Christmas On Nutcracker Courtby Judy Duarte
Fairbrook is a town tailor-made for the holidays, with beautiful old houses dotting quaintly named streets like Sugar Plum Lane and Nutcracker Court. But cash-strapped single mom Carly Westbrook worries about providing a merry Christmas for her boys. Their run-ins with cranky neighbor Max Tolliver, an aspiring novelist stricken with writer's block, don't help. Between losing his muse and the Westbrook boys wreaking havoc in his once orderly life, Max could use a Christmas miracle. Fortunately, the Diamond Lils, a ladies group who meet weekly to play poker and socialize, are looking to do some good deeds--and they think a little matchmaking for Carly is a perfect place to start. . .
"This is a solid Christmas read, firmly in the spirit of the holiday." --Publishers Weekly
"For fans of Debbie Macomber." –Library Journal
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Judy Duarte’s Christmas on Nutcracker Court is a heartwarming holiday novel that is sure to pull at your heartstrings! The characters from Fairbook range in age, sex, occupation, wealth and health. I found myself drawn to one of the main characters, Carly, and her two children, as I could relate well with them. A single mom of two boys, trying to make ends meet she isn’t looking for love. However, it seems to sizzle in the air every time she is around Max Tolliver and his dog Hemmingway. She only wants the perfect Christmas for her children, yet it seems every time she turns around, something else happens. . .. Duarte does an excellent job incorporating the mysteries of Maggie the house sitter, which you pick up on fairly early in the novel. If you are looking for a feel good holiday book, this is the one to read! If it doesn’t make you want to reach out to your community, nothing will!
Judy Duarte shows God's love in every book. This is the 3rd in series and just as exciting as the 1st.
This book was fantastic with many twists and turns! I felt like I was there!
Review by Molly: I'm all about Christmas, so getting the chance to read this novel was a treat for me. It really got me in the festive mood that's for sure! With a name like Christmas on Nutcracker Court, who WOULDN'T be ready for Christmas to come? This is my first Judy Duarte novel but it won't be my last! This story is filled with lots of wonderful characters and a fantastic plot line. Carly's character is one I could truly identify with. Being a single mom of two boys myself, I know what it's like to struggle. I could picture myself through the story AS Carly. Poor Max. He's a crotchety old man and definitely the Scrooge of the story! Of course there are other great characters to become friends with but my heart really went out to these two characters. The plot is, as I said fantastic. The true meaning of Christmas lies nestled deep in the heart of the story. Each page turn brings you closer to the ending of the story and to the magic of Christmas. If you are looking for a good book to curl up with next to that roaring warm fire, why not grab a copy of this new novel by an obviously talented author. I am going to go back and check out more of her work and add them to my growing wish list. Definitely a keeper and one that I recommend highly!
Welcome to Fairbrook and especially Nutcracker Court where almost all halls are decked out and almost everyone is jolly. You¿ll meet Carly Westbrook; divorced, hard-working Mother of two sons; Josh and Mikey, and is a hairstylist as well. She continually worries about making ends meet with her growing family and its mountain of bills. It seems like Carly just starts to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel when an emergency of some shape or description sets her back on her heels once again. The ¿Diamond Lils¿; a various-aged poker-playing group, are a merry mix of personalities. Lovely, Blonde Lynette, who is a well-off widow, wonders if she will ever be able to trust again like she did with her beloved Peter. Slightly dyslexic Susan, also a widow, prays for a relationship and a child and feels they are going unanswered¿and she can hear her biological clock ticking loudly. Rosa, who along with Husband, Carlos, are older than the rest and volunteer throughout their community and their church, but never quite take the time to ¿smell the roses¿ themselves. Last, but not least, there is Helen; who leaves Nutcracker Court and the Diamond Lils for awhile to enjoy a long-awaited cruise. Helen has left the care of her house in her Cousin ¿Maggie¿s¿ hands¿or has she?? Maggie has a way of understanding people¿s problems and feelings and dispensing advice. When the Diamond Lils disclose that they have saved up a tidy sum to go on a luxurious trip to a big poker tournament in Laughlin, Maggie has other ideas. You¿ll also be introduced to the two handsome bachelors of Nutcracker Court¿Max; who, is still stinging from his divorce, and has taken a leave of absence from his job with the county HR Dept. to follow his dream of writing his first novel while caring for the ¿always on the run¿ shaggy scamp of a dog; Hemingway. Across the street lives sandy-haired, self-employed, beach boy Grant; who is as mysterious to women as he is good looking. Through all of the trials and tribulations within everyday life plus the holidays fast approaching, one item is a constant in each life¿FAITH! If this book doesn¿t get you in the spirit for those special days ahead, I¿ll be surprised! Watch out for ¿kickers¿!! Thank-you Ms. Duarte--I¿ll be waiting for your next adventure in Fairbrook. Nancy Narma
The residents of Fairmont are getting ready for Christmas and some have more holiday spirit than the rest and some have much more to be thankful for than the rest ¿ take single mom and hairstylist Carly Westbrook who is more worried about keeping she and her two sons fed and under roof than Christmas buying. And now she has to worry about eccentric neighbor Max Tolliver who¿s dog keeps showing up to get her boys in trouble. The Diamond Lils are a group of poker playing girlfriends who are also about to find out what the real meaning of Christmas is all about and the real value of prayer too. But there¿s also Christmas magic in the air in this town and it seems that answering prayers and keeping the faith is something that these folks are going to see first hand. Judy Duarte gives us a touch of magic with this delightful holiday story based on faith and prayer and the power of both. Her plot is a simple one of everyday life, of hardships and plenty that is an easy read. She doesn¿t just give us larger than life characters but real everyday folks down on their luck and real life worries that most of us go through at one time or another. But what the real magic is, is how she tells her story, the smiles it will bring and sometimes the tears, and at the end how your heart will be lighter for reading it. She also gives us more than just a holiday tale but a life enriching journey that will take us into the depths of despair that doesn¿t dim faith but embraces it. It¿s also a love story, a family drama, and a contemporary work that will fill you with hope and light no matter what time of the year you read it. And most important it¿s timeless and ageless and can be enjoyed by every member of the family, young and old, male and female. Thank you Ms. Duarte for an enjoyable trip to your fascinating fictional town and Merry Christmas to you too.
As a thriller/suspense reader, this is a little out of my genre, however I have read one of Judy Duarte's books before and they are uplifting, spiritual and truly a luxury to read. Something can be learned from her books, the true love of one another, the power of faith and prayer and kindness, which in this day and age is much forgotten. Characters rich with flaws, faith and kindness learn about themselves and each other, the characters are well developed, work together well and devlop complex relationships throughout the book. This is a very fast read, that is truly worth reading. I loved it!!!