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Christmas, Actually: The Christmas Gift\The Christmas Wish\The Christmas Date
     

Christmas, Actually: The Christmas Gift\The Christmas Wish\The Christmas Date

4.8 15
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, Melinda Curtis
 

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine! 

Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him. 

Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again. 

Gina

Overview

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine! 

Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him. 

Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again. 

Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she's in for the surprise of a lifetime!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460342565
Publisher:
Harlequin Heartwarming
Publication date:
11/01/2014
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
353,352
File size:
341 KB

Read an Excerpt

Snowflakes hit the windshield and splayed into star shapes while Bing Crosby crooned his dreams of a white Christmas. Sophie Palmer tried to sing along, but her mind was already racing up the icy interstate to Christmas Town, Maine, where the father of her unborn child now lived.

That Charlie Brown Christmas song came next, with talk of happiness and cheer and families drawing near. Sophie stared at the road, as frozen as the world she was driving into. The closer to Christmas Town she got, the more humiliated she felt.

But she wasn't going to ask Jack Banning to love her again. He'd rejected her and their child—love wasn't a possibility.

She dropped one hand to her slightly rounded belly. "You deserve better. You deserve the chance to have a father, if he can remember he's a decent man."

Overhead, a sign warned that the exit for Christmas Town was a quarter mile ahead.

Time to embark on possibly the most foolish fool's errand of all time.

She veered off at the exit, pausing to yield, and then turned onto a two-lane road bounded by primeval forest.

Another car was coming toward her, but it shimmied in its lane, as if the driver was asleep. Sophie slid her foot to the brake and lowered her speed, edging to the right, but the other car seemed to follow. It crossed the line. And sped up.

Sophie slapped at the steering wheel to find the horn. She hugged the edge of the road, screaming at the oncoming driver as she tried to stay out of the ditch.

Time yawned as the driver's face came into focus. A young woman—looking up from her phone. Her face screwed up in horror, and Sophie realized she would see that woman's expression in nightmares for the rest of her life.

The little blue car swung away, rocking, but then skidded back as the driver tried to steady it.

In the time it took to gasp, Sophie hoped they would have a near miss. Then the back of the girl's car smacked the front of hers, and they spun away from each other.

That quickly, it was over, and Sophie found herself staring up at snow-covered trees. While the clash of metal echoed in her ears, Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" made the silence surreal. Sophie whipped off her seat belt and splayed her hands across her stomach.

Nothing. She felt nothing.

At eighteen weeks, she might not. The baby was small. She still had plenty of cushion. Her unborn daughter might be okay. Everything might be okay.

Sophie looked back at the other car.

Everything was not okay.

The girl's vehicle was on its side in a spray of snow. The teen lay on her back, spilled onto the road, denim-covered legs out straight, hair splayed across the car's skid marks.

Sophie tried to open her door, but it wouldn't budge. She shoved as hard as she could and then tried the other side, which also refused to open.

The window.

She tugged at the bottom of her coat until she could pull it over her head, and then leaned against the console and kicked the driver's window with all her strength. Two kicks and it crashed through, hanging on to the door by a corner, all in one jagged-edged piece.

Sophie slithered through, careful to avoid the glass, and hit the ground, taking her weight on her hands. Pain shot through her wrists to her fingers and up her arms. Ignoring it, she leaned back inside for her phone, tucked away in the console.

Punching 911, she ran the thirty-forty steps to kneel beside the young woman.

"Christmas County Emergency Services. How may I—"

"I'm putting you on speaker." Sophie tossed her coat over the girl's torso. "I've just been in a car accident. We're east of the Christmas Town exit, not even a mile. I have a female in her late teens, ejected from her vehicle, probable broken arm. Unconscious. Probable broken right leg. She's got a gash on the head, just beneath her temple. Thready pulse."

"What's your name, ma'am?"

"Sophie Palmer. I'm easing her arm out from under her body—"

"Don't move her, Sophie."

"I'm an E.R. trauma nurse. I think she's lacerated an artery." Sophie recognized her own growing shock in the wave of nausea that surged through her as she assessed the gaping wound on the young woman's upper arm. She whipped off her cotton shirt and tore it with adrenaline-fueled strength. "I'm applying a tourniquet," she said, shivering in her tank top.

"We're sending a helicopter," the operator said. "Is she breathing?"

"Yes. Low and fast." Drops of blood had appeared on the teen's chin. "She has a— Oh." It wasn't the girl's blood. Sophie didn't dare stop winding the shirt to check her own injury.

No pain in her abdomen. My baby girl. Eighteen weeks. Plenty of cushion.

"Are you hurt?"

"Some pain in my wrists, and I have a laceration somewhere on my head or face. I'm eighteen weeks pregnant, but I don't think I'm bleeding, and I have no abdominal pain. Please hurry."

"They're lifting off. Shouldn't be more than five minutes."

The girl struggled as if she were trying to breathe, and then—nothing. Sophie felt for a pulse with shaking fingers. "She's stopped breathing. I'm starting CPR."

She began compressions, while her wrists screamed for her to stop. The operator's voice went on in the background, but Sophie barely heard.

This girl had left some other mom's home this morning, with her whole life just waiting to be lived. She'd be going back if sheer force could make her breathe again.

Tears leaked from Sophie's eyes.

A new sound made her want to look up. The whir of blades. So many times Sophie had waited on the landing pad in Boston, but today would be different. Her own baby and this girl were both going to live.

Chaos descended. The helicopter landed close enough to lift her hair and the teen's. Papers fluttered past. One, titled "Biology," imprinted itself on Sophie's eyes. The girl's Christmas break assignment.

Feet appeared around them. One crushed her phone on the road. A pair of legs in dark blue uniform pants eased her out of the way.

Someone else helped her stand, but she felt as fluid as water. The EMT supported her when she began slipping back to the ground.

"Are you in pain?" He looked younger than the girl she'd been helping.

"A little in my wrists but I don't think they're even sprained."

He tilted her chin up with his finger and then pushed her hair out of the way. "You have a small laceration." Producing an alcohol wipe, he cleaned it.

A nurse in a flight suit applied a cervical collar to the patient, while the first EMT was still doing compressions. Sophie watched his hands, stronger than hers.

Sophie slid her arms around her stomach. "I'm pregnant," she said. "Eighteen weeks."

The EMT helped her to sit down on the road, out of the way of the others.

The man's colleague, still working on the girl, looked back. "I have a pulse. Let's get her in the chopper." He helped the others strap their patient to a backboard.

Sophie's EMT touched her arm. "An ambulance is on the way for you. She'll be fine. Are you bleeding?"

Sophie shivered as the cold cut into her. "I don't think so."

"How hard did you strike your head?"

"I'm not sure."

"We'll check for concussion at the hospital. For now, follow my finger." She did. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-five."

"Where do you live?" he asked. "Street address?"

"Nine-ten East Portland Street in Boston."

"Good enough. Can we call your husband? I think I stepped on your phone."

Jack's face, expressionless, flashed in front of her. She tried to breathe. "No husband. No one to call." She stared across the road at the pieces of glass and plastic and a hot-pink phone cover, instead of looking into her own thoughts.

With any luck, Jack wouldn't be on duty today.

CHAPTER TWO

Jack Banning met the chopper, where the patient had gone into arrest for the second time from loss of blood. After the crew resuscitated her, he took a report from the flight's RN. Running beside his patient's gurney toward the E.R. entrance, he was forced to veer out of the way of an incoming ambulance.

When the doors opened, he saw Sophie.

It wasn't really her, of course. Since he'd left Boston, Jack had seen her face everywhere he went. Guilt, he figured.

Not that guilt would change his mind.

Sophie would have to accept his financial assistance and hope a better man came into her life.

Jack looked back at his patient, assessing on the fly. He couldn't help glancing at the ambulance.

It was still Sophie.

Staring at him, white with shock, blank. Nausea hit him so hard he was almost sick on the cement. He took deep breaths that didn't provide nearly enough oxygen.

Was she hurt? And her baby… He didn't let himself think of the child. Another doctor would take care of Sophie and the—her—baby. What was she doing here?

"Dr. Banning." The trauma nurse assigned to his team spoke his name. No one ever had to focus him, and she sounded alarmed.

Sophie had come after him when he'd rejected her and the baby—it was completely out of character. He pushed thoughts of her aside, clearing his mind and hardening his heart.

Emotionless, capable, in charge, he knew what to do next.

"O.R. Two is waiting for us."

"Your baby looks great." Dr. Everly glanced up from the ultrasound, where Sophie's unborn daughter appeared to be practicing for a future in Olympic diving. "Your blood pressure and pulse are a little elevated."

"Natural, considering I was just in an accident."

"And you're bruised. I'd like you to stick around town for a few days. Were you headed home for the holidays?"

Relief helped to calm Sophie. Dr. Everly wasn't worried about the baby if she was going to let her leave the hospital. "I'm visiting."

Sophie tried to wipe away the tears she couldn't hold back. Who knew if they were tears of joy or sadness? All this time, she'd been stunned at Jack's sudden exit from her life. She'd been unable to believe the man who worked miracles in the operating room could be so cold to a woman he'd professed to love, who'd loved him.

"Stop worrying." The doctor squeezed her shoulder. "I wouldn't lie to you, and someone told me you're an E.R. nurse. You'd know if you were in trouble."

"I'm happy." Happy didn't exactly describe everything she was feeling. She pulled the sheet up to her chin. The doctor whisked a tissue out of a box on the counter and passed it to her before reaching for the switch on the ultrasound machine. Sophie caught her wrist. "Could I listen for a few more minutes?"

"No problem. Where are you staying?"

"I have a reservation at a B and B. Esther's House?"

"Esther is an old friend of mine. She'll send someone to pick you up." The doctor began inputting notes on her tablet at the counter. "Is your car drivable?"

Shrugging, Sophie discovered her muscles were as tender as if she'd thrown herself into a blender. "I don't even know what happened to it. An EMT told me the tow truck driver would be in touch with a bill."

Dr. Everly smiled ruefully. "My brother-in-law owns a body shop. I'll see if they towed it to him. They might have impounded it, but impound at the police station consists of the two farthest spaces in their lot." She made a note on the palm of her hand with her pen, but then looked up. "I'll ask him to let you know if he has the car."

After a quick grasp of Sophie's hand, she went to the door. "I'll call Esther's to check in with you later tonight. Unless you'd rather stay in one of our fine rooms?"

"Not a chance." Forcing a smile, when she was still fighting the urge to cry, Sophie swallowed hard. Naturally, she was emotional. Her baby had survived that crash. Sophie was a walking cesspool of hormones, and the man she'd been driving for hours to see had just looked at her as if they'd never met.

A fatherless daughter herself, she'd believed her child had a right to know her dad. Maybe she'd been mistaken.

"Why don't you get dressed?" Dr. Everly suggested. "Esther's car will be here by the time we discharge you."

"Thank you, Dr. Everly."

"Georgette. And that young lady in surgery should be thanking you. Word around the landing pad is you saved her life."

Jack's sharp features swam in front of Sophie's eyes. Thank goodness the ultrasound only measured the baby's heartbeat.

She pulled herself together. Coming here might have been an impulse she'd live to regret, but she could leave at any time. "My shirt got torn." She plucked at the neck of her borrowed scrub top. "Do you think I can wear this out of here? I'll wash it and return it after I get home."

"No problem. I'm sure you can keep it." The other woman opened the door, but then turned back. "Sophie, do you have anything else on your mind?"

She pressed her palms to her stomach, ignoring the slight tenderness in her wrists as she took consolation from the rapid heartbeat echoing in the small room. "No."

"Call me if you have any problems. I'll have your nurse put my cell number on your discharge instructions."

Tessie's surgery was a success. No problems. Nothing unexpected. Jack explained to her parents that their daughter would live to celebrate many more Christ-mases if they confiscated her phone. They went to see her, and he was left alone. Taking a deep breath, he tried to figure out what to do about Sophie.

Coming out of that ambulance wrapped in a blanket, she'd been pale with terror. The physician who'd taken oaths to help the sick and injured wanted to go to her.

The man, who knew what he had to do, didn't want to get near her. She was the last person Jack had expected. Proud and strong and self-contained, Sophie would never chase a man who'd rejected her.

So what was she doing here?

He went back to the E.R. and checked the board to see if she was listed as a patient. Oddly, in the computer age, Christmas Town's hospital still used a whiteboard. It was large, easy to read, easy to update.

He found the palest outline of "Sop" where someone hadn't completely erased her name after she was discharged. The pregnancy meant that Georgette Everly would have been her attending…unless Sophie had come to Maine to tell him she'd lost the baby.

She could have lost the baby in the accident.

Georgette opened the door of a treatment room almost directly across from where he stood at the nurses' station. With her eyes on her tablet, she was already moving on to the next room.

Jack headed for the doctors' lounge.

He showered and dressed in jeans and a blue button-down shirt, then grabbed his coat from his locker before heading for the E.R. exit.

Georgette was leaning on one elbow at the nurses' station, making notes. She looked up with a smile. "I heard your surgery went well."

In no small part because Sophie had treated the girl while she was still lying on the road.

"Tessie Blaylock's fine." Jack should walk on. He should make sure he knew nothing about Sophie or the child. He didn't want to ask, but the words came out of his mouth. "How's your patient?"

"She's good. Eighteen weeks pregnant, and the baby has a strong heartbeat. Lots of movement. Lucky for Tessie, she hit an E.R. nurse with trauma experience."

"Are you keeping her overnight?"

"She's staying at Esther's House. I called to have someone look in on her before bedtime, but I'll phone her, too."

Meet the Author

Anna Adams wrote her first romance in wet sand. The Atlantic Ocean washed it away, but Anna kept going. Her stories are of love, like the proverbial stone in a lake, making ripples that spread and contract and involve.  From Iceland to Hawaii, and points in between, Anna and her own hero share with children and family and friends who’ve become family.  All this living and loving gives Anna plenty of fodder for stories of love set in real life. Come along and live them with her!

USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating sweet to sexy pulse-pounding romances for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural addiction and an overly affectionate cat named Snickers.


Melinda grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing "what if" games that led her to become an author.  She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say "He made her heart pound."  That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentall ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.

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Christmas, Actually: The Christmas Gift\The Christmas Wish\The Christmas Date 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved all three of the heartwarming stories by the authors. They embodied the true Harlequin romantic tradition including family, community, etc. I look forward to more like these. LA-TXN
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This was a really great series about a small town named Christmas Town!  The Christmas spirit is alive and kicking here, but there are a few residents that might need a little romance to keep their season jolly. The Banning family is about to find their true loves in some fairly unlikely places. Callie's story (the second one) was my favorite of the bunch.  It was full of emotion and I'm always a sucker for a cute little kid.  This one was also a true Christmas miracle as the said cute little kid had given up on Christmas and family.  The ending had me full of misty eyes and smiles and laughs. Jack's story had some interesting twists and turns to it.  There was a history to Jack that was very unexpected and heart wrenching.  I'm so glad that no one gave up on him and he was dragged (practically kicking and screaming) to where he needed to be to move and put his past to rest. Gina's story was just a lot of fun.  She was my favorite character overall, and had an amazing personality - and some serious insecurities to go along with it.  When all was said and done, the entire family had a beautiful surprise and quite the merry Christmas.
emilyk52281 More than 1 year ago
'Christmas, Actually' (The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams, The Christmas Wish by Anna Stewart, and The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis). This is a great collection of Christmas romances. I loved reading about the Banning's siblings and everyone in Christmas Town, Maine. I had never read anything by either of the Anna's before and was already a fan of Melinda. After reading this collection, I am now a fan of all three of these authors. Highly recommend this collection to everyone that loves a great Christmas romance.
UndercoverBookReviews More than 1 year ago
~Received For An Honest Review~ Three stories in one book, a great way to start the Christmas season off! Anna Adams takes you on three separate journeys in the life of Jack, Callie, and Gina as each tells their own story. The plot is good in each one. Emotions will run a little off balance with each story. But none the less, they are all amazing reads!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christmas Actually was a great read. It was the kind of book that made me smile and keep coming back for more. When I began the book, I was a little surprised about the tone of the first story, The Christmas Gift. It was a good story but I felt as though the author spent a lot of time making Jack be mean to Sophie and not enough time redeeming him. The ending felt rushed and I didn't buy into the reason for Jack's behavior. The Christmas Wish was my absolute favorite of the three stories. I loved Callie and Dean! They had me rooting for them right off the bat. Novellas sometimes have a hard time convincing me that a couple who has never met before can fall in love in less than 100 pages. Anna J Stewart pulled this off magnificently and left me wanting to read more from her. It was just a light-hearted, fast, and fun read and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The final book was The Christmas Date. This story was also very good. Melinda Curtis did a nice job of wrapping up the three stories and I really enjoyed Gina and Nick's journey. I will definitely be looking for more books by these authors! Great job, ladies.
DaliCastillo More than 1 year ago
Three Great Stories! Christmas, Actually is a very enjoyable book made up of three stories. The stories focus on the loves of the three Banning siblings. Story 1, The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams - about Jack Banning and Sophie Story 2, The Christmas Wish by Anna J Stewart - about Callie Banning and Dean Story 3, The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis - about Nick Banning and Gina Each story takes place in Christmas Town, Maine, and each one tells a lovely, sweet and tender love story entwined with the hopes and dreams and miracles that go hand in hand with the Christmas season. The authors have woven beautiful love stories about people that aren't perfect, people that are fighting with their issues, but also people that are touched and changed by love. Each author also paints a picture of a lovely town that takes it's namesake, Christmas, very seriously. The descriptions draw the reader in and the visuals that the authors create add that much more to each story. Christmas, Actually is a great collaboration by three authors where each has created a beautiful love story that complements the other two. Three great stories that won't disappoint! ***I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
jboehmke More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This was a great anthology. I love books that are connected and I am especially impressed when the connected books are written by different authors. This was a wonderfully heartwarming collection about the Banning siblings that definitely helped me start getting into the Christmas spirit. The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams This is Jack Banning's story. Jack is the father of Sophia's unborn baby and although he said he will support her financially he doesn't want to be a part of the baby's life. He came off as really gruff and abrupt with Sophie, but as the story progressed you learn his reasons for it and it definitely changed my opinion of him. The Christmas Wish by Anna J Stewart This is Callie Banning's story. She is a teacher who has a difficult student in her class. Eliza is determined to ruin Christmas for everyone because she hates the holiday. Callie works with Eliza's dad, Dean, to try to help Eliza and figure out what is causing her feelings. At the same time Dean is helping Callie because she is always being pulled in so many directions by townsfolk who want her help all the time. The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis This is Nick's story. He is the youngest Banning sibling and the town handyman. Nick has liked Gina for a long time, but Gina has very low self confidence due to a scar left behind by an accident. Nick is determined to help her see past the scar and love herself again. I loved how hard Nick worked to get Gina to believe in herself and her inner beauty again.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I loved this novella anthology! Christmas stories are among my very favorites and I was delighted to open the pages of Christmas, Actually and “discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!” I enjoyed each of the three Banning siblings and their respective stories of life and love. The authors did a fantastic job of weaving these stories together! I loved the enchantment of Christmas Town and its residents. Full of heartwarming romance, Christmas, Actually is a perfect read for the holiday season! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors. All thoughts expressed are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Christmas, Actually was a very enjoyable, sweet collection of three connected novellas. I enjoyed all three stories, and love that they cover the romances of the three Banning siblings. The characters felt realistic and the stories did not feel rushed to me. I enjoyed all three stories and don’t think I can choose a favorite! I felt frustrated with Jack Banning in the first story, even though I grew to understand why he was behaving the way he was. Sophie had to be so strong for herself and their unborn child. Her perseverance was admirable, and I still liked Jack, even though he was being difficult. Callie Banning was such a likeable character in the second story and I loved the way she dealt with her student who was an emotionally traumatized little girl. I loved the connection that began almost immediately between Callie and Dean, the little girl’s father. But, knowing that Dean and his daughter would soon be moving on from Christmas Town added some tension to their growing attraction. In the third story, Nick Banning pursues Gina, who feels very self-conscious about the scar that runs along the side of her face. He has been interested in her for quite awhile, but unable to make her realize that he is attracted to her as more than a friend. But, when she learns of his deception with an online dating site, the question is whether she will be able to forgive and trust him. These stories are part of Harlequin’s Heartwarming series. They are not inspirational fiction, however, they are completely clean reads. These were great stories that I really had a good time reading. My thanks to the authors for the complimentary copy I received of this novella collection. The thoughts and opinions stated in this review are my own.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
I loved this Christmas Anthology. The stories of the Banning siblings and how they found their forever love during the holiday season was magical. Christmas Town Maine provided the perfect background. The citizens of this town are charming. They are filled with the spirit of Christmas. These entwined stories touched my heart. I loved all three novels. These books have everything that I want in a romance - love, laughter and joy. The characters are well written and I could relate to their hopes and fears. I found this was a perfect Christmas treat.
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, wonderful story about a small town called Christmas Town, Maine! Three different authors wrote 3 different stories but they all come together seamlessly and allow the reader to move from one story to another. Wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. Bravo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore anthologies written about one town where each author has a story about a family member.  This one about three siblings is no exception.  I smiled as soon as I realized the connection between these three novellas.  Jack Banning, a trauma surgeon, Callie Banning, a second grade teacher, and Nick Banning, the town handyman, all stay extremely busy with their jobs and because they never say no to anyone who asks for help.  Each of them have their own story in charming Christmas Town, Maine. The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams, with Jack Banning not wanting anything to do with fatherhood, promises Sophia Palmer that he will support his unborn daughter financially, but refuses to be a part of their life.  Sophie, 18 weeks pregnant, drives from Boston to Christmas Town to confront him and to seek answers as to why he won't be a part of their lives, as their relationship was strong for two years when both were in Boston. In The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart, Callie Banning, a caring second grade teacher, is concerned about one of her students,  Eliza, who tries to ruin anything that has to do with Christmas.  Dean Galloway, Eliza's father, had just moved to Christmas Town five weeks prior in their RV, to complete a photographic feature for U.S. Travelers Monthly.  They both live on wheels and don't stay anywhere for very long.  Callie approaches Dean about his daughter, and together, they try to find answers as to why Eliza rebels against Christmas.  I adored this first writing by this author. The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis, is a novella about Nick Banning, who has always been interested in Gina Vernay, but has never found a way to be noticed as more than a friend.  His young son, Adam, who is also a classmate of Eliza, is a wonderful, joyful boy, even though his parents are divorced.  Gina owns and runs The Tea Pot, a delightful bakery where her Aunt Martha still works, but who turned the reins over to Gina.  Gina was injured as a child and has a noticeable scar on her face from her temple down to her jawline.  She has been self-conscious about it all her life, and believes she will never find true love.  Nick tries to reach out to her by pretending to be someone else on an online dating site.  Since they have already been friends, he attempts to build on that by helping her look past her scar and to gain confidence for the future. I loved this delightful Christmas anthology.  You will leave Christmas Town with a smile on your face, and it's a great way to start the season.
WinnieL More than 1 year ago
This is a really great anthology - heartwarming, romantic, humorous, sweet. What's more, because the stories are based on three siblings and all set in Christmas Town, it is like really a trilogy at one go. I've read books by Melinda Curtis and I think she is great at sweet romance. I've never read any books by the other two authors (both Anna) and I think they make a great sweet romance author too. The Christmas Gift This story started the anthology and it was a great start. Jack is the type of wounded hero you would love to read about - a man who is caring and goes all out to help others but turns away his unborn child? What sort of reason could turn such a man from his unborn child? Sophie is also the heroine that everyone would love to read about. Staying strong when the man she loves turns away from her and her unborn child, wanting the best for her unborn child so she tracks Jack down to understand the reason. The Christmas Wish I loved this story. There were certain parts of the story that were really magical e.g. why Dean would end by at Christmas Town. I love how Callie interacted with Eliza and really understood her. This story is about learning to love again and it is sweet and romantic. The Christmas Date Many times, we read about wounded heroes but in this story, we have a wounded heroine. Gina was injured when she was young, leaving a scar on her face. Her scar has given her a low self esteem as she was passed up for promotion several times because of that and she can't stand the pitying looks that people give to her. Nick is one of the heroes women would swoon over. He loves Gina for what she is and he thinks that the scar defines her. He feels that she is beautiful and works hard to let her know how he feels for her. I also loved how Adam  (Nick's son) was included in the story. The only thing I would have loved better if there was a bit more connection between the siblings in the stories.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Excellent holiday read! This is a compilation of three sweet romances set in the perfect small town location of Christmas Town. The three Banning siblings are back in Christmas Town and each of these stories tell the story of each sibling. The events are occurring simultaneously and these three authors have done a masterful job of meshing the stories together seamlessly. Each is well written and helps remind us of the magic of Christmas. I recommend everyone puts this on their holiday reading list.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK! What a fun way to usher in the holidays! Three sweet stories of siblings finding love in Christmas Town! I wanted to live in that town too! THE CHRISTMAS GIFT The first story grabs you right away as it begins with a car accident in progress! Trauma Nurse, Sophie is pregnant and as she exits the freeway, she sees a car being driven by a teenager coming right for her! She can't avoid getting hit. Thankfully, she's not hurt too badly but the teen is and she's able to keep her alive until the ambulance can get there. Sophie has to go to the hospital, of course, to get checked out and she knows she is going to run into Jack Banning, her baby's father. This is the reason she came to Christmas Town. She hopes she can convince him to want to be involved in the baby's life. He has already told her he doesn't and she just doesn't understand it. At first I couldn't understand Jack's abrupt demeanor with Sophie and his insistence that he never wanted to see the baby or be a part of her life. As the story goes along and you find out the reason, it melts your heart. Sophie does a good job of bringing it out of him and then loving him anyway! THE CHRISTMAS WISH The next story is about Jack's sister, Callie Banning. She is an elementary school teacher and has a student named Eliza in her class. She is causing problems so Callie must consult with her father, Dean. Dean and Eliza are only in Christmas Town on a temporary basis due to his work assignment. The wife/mother has died so Dean takes temporary assignments all over the country. Eliza hates Christmas so she tries to ruin it for other people too. Callie seems to be the only person that has ever stopped to help Dean figure out why. Callie is also trying to help SO many townspeople with things because her mother did this and she's out of town. Callie's life is not her own and Dean feels that she's being stepped on by others so he wants to help her learn to say "no". They help each other realize they are perfect for each other! THE CHRISTMAS DATE The final story is about the 3rd sibling, Nick Banning. He's a divorced father of a young boy and the only one who never got to go to college. That really bothers him. He's the town handyman and he doesn't feel as "worthy" as the other siblings. He's been wanting to date Gina, the owner of the Tea Pot but they've known each other forever and he doesn't know how to convince her to date him so he decides to try online dating. Gina was injured when she was young and has a large scar on her face that has impacted her, her whole life. Nick wants her to know that he doesn't care about that and wants her in his life. I really enjoyed reading about the ways he told her and showed her to be confident in her as a person and not worry about her scar. I received this book from the authors for an honest review and I would definitely recommend it! It's great!