mary's brothers, Linc, Mel and Ned have blown it as well, with their overbearing, albeit loving, intentions. They're threatening to find David and give him a message to treat their sister honorably and perhaps give David a sound thrashing as well, not necessarily in that order. Mary decides to beat them to the punch and find David herself to discover whether she has his support or not, not a hopeful sign at all based on his former lack of connection to her after discovering her pregnancy. Traveling to the festively decorated Cedar Cove town, Mary finds a wealth of friends who offer her neutral but wise advice to help her in searching for David's home and parents. But the search becomes almost insignificant compared to the beautiful reception Mary receives from these very special Cedar Cove residents. Meet Grace and Cliff Harding who offer Mary a room above their barn to stay through the snowstorm-driven, Christmas Eve night, a place holding an ox, some sheep, a donkey and one ornery, human-biting camel. You'll meet several other memorable characters who are graciously and warmly present to Mary in her moment of need, even before her searching brothers arrive to find an unexpected moment and a smitten young man helping their beloved sister. Yes, you might think you know the outcome in this wondrous Christmas tale, but you really don't because Debbie Macomber has created uniquely inspiring characters who equally care for each other and the stranger who arrives to find 'there's no room at the local inn...' How they interact will absolutely thrill each reader and remind one anew that love is truly the greatest Christmas gift anyone can give or receive! A Cedar Cove Christmas is a grace-filled, romantic tale you will want to buy, keep, share and reread each holiday season. Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on September 15, 2008
Guest More than 1 year ago
On Christmas Eve, pregnant Mary Jo Wyse comes to Cedar Cove, Washington seeking the father of her unborn David Rhodes. There are no commercial accommodations available in town, but Grace and Cliff Harding allow Mary Jo to sleep in the loft of their stable.----------------- When Mary Jo goes into labor, paramedic Mack McAfee attends to her. The three Wyse men, her bumbling brothers (Linc, Mel and Ned) arrive to help their sister. Meanwhile Mary Jo has decided that instead of confronting David, who she has not found, she would prefer to be held by kindhearted Mack. However she doubts even this nice EMT would want to get involved with a woman who has just given birth.------------- A CEDAR COVE CHRISTMAS is an amusing and angst account of the Christmas saga with Puget Sound serving as the locale instead of Bethlehem as a stable is still a stable when it comes to hospitality for a pregnant woman. The cast is solid but it is the visitor Mary Jo who provides the anxiety, focus and equilibrium to the plot. Fans will relish Debbie Macomber¿s latest very Merry Christmas romp.------------- Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The free sample gives you one page to read. One sentenence. I think I have read this book before. I wanted to read the sample to make sure before I accidently purchased it again. Total waste. I won't purchase this book and now doubt I'll continue the series. Geeezzz.
RRPNC More than 1 year ago
Great Christmas story, great book, and great series!!  Recommend Very Highly!!
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
This story is perfect to put you in the holiday spirit.  It’s perfect as part of the Cedar Cove series or as a stand-alone for Christmas.   Through this tale Macomber pulled at my heartstrings and made me laugh like crazy.  It was absolutely perfect.  This story is simultaneously completely original and a traditional love story.  I also love the many parallels you can draw to the original Christmas story.  Not only does Macomber create a brilliant storyline for us to follow but she brings it to life with her brilliant descriptions and captivating narrative so that you can picture it all. The character development in this novel is phenomenal.  Although this novel falls well into the series, you don’t ever feel like there’s anyone that you don’t know, nor any aspect of the story that is beyond you.  I love how the narrator gives each character their own voice.  Not only do you get to know them as individuals through the development on the author’s part, but it’s impossible not to picture them because of this.   This story brought tears to my eyes more than once and definitely warmed my heart.  It’s the perfect modern day Christmas story to bring you into the holiday spirit.  
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