The Perfect Christmas [NOOK Book]

Overview

What would make your Christmas perfect?

For Cassie Beaumont, it's meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.

What's left? A professional matchmaker. He's Simon ...

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The Perfect Christmas

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Overview

What would make your Christmas perfect?

For Cassie Beaumont, it's meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.

What's left? A professional matchmaker. He's Simon Dodson, and he's very choosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a di[fb03] cult, acerbic know-it-all, and she's astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa's elf at a children's party and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all—and she's finally ready to meet her match.

But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With her biological clock ticking and not a decent match in sight as the holidays near, Cassie Beaumont bites the bullet and consults professional matchmaker Simon Dodson. Surprised when the arch and highly selective Simon takes her on, Cassie agrees to accomplish a series of holiday-related tasks before she meets John, her perfect mate. The only problem is, in the meantime, she falls for the one man who's completely off limits. VERDICT Sweet, funny, and steeped in Christmas cheer, this title helps two picky people find "perfection" and recognize it when they do. Pour the cocoa and enjoy! Macomber (92 Pacific Boulevard) lives in Port Orchard, WA.
From the Publisher
"A funny, touching tale . . . overflows with holiday warmth and puts a new twist on the classic Christmas letter." – Library Journal on Christmas Letters

"It's just not Christmas without a Debbie Macomber story and A Cedar Cove Christmas is no exception." – Armchair Interviews

"...another tale of romance in the lives of ordinary people, with a message that life is like a fruitcake: full of unexpected delights."
– Publishers Weekly on There's Something About Christmas

"Macomber spins another pure-from-the-heart romance giddy with love and warm laughter – a get-you-set-for-Christmas treat that's as yummy as divinity melting on the tongue." – Bookpage on The Snow Bride

"Once again author Debbie Macomber is back to offer readers a delightful seasonal story of friendship and love. ...destined to quickly become a Christmas favorite." – TIMES RECORD NEWS, Wichita Falls, TX on The Christmas Basket

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459215153
  • Publisher: MIRA
  • Publication date: 10/25/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 140,843
  • File size: 840 KB

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at DebbieMacomber.com.

Biography

Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "It cost $10 to mail it off," Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. "My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can't tell you what $10 was to us at that time."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with ContemporaryRomanceWriters.com. "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

"Who mails out Christmas cards before Thanksgiving?" Cassie Beaumont lamented to her best friend.

Angie Barber looked up from her microscope and seemed to take an extra moment to consider what Cassie had just said. "You got a Christmas card? Already?"

Cassie wheeled her chair back to her station. "Can you believe it?"

"Who from?"

"An old college friend. You wouldn't know her." Cassie shrugged. "Jill married Tom two weeks after we graduated."

"They have children?"

Cassie caught the wisp of longing in Angie's voice and answered with a nod. "Two, a boy and a girl, and of course they're adorable."

"Of course," Angie echoed.

The Christmas card photo showed the four of them in matching outfits of green and red. The mother and daughter wore full-length green dresses with red-and-green plaid skirts. Father and son had on three-piece suits with vests in the same fabric as the dress skirts. It was too adorable for words.

"There was a letter, as well."

"Everything in their lives is perfect, right?" Angie asked.

"Perfect in every way," Cassie grumbled. The unfairness of it all was too much. Jill, who worked as a financial planner, held down a forty-hour-a-week job, kept a meticulous house and still managed to be a terrific wife and mother. Despite all the demands on her time, she'd mailed out her Christmas cards a full month in advance.

"Is there a reason the perfect Jill sent her Christmas cards so soon?" Angie asked.

"Jill and Tom just moved into a new home and wanted to update family and friends with their address change. Oh, and there was a photo of the house and it was—"

"Perfect," Angie finished for her.

"Perfect doesn't begin to describe it."

Angie watched her closely. "Do I detect a slight note of envy?" she asked.

"Slight envy? Me?" Cassie asked, exaggerating the words. "Heavens, no. What you're hearing is a full-blown case of jealousy. The green-eyed monster is alive and well." Cassie rolled her chair to the end of a counter filled with an assortment of microscopes, test tubes, slides and other equipment, then stood, hands propped on her hips. "Do you realize how long it's been since I've been on a real date?"

"You went out with Greg last week," Angie reminded her.

"Greg isn't a man," Cassie blurted out. "I mean, he is, but not in the sense of someone I'm interested in," she said. "Greg's…completely unsuitable as marriage material." She didn't need to explain that, at thirty-four, the ticking of her biological clock got louder by the year.

Angie sighed. "I agree."

He was eligible in practically every way but he happened to be divorced and in love with his ex-wife. Unfortunately, he hadn't figured that out yet. The entire date, if it could even be called a date, was spent rehashing the tragedy of his divorce. He went on and on about how much he missed his three kids—and his ex-wife, if the number of times he mentioned her name was any indication. The night had been sheer drudgery for Cassie. It was her first and last date with Greg.

"The problem is, we don't meet many guys here at work," Angie said. Cassie was well aware of that. Since they were holed up in a lab eight to ten hours a day, working as biochemists for a plastics company, the opportunities to socialize outside the job were limited.

"What really hit home," Cassie said, "after receiving that Christmas card, is how badly I want a family of my own."

"I know." The longing was back in Angie's voice, too. "I don't understand why it's so hard to meet men. I'm reasonably attractive, right?"

Angie nodded enthusiastically. "Yes." "Thirty-four isn't so old, is it?" "Not really."

Cassie shook her head and wondered why she was still single. She wanted to be married, and she liked to think she had the full package—five-five, dark hair, dark eyes. She was attractive, as Angie had confirmed, and she was smart, with a successful career, an engaging personality (if she did say so herself) and plenty of friends. "I blame my mother for this."

"Your mother?"

"I blame my father, too, even if he didn't stick around all that long."

"Or maybe because he didn't stick around."

"Yeah, I guess. After the divorce, my mother was so down on marriage, the whole idea terrified me."

"But it doesn't anymore, does it?"

"No. I want a husband and I'd really like children." She grinned. "The ironic thing is, my mother's remarried."

"Marriage seems to terrify your brother, too. Shawn should be married by now, don't you think? He's older than you are."

"I'm not so sure about Shawn." Cassie sometimes wondered if Angie might be interested in her brother. There was actually nothing to indicate that, but every once in a while Cassie had this feeling…. "He travels so much that maintaining a long-term relationship would be difficult for him." "True," Angie said.

Shawn was a well-known artist who painted murals all over the country. Brother and sister were close and kept in touch, calling each other two or three times a week. Currently Shawn was in Boca Raton, Florida, painting the side of a building that stood next to the freeway. He'd sent her photos of the mural from his cell phone—an ocean scene, which Cassie knew was his favorite. Whales rising up out of the crashing waves. Dolphins and sea turtles and all kinds of fish frolicked in the sparkling blue water. His murals made headlines wherever he went and huge crowds showed up to watch him paint.

"Shawn's a different case," Cassie said. In her opinion, that summed up the situation pretty accurately.

"But if you were married, I bet he'd show some interest in finding a wife," Angie commented.

Cassie had never thought of their family dynamic in those terms. Perhaps, in some obscure way, Shawn was waiting for her to make the leap first. Angie might be right. It wasn't that Shawn followed her lead—far from it. They'd both been traumatized by the divorce and by their mother's reaction. Their father, who wanted his kids to call him Pete, had been in and out of their lives. Mostly out and yet…yet he'd had a powerful influence on his children, whom he rarely recognized as such.

"Shawn won't feel marriage is safe until he sees you happily married," Angie went on to say.

Cassie scowled at her friend. "What makes you so smart?"

"Just an observation," Angie said. "I may not be correct, but it seems to me that you and Shawn are afraid of love."

"Me afraid of love? Hardly." Not if the longing in her heart was anything to go by. Like her friend Jill, she wanted it all.

"Whenever you meet a man—no matter how perfect he is—you find fault with him," Angie said.

Now, that was categorically untrue. "Not so," Cassie argued.

"Oh, it's all wine and roses in the beginning, but then it's over before you even have a chance to really know the guy."

"How can you say that?"

"Well, mostly," Angie told her softly, "I can say it because I've seen you do it again and again."

"You're not talking about me and Jess, are you? The man had no class. He scratched his private parts in public!"

"Not Jess."

"Who do you mean, then?"

"Rod."

Cassie cocked her head. "Rod? Rod who?"

"I don't remember his last name. You went out with him a year ago."

"Not Rod Showers? Good grief, he was so cheap I had to pay for my half of the meal and tip the valet because he refused to do it."

"What about Charles…"

Cassie got the point quickly enough. "Okay, okay, so I have standards." "High standards."

"Okay, fine. High standards." Cassie had made the effort, though. "I've tried to meet men."

"We both have."

"I had hopes for that online dating service." The advertisements had looked so promising. Cassie and Angie had signed up together and then waited expectantly to meet their perfect matches.

It didn't happen.

"I had real hopes for that, too," Angie returned sadly. "I thought for sure we'd meet really wonderful husbands."

Cassie sighed. That had been an expensive venture. Her expectations had been great and her disappointment greater. Angie's, too. In fact, Angie was the one who'd suggested trying the Internet.

"The church singles group was a good idea," she said now.

"A great idea," Cassie concurred, "if there'd been any men involved." They'd gone there to discover the group consisted of thirty women and two men—both close to retirement age.

Angie nodded. "The pickings were few and far between."

"We've read all the right books," Cassie said. "Dating for Dummies. How to Find a Man in Five Easy Lessons. My personal favorite was Lasso Yourself a Husband and Other Ways to Make a Man Notice You'"

"The only thing we managed to lasso was a hundred-dollar credit-card bill for all those books."

"Divided two ways," Cassie reminded her.

"They did make for interesting reading."

"They would've been a lot more interesting if we'd been able to make any of them work," Cassie said in acerbic tones.

"Yeah…"

"We've tried everything."

"I'm not giving up," Angie insisted. "And I won't let you give up, either." Cassie sighed.

She was close to it. The Christmas card from Jill and Tom was the final straw. For too long she'd been convinced that one day soon, she'd be mailing glossy Christmas cards to all her friends and relatives. She, too, would have a photograph that showed the perfect husband, the perfect children, a boy and a girl, all looking forward to the perfect Christmas. But year after year it was the same. No husband. No children. And each Christmas with her embittered mother more depressing than the one before.

The time had come to step forward and find a man, she decided with new resolve. Maybe she did need to lower her standards. She couldn't allow another Christmas to pass without—

"There's something, or rather someone, you haven't tried," Angie said, cutting into Cassie's thoughts.

Cassie perked up. "Oh?"

Angie grew strangely quiet.

Cassie frowned. "Don't hold out on me now, Angie."

"He's expensive."

"How expensive? No, wait, don't tell me." She paused. "Who is this he?"

"A matchmaker."

"A matchmaker," Cassie repeated slowly. "I didn't know there was such a thing in this day and age."

"There is." Angie avoided eye contact. "In fact, more and more people are turning to professional matchmakers. It works, too—most of the time."

"Now tell me how expensive he is."

"Thirty thousand dollars."

"What?"

"You heard me—and apparently he's worth it." "And you know about him because…" Cassie let the question hang between them. "Because I went to him."

Cassie slapped her hands against her sides. "Clearly you wasted your money." "It didn't cost me a dime."

"And why is that?"

Angie's gaze darted in every direction except Cassie's. "He wouldn't accept me as a client."

"He rejected you?" The man was nuts! Angie was lovely and smart and a thousand other adjectives that flew through her mind. "What's wrong with this guy, anyway?"

"He was right… I'm not a good candidate and I would've been wasting my money."

"Why didn't you tell me about him before?"

"I…I didn't want anyone to know I'd been turned down."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 925 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(298)

4 Star

(270)

3 Star

(193)

2 Star

(86)

1 Star

(78)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 929 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    Debbie Macomber has written another excellent story. would totally recommend.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Heartwarming

    Heartwarming and hard to put down. My second fav book by D.Macomber

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Grinch Who Offered the Perfect Christmas!

    Cassie Beaumont receives a Christmas card that at first devastates her and then becomes her inspiration! The card is a photo of a friend with a perfect husband and perfect child, a happy marital celebration of good luck and blessings. Cassie at thirty-three years of age knows her biological clock is ticking very close to the time when such perfection is totally beyond her reach. Anticipating sending a holiday card to her friends which again reveals her unmarried, lonely status is totally unsatisfactory, so Cassie does something totally outrageous and unthinkable to most women! She visits a professional matchmaker who for $30,000 guarantees her that perfect spouse and hopefully a future with a perfect child she envisions constantly. Only Simon Dodson, a psychologist who is supposedly very, very good at his job, is one of the most difficult men she has ever met. He's terse, snide and almost dictatorial in his comments. It's almost as if he has no heart!

    Cassie and Simon duke it out with questions and almost no answers on his part in order for her to attain her now possibly attainable goal. He sets her three tasks which she must complete before Christmas. Those jobs or challenges present a wild blend of hilarity, chaos and heart-stirring tender moments that are sure to delight any thinking and feeling reader.

    While this is going on, her best friend seems to have struck up a secret relationship which she won't divulge to Cassie until the time is right. As Christmas Day is rapidly approaching, Cassie has a stunning realization which changes everything and yet initially changes nothing.

    Debbie Macomber writes truly breathtaking, interesting and heart-warming stories that are sheer delight to relish. A Perfect Christmas will not disappoint her fans and will certainly add more to the list who love this author who knows how to pen a true celebration of real, romantic love!

    Wonderful!

    Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on August 9, 2009

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Nice Story

    I read this book in one night. I was waiting for the inevitable to happen, and just couldn't put it down. Feel good story.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Heartwarming

    I absolutely adored this book...and had a feeling about it from the get-go. There are few surprises, and moments where tasks the character had to complete made you think "what the crap?!" and other moments where you feel like crying (like when she talks about her dad and grandpa). When I started reading the book, I could not put it down, and when I finished reading, I had to say "awwww!" So if you love a heartwarming, romantic story with humor, you would like this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

    A Must Read

    Because of this book I have fell in love with this author. This book is an absolute a must read. After the first page you can't put the book down. Get nice and cozy under your covers and plan to stay to the very end.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2012

    If you're looking for a great holiday read, look no further! Gr

    If you're looking for a great holiday read, look no further! Great story! Debbie Macomber has a true talent for stories of this nature-you always leave the story feeling happy and cheerful.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Great Book- Highly Recommended

    This was the first book I have read by Debbie MaComber but it will not be the last. She included humor, romance, suspense, everything you need in a good book you can't help but enjoy this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Very disappointing.

    Bought this title because I had enjoyed her "Call Me Mrs. Mircle", but this was a clear disappointment. Boring story and uninteresting additional materials to make the book larger.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Numer of pages/words deceiving.

    Story ok but very short. Lots of recipes etc. in the last 90+ pages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    A very good Holiday read

    Always enjoy reading a book like Debbie Macomber's for the Christmas Holidays

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Enjoyable but predictable

    Enjoyable Christmas story but extremely cheesy and predictable. If you want to have an active and engaged mind while you read this book is not for you. I'm glad it was only $1

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber Cathy has decided to u


    The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
    Cathy has decided to use a professsional matchmaker as she's had no luck on her own or her girlfriends blind dates.
    Simon is the professional psychologist that has a dating service as well.
    He's told her she needs to do a few tasks first then she will meet Mr. Right-John.
    She's a bell ringer around the Christmas holidays near a store and finds some good people out there and some not so good people that left money for the pot.
    Her next task is to fly in to meet Santa from up above the ceiling then help him with picture taking sessions.
    Next task is to put on a dinner for her neighbors.
    These are very trying tasks and things don't go just right but Simon is there to pick up the pieces.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Great read

    Great read! Couldn't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Wonderful Christmas Read

    I very much enjoyed this book, was a wonderful Christmas read! It really got me into the Christmas spirit!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great read

    Couldn't put the book down

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Just okay

    This was a cute story and I loved the characters. But, it was predictable and too short. I normally love her books but this one left me wanting more for the money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Disappointing!

    Waste of money. Half the book was recipes and tidbits on how to enjoy the holidays.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    Divide purchases if you can to get quickly and not have to wait for book's release!

    wouldn't know as haven't received it yet as something in my order wasn't yet released or ready to ship, so still waiting.

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    the perfect christmas

    Great book, I really enjoyed the love stories. The book was a easy read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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