Sometimes life’s most magical journeys bring you back to where it all began…From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes The Christmas Wishing Tree, an enchanting account of the magic and miracle of Christmas.
A man who loves adventure and the open sea, Devin Murphy returns for a short Christmas trip to his small hometown of Eternity Springs. Immersed in the joy and magic of the holiday season all around him, he doesn’t hesitate to play along when a young boy phones Santa to ask for a very special wish. Devin never guesses that a wrong number has the potential to make everything in his life so right.
Jenna Stockton adopted Reilly when he needed a mother and she intends to keep him safe. A small town across the country called Eternity Springs seems like a good place to hide from their past without any complications until sexy Santa himself discovers her secrets. When Devin proposes a daring plan to face down the danger together and defeat it once and for all, she is tempted. Maybe Devin really is capable of making wishes come true? Perhaps in a Christmas wish they’ll both find the miracle they’ve been looking for all along…
A delightful Christmas novel in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.
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Christmas carols played softly in the background. The scent of spiced cider perfumed the air. Shoppers munched happily on gingerbread cookies and perused the bookshelves for that perfect gift.
Dr. Jenna Stockton imagined ripping the halo off the angel's head and choking her with it. Instead, she reached deep within herself for patience and managed to find a smile for the costumed character behind the bookstore counter. "If I could speak with your manager, please?"
"She's awfully busy."
Jenna thought of the ridiculous length of her own to-do list as she fought to keep her smile from turning into a sneer. "Yes, well, it's that time of year, isn't it? Your manager?"
The little angel gave a haughty sniff, and then said, "If you'll step out of line, please?"
Without missing a beat, the angel turned a bright smile toward the woman waiting behind Jenna. "I'm so sorry for this unfortunate delay, ma'am. I'll be as quick as I possibly can."
Jenna didn't snarl like a rabid dog. She didn't. She smiled at the woman behind her in line. Sweetly. Without canines.
The woman and the four people behind her each gave Jenna an annoyed glower. She gave them all a smile too, then reached for the nearest book, which she pretended to read until the clerk returned, accompanied by a fiftysomething woman dressed like an elf. The angel gestured toward Jenna and said, "This is the one, Ms. Thomas."
The elf spoke in a harried tone. "May I help you?"
"I hope so." Especially considering that I went out of my way to support a local business rather than ordering online. Jenna set down the paperback. "I placed a special order two weeks ago and someone from this store called me last week to tell me it was in. However, your ... angel ... can't find it in your computer system, so she insists I'm mistaken."
"Do you have your receipt?"
"Not with me, no."
"Well, if you'll come back —"
"I don't have time to come back. I ordered the books for an event that begins" — Jenna checked her watch — "in forty-five minutes. I'd like you to check your stock room. My name is Jenna Stockton."
"Ms. Stockton, I can't —"
"I ordered thirty copies of New Adventures in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room."
"Oh." The manager pursed her lips. "Oh. I recall that order."
Then the manager winced. Uh-oh. Maybe not so good. Jenna drew a deep, calming breath, then asked, "If you will get it for me, please?"
Jenna closed her eyes.
"I'm afraid we had some internal miscommunication. We sold out of our stock of that particular title and an employee unfortunately failed to notice the hold notice on your order. She put them on the shelf."
"How many are left?"
"It's a popular title," the manager hedged.
Jenna leaned forward. "The books are for pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital. The Christmas party is at four o'clock."
"Oh dear," the manager repeated. "Four o'clock you say?"
Jenna nodded curtly.
"I'll call our distributor. If you can stop back by —"
"You'll need to deliver them directly to the hospital. To the attention of Dr. Jenna Stockton." She removed a card from her purse and handed it to the manager. "Here's the address. Take them to the information desk in the lobby. I'll tell the volunteers working there to expect them."
"But we don't have a delivery —"
Jenna folded her arms and gave the manager her best take-no-prisoners look.
"I'll do my best to have them there by four, Dr. Stockton. I apologize for the inconvenience. Now, is there anything else I can help you with? I saw you looking at the new Liza Holcomb thriller." She picked up the book and handed it to Jenna. "It's a fabulous book. Scariest stalker story I've read in years."
Jenna quickly returned the book to the display table. A stalker story? That was all she needed. "No, thank you. All I need today is what I ordered. Thank you for the help. You have my phone number. I trust if there is any further problem, you will give me an immediate call?"
"Yes. Of course."
"Perfect. Merry Christmas, Ms. Thomas."
"Merry Christmas to you too, Dr. Stockton." The manager gave her a bright smile that didn't quite hide the worry in her eyes.
Jenna headed for the door, glancing over her shoulder before pushing it open. The elf was on the phone, the angel had been replaced at the register by a reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman was on hands and knees beside the urn of mulled cider wiping up a spill. She sighed. Angels with attitude aside, she liked this little store. She really hoped they didn't let her and the children down.
Outside, the jangle from the Salvation Army bell ringer mingled with the shrieks and laughter of children embroiled in a snowball fight in the park across the street. Jenna tugged leather gloves from her coat pocket and pulled them on as she walked to the street corner and waited for the light to change. Her gaze drifted back to the snowball warriors. It did her heart good to see healthy, happy children playing, especially after a morning like this one.
When the walk signal flashed on, she crossed the street and cut through the park headed for her car, which she'd left in a lot a block away. Her thoughts returned to her to-do list. She could save a few minutes if she bought cookies at the grocery store instead of making the extra stop at the bakery before picking up Reilly from daycare. But she'd promised Reilly a gingerbread man from —
Something cold and wet stung her cheek. What in the world? Reflexively, Jenna lifted her hand to her face and the remnants of ... a snowball. She'd been hit with a snowball. Had the battlefield moved without her noticing and she'd been struck by an errant shot? Or had the attack been deliberate? If that was the case, one of these heathens was about to get a piece of her mind.
But when she turned to identify the culprit seconds after the snowball landed, her gaze skidded over a group of youngsters to an adult standing nearby. The pockets of a black wool coat concealed the man's hands. A black knit cap pulled low on his brow and the matching scarf looped around his face shielded everything but his eyes.
Eyes that watched her.
A shiver of fear skidded down Jenna's spine. She whirled around and picked up her pace. By the time she reached her car, she was all but running. She thumbed the key fob and unlocked the door as she approached, then locked it again the moment she was inside. She sat behind the steering wheel breathing hard, her heart pounding. Her gaze locked on the path through the park.
Nobody had followed her. Chased her. She'd let her imagination run wild.
"You didn't imagine the face full of snow," she muttered.
She should call the cops. File a report.
Sure. Be one of "those people." Tie up a law enforcement officer's time over a child's prank. Because surely, that's all it had been. One of those kids probably threw the snowball, and the guy dressed in black probably saw it as it flew by. He'd watched her to see if she'd pitch a fit about it.
She slipped her key into the ignition, started the car, and did her best to dismiss the incident. Forty minutes later — after stops at the dry cleaners, grocery, bakery, and party store — she made it back to the office in time for her one-thirty appointment with five minutes to spare. If she'd checked her rearview mirror more often than usual and paid close attention to those around her as she completed her errands, well, she was simply being responsible.
Whenever she had a few free minutes during the rest of the afternoon, her thoughts drifted back to the troubling events of recent months. The harassment had begun in October, although for the first few weeks, she hadn't recognized the threat. Everyone got hang-up calls. She explained away the texts as wrong numbers. But once online orders she hadn't placed began showing up on her doorstep, she realized she had a problem.
She'd thought she'd been a victim of identity theft. She'd spent an entire weekend canceling cards and changing accounts. Then last week when a particularly difficult case kept her at the hospital until early morning hours, she came out to the physician's section of the parking garage and found the air had been released from each of her tires.
Random vandalism, the police said. Teenage pranks. Jenna wasn't so certain, but she didn't know who would be doing this to her or why.
As she exited Exam Room 4, her receptionist met her with the news that her three o'clock was a no-show, which meant she was done for the day. Jenna tucked away her dark worries and turned her thoughts to the light and bright. Now she'd have time to pick up Reilly from school rather than have his after-school caregiver drop him off at the hospital.
Luck was with her for a change because a parking place became available just as she pulled up. As she got out of her car, a bell rang, and the door to the kindergarten classroom opened. Reilly was the third youngster out.
"Mom!" exclaimed her six-year-old son. "You're here! It's time for the Christmas party, isn't it? Is it time for the party? Is Santa going to be there? I have my list all ready."
"Hello, little man. Yes, it's time for the Christmas party and yes, Santa has promised to make an appearance."
"I'm so excited!"
"Me too, Reilly. Me too."
She'd been trying to make the Santa visit happen for two weeks now. Because kids grew up so fast these days, she knew that this might be the last year that Reilly believed in Santa Claus. Jenna had wanted to make it a special event for them both.
For the initial effort, she had planned an all-day Saturday holiday adventure beginning with breakfast at a pancake house, followed by shopping for gifts for Reilly's friends, then a matinee performance of Rudolph at the children's theater, and culminating with a visit to Santa's Wonderland and a conversation with the big man himself. They'd had a great time eating and shopping and watching the play, but as they left the theater, her pager had gone off. She'd tried again the following Saturday with a different itinerary, but with similar Santa results. She and Reilly both were counting on "The third time is the charm" axiom working today.
Arriving at the hospital, she took advantage of valet parking due to the amount of party supplies she had to tote inside. She loaded up a collapsible wheeled cart with gifts and decorations and bakery boxes, then Reilly helped her tug it inside, where she approached the information desk with trepidation. "I'm Dr. Stockton. Do I have a package waiting, I hope?"
"Books," the volunteer said. "Yes, they're here."
She reached beneath the counter then pulled out a box. Jenna spied twice as many gift-wrapped items as she'd expected. The folded note taped to the front of the box read, "Your complete order is enclosed. In addition, please accept these thirty copies of the first book in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room series as a gift to the children from the staff here at Hawthorne Books."
"Well, isn't that nice?" Jenna murmured.
"Isn't what nice, Mom?"
"The Christmas spirit."
He nodded in all seriousness. "I love the Christmas spirit. I wish it could last all year long."
"You and me both, little man. You and me both."
The Christmas party that followed was a bittersweet success. Local and a few national celebrities showed up to shower attention and gifts and good cheer on the patients of Children's Hospital and their families. It was always nice to see the smiles, but invariably, tears were shed too. The what-ifs and if- onlys were unavoidable. Hospital events always caused Jenna to hug Reilly a little tighter and spend a little more time on her nightly prayers.
The books Jenna gifted were well received by parents and patients alike. Reilly finally had his visit with Santa, and Jenna shed a tear or two of her own while she snapped photos of the moment with her phone.
In the car ride on their way home, Reilly bubbled about the party — the food, the games, the gifts. "There were a lot of dads there," he observed. "Did you see, Mom? There were a whole bunch of dads."
"Yes." Then, in an effort to alter the direction of the conversation, she said, "I was surprised to see how many football players attended. How many autographs did you get?"
"I don't know," Reilly answered with a shrug before proving that he was not to be distracted. "I thought Dr. David would be there. Why didn't Dr. David come?"
Oh, Reilly. Dr. David Henderson was Reilly's pediatrician, a widowed father whom she'd dated briefly last summer. "I told you he moved back to Minnesota to be closer to Bella and Jessie's grandparents. Dr. Larimer is your new doctor."
Reilly gave a long sigh. "I pretended I forgot. I thought he would make a really good daddy for us, Mom."
"We really do need a daddy."
"Reilly," Jenna said, warning in her tone. "Please. It's been a long day. Let's not get started on that subject again."
"But, Mommy ..."
She silenced him with a stern glance. Her son could be a terrier when he got an idea in his head, and lately, every time she turned around, he'd been yipping and yapping about needing a daddy.
How about I just order one online? Everything else was showing up at the house. She'd certainly have more use for a daddy for Reilly than a yodeling pickle electronic noisemaker.
She switched on the radio, which was tuned to the Christmas music station. Listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks hope that Christmas wouldn't be late wasn't much better than the yodeling pickle. However, the music did manage to distract Reilly, who sang along the rest of the way home, so she wasn't about to complain.
Her son helped her unload the car, and then he dashed about the house turning on the lights of all of their Christmas decorations while Jenna sorted through the mail. One envelope in particular caught her notice. Whitewater Adventure Rafting on the Snake River? Her stomach took a sick little flip.
Dread filled her as she stared down at the envelope addressed to JENNA M. STOCKTON, MD.
This was coincidence, surely. Just bad timing of an advertisement that probably went to everyone in her zip code.
She slid the letter opener blade beneath the envelope flap and removed the folded paper.
A reservation for one. Paid in full. January 23rd at 10:00 a.m.
She dropped the paper as if it were on fire. Her hands trembled. Her heart pounded.
Her always-adventuring parents had drowned in a whitewater rafting accident seven years earlier ... on January 23.
"Mom, can we read a story?"
Jenna saw her son standing in the doorway with his stuffed Rudolph beneath his arm. His request was a life preserver tossed to a drowning person. "Absolutely. I have a new book for us."
Because she wasn't on call tonight and she had no patients she suspected of being in imminent need of her services, she poured herself a glass of wine, traded her shoes for slippers, and settled into the overstuffed easy chair in the family room with the copy of The New Adventures in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room that she'd reserved for her own family. "In my lap, little man."
He bounded over to her, his face alight with joy.
Story time was special for them both. She'd finished the first book and allowed herself to be talked into reading a second and a third. They were negotiating a fourth when she answered the doorbell to a pizza delivery she had not ordered.
By nine thirty, her doorbell had chimed eleven more times with deliveries of eleven more cheese and mushroom pizzas. Jenna was allergic to mushrooms.
At nine forty-five she called the police.CHAPTER 2
ETERNITY SPRINGS, COLORADO
Devin Murphy dreamt about home, about the warmth of the sun on his shoulders and the taste of salt in the air as he sailed his boat on a sapphire Coral Sea. A handful of puffy white clouds dotted a true-blue Australian sky. The breeze was stiff, a steady fifteen knots, as he turned into it. He was on a busman's holiday, free of tourists to guide in a dive of the Great Barrier Reef or fishermen on the hunt for something huge, but he wasn't alone.
In Devin's dream, a woman waited for him in his bed. She lay naked and needy and just beyond his sight, but he knew she was there. Knew she waited for him. A redhead, which was unusual because he'd never dated a redhead. Her scent drifted through his senses like a song. Exotic, like the beaches of Tahiti, and as sweet as a mango fresh off the tree. He wanted to lick that sweetness off her lips, to — whoomp!
Something heavy pounced on his back. "Wake up, Dev! It's Christmas Eve!"
The dream evaporated, Devin dragged his head off his pillow and aimed a hairy eyeball at his five-year-old brother. His voice gruff with sleep, he said, "Get off me and out of my room or die."
"You can't kill me on Christmas Eve. You can't kill me ever. Mom would be mad. She told me to come wake you up. You promised to do a favor for Celeste today and Mom said daylight is wasting."
"Go. Now." He dropped his head back onto his pillow. "Or I'll slit your gullet from stem to stern and feed your entrails to the sharks."
"Oooh. I'm scared." Michael Cameron Murphy grabbed the ends of the of the pillow, yanked it free, then hit his big brother with it once before giggling his way out of the room.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Christmas Wishing Tree"
Copyright © 2018 Geralyn Dawson Williams.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I jumped into the middle of the Eternity Springs series when I received a copy of The First Kiss of Spring from Netgalley a couple of years ago. When I finished it, I knew I'd be reading more. I went back to the beginning and have read (or listened to) quite a few of them. It's been nice to read these from the beginning and follow the lives of the characters as they're introduced and then reintroduced in subsequent books, but it's not absolutely necessary because these are the types of romances that aren't a mystery - you know how they'll end, the pleasure is in following their path to that ending. This one is no exception - I'm not caught up to this point in the series but it didn't matter. Devin is a familiar character from previous books, Jenna is a newcomer. Their story is sweet and spicy and nice to read any time of year, but particularly nice to help the reader get into the Christmas spirit. And now I look forward to going back and reading that "next up" book in the series. My thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
This one had s lot going on! Nice read for a Sunday afternoon.
I received a free, advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This is my unbiased and voluntary review. It is not meant as a stand alone and will be confusing if read as such. Start at the begining and you won't regret it. This is Devin's romance. It starts with Devin dreaming about a redhead out of sight, but waiting for him. The day gets stranger as Celeste accidentally (?) damages his phone an lends him a burner phone with the number NorthPOLE1 and giving him a Christmas message. Shortly thereafter he received a phone cal from a young boy, Reilly from Nashville, calling Santa, wishing for a Daddy. Reilly's mother is a single mother, Dr. Jenna Stockton. As Reilly continues to call, eventually Devin is able to reach the mother and they find out a little bit about each other, but do not even exchange names. After New Years, Devin returns to Australia, while Jenna and Reilly are subjected to a stalker, who escalates from doxxing to swatting, until they are forced to go off the grid and eventually make their way to Eternity Springs, where " broken hearts come to heal". Another beautiful story, with endearing characters, a riveting plot skillfully narrated.
Great book, loved it!
The series just keeps getting better!
Celeste Blessing is known as the angel of Eternity Springs and she loves the Christmas season. Each year, she selects a tree to be her Christmas wishing tree. This year she takes her newest visitors Jenna Stockton and her son Reilly to select their wishing trees. Jenna knows what Reilly’s wish will be—he wants a dad. She has met Devin Murphy and they are attracted to each other. Devin’s family lives in Eternity Springs but he lives in Australia and she feels that a relationship between them would not work. But as her son tells her, she just has to believe. So nice to read a great, heartwarming story and nice characters. Reilly kept believing in his wish and it came true, with the help of Devin who played Santa when Reilly called him.
The Christmas Wishing Tree is part of a series, but can be read as a stand alone. This is Jenna and Devins story. Its a great Christmas story guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. I really enjoyed this story and im sure you will too. Also, if you've never read Emily March, you'll be wanting to add her to your favorite author list. :)
Another visit to Eternity Springs. Celeste Blessing, the town’s own angel on a Goldwing seems to know the needs of all the residents of Eternity Springs, whether they realize that they have those needs or not. When Devin returns to his home town his cellphone gets damaged at the hands of none other than Celeste Blessing. She gives him a replacement phone. Coincidentally (or maybe not) he receives a call from a small boy wanting to talk to Santa. Reilly, Jenna’s adopted son, is excited to talk to Santa. The only thing Reilly wants for Christmas is a daddy. Reilly calls “Santa” several times and Devin develops a definite fondness for the little boy. Jenna and Reilly are running from a stalker. Can Devin protect them without losing his heart? Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this wonderful holiday book. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance. Definitely 5 stars!
With a story filled with the Christmas spirit, charming characters, a touch of suspense, and an adorable, ardent, purely awesome romance story, The Eternity Springs holiday novel wraps around the heart and mind of the reader, delivering feel-good smiles and wishing for the Christmas season to start. The story has such a solid, wholesome vibe to it, all the characters are likable, the romance takes its time to develop over a years time, the adults take the kid's needs into account, and respect him, setting boundaries for him, while building a life together that involves compromises while fulfilling life goals and dreams. Some of the things that happen in the story raised my eyebrows, stretching my imagination, yet somehow it fits the environment the book creates. Devin Murphy is a considerate, kind-hearted man, generous, and loving, the kind of man who will jump into a freezing water to save a neighbor's life, or pretend to be a Santa to a kid who needs a miracle on Christmas Eve. Jenna Stockton is a dedicated mom to her son Reilly. Her job creates challenges and takes her away from her time with Reilly, but he is her heart and focus, the reason why she works so hard. Reilly just won my heart over. He is smart a young man, who knows what he wants and cares for his mom something fierce. The story flows effortlessly from the pages and the stalker who has been harassing Jenna gives a slight edge to the cheerful, romantic holiday tale. An entertaining and adorable story that delivers smiles, grants Christmas wishes and brings forward the magical, mystical ambiance of the yuletide. ~ Four Spoons
This is the first book I’ve read by Emily March and it was truly a pleasure. Jenna is a physician and has a son Riley. She is having issues with mysterious things happening to her, from unordered pizza deliveries to having her home raiding by a false tip. Her son Riley deeply wishes for a daddy, so much so that he calls Santa Claus to ask for one. The phone is answered by Devin, who is home for a holiday visit to his family in Eternity Springs. He has been given this phone to use temporarily while his is being repaired. As a compassionate person, he has conversations as Santa with Riley. As time goes by, Jenna and Riley go to Eternity Springs for a vacation, which is known to be a healing place. All of the characters in this book are very well developed and relatable. Eternity Springs seems to be one of those places that you wish you lived in. I was very pleased to find out that this book is part of a series. Now I have fourteen more books on my “must read” list!
A cute, delightful, holiday romance that was sweet and innocent. The characters were good, the plot was entertaining, the pacing was believable, and the passion was very very very tame. Several kisses, but nothing else. In that department it lacked what I look for in a good romance. If you like the tame and sweet romances, then this is perfect for you. If you prefer to have some steam coming of the pages, go into this book expecting to be let down. If I knew going into it that it would be tame, I would have been ok. I did like the plot. I did enjoy the characters and the conflict. I did enjoy the story. But I do like to have passion in my romances, so that was the only let-down to this book.
It is becoming a pattern that the only time I get to enjoy this awesome author is for her Christmas stories. I mean I am a big kid and love Christmas but I am nothing compared to Celeste. Now reading this story you will meet her I mean she does like to give great words of wisdom over people that all the towns people know not to ignore and this is Devin's year. Who knew that by answering a call to Santa he would become involved with Riley's mom and all that would come from that. Riley's mom is dealing with a stalker. When she goes off the grid, trying to escape the hell her life has become and to protect her son, all she can think of is healing her sons heart. Her stalker has other plans. With a little help from his friends and family Eternity Springs works it's healing power. With this kind of friends and family it's no wonder this is the place to be. I love this community and it makes you see the beauty and love of a small town. Absolutely heart soothing story filled with all the feels and wonderful characters that make you believe in people again and that the spirit of Christmas is not confined to the Christmas season. Love this author and this wonderful read.
This was an excellent Christmas romance. I love the town of Eternity Springs and the people in it. Sometimes I think I need a town like this where you can find healing. I love how they worked in Santa Clais also. I also believe. That was one of my favorite parts of the story. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
If Eternity Springs were a real town, I’d move there in a heartbeat! Emily March’s series set in this small town always makes me feel like the world is a wonderful place and anything is possible. The Christmas Wishing Tree is, hands down, the best in the series. This book focuses on a single mother and son who lean on each other during a difficult time. The little boy is wise beyond his years, clever and snuck into my heart. Jenna, his mother, will do anything to protect her son, including taking on a new identity and escaping to Eternity Springs. It’s not their first visit, however. They return as a temporary stopping point, but they find the warmth and support of the small town helps to heal their hearts. March always shares life lessons and wisdom through characters that touch the soul—they’re so real that you feel you’re personally involved in their lives—you root for them, cry with them, and applaud their successes. That’s why I love reading her books. As usual, I couldn’t put this one down, so I pulled another all-nighter. But it was worth it the next day when I walked around with a smile on my face.
The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March Eternity Springs #15 “Believe!” is just what Devin Murphy tells Reilly when he calls Santa’s hotline asking for one more Christmas wish even though it is the night before Christmas and time is running out. Devin is in Eternity Springs for the holidays, has been given the phone and is suddenly giving advice to a lonely boy who wants a father. Well, Devin knows he needs to let Reilly’s mother in on the fact her son has called Santa but Dr. Jenna Stockton has a stalker and fears that the unknown number calling her is…the stalker. Finally they do end up talking on the phone but Jenna and Reilly are “swatted” after having already experienced much “doxxing” and are on the move again trying to evade the stalker. This story does eventually bring Reilly, Jenna and Devin together but it takes time as they seldom seem to be in the same place at the same time and then when they are there are numerous logistics to be dealt with. How they achieve their HEA is a great story to read that reminded me a bit of Peter Pan, quite a bit of Miracle on 34th Street and also a number of wonderful Hallmark movies. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4.5 Stars
How do I begin this review of a book that was a good read but I felt something was missing within the pages. Don't get me wrong, this was a good read with a story-line of a boy making a call that will changed the lives around him. You can't help but to feel the fear that his adopted mother, Jenna has when a mysterious caller keeps stalking them no matter how far Jenna will go in order to protect them. Then, you have young Reilly who is unaware of what is happening but decides to call Santa for a wish for a dad in which Devin come into the picture. That I totally loved, I think for myself to fully love this book; I need to read every single book in this series to fully understand everything. It might be a stand-alone in this series but I felt that I needed more info about certain people and what happened before this story to get more into a town like Eternity Springs. But I do have to admit that this story had me reading it late into the night and into the early morning and it made me kinda forget for a short time that I'm sick. Even though I lost sleep over being sick, I'm glad I had this book to turn to that made me forgot about that for a while! If anything this was a good read with a good story-line to get lost in to forgot what is happening around you just to get into that holiday spirit! Thank You to Emily March for this story that made me want to read more books in this series just to see what else this town has in store!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
When I first saw The Christmas Wishing Tree, I thought it was going to be one of those feel-good books. One of those books where the male and female main characters knew from day 1 that they were meant for each other. Where Instalove rules and a relationship of 3 days is enough to know that he/she is the one. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading those types of books. I also enjoy reviewing them. But, I have become bored with Instalove romances. I was happy when I started reading The Christmas Wishing Tree. The Christmas Wishing Tree is the story of Devin, Jenna, and Reilly. Devin is an Aussie on vacation in Eternity Springs visiting his adoptive parents. Jenna is a busy OBGYN who is stressed out by the Christmas time rush and a stalker. Reilly is Jenna’s 6-year-old adopted son who believes in Santa. Devin and Jenna meet when Reilly somehow gets the phone number of the burner phone that Devin was given. Reilly was told that the phone was a line to Santa. Devin and Jenna finally talk and they both agree to let Devin keep up the charade. Things change when Jenna’s stalker becomes dangerous. Desperate to provide a safe and stable environment for her son, Jenna goes off the grid and ends up in Eternity Springs. There she meets Devin. It is there where she has a stand down with her stalker. It is there where she realizes that Devin is more than Santa to her. After being on the run and afraid, can she trust enough to put down roots? Will, she let Devin and the people of Eternity Springs help her? Can she get Reilly the help he needs? More importantly, can she love? For being the 15th (yes 15th!!!) book in the series, The Christmas Wishing Tree can be read as a stand-alone. I have some very strong feelings about picking up a book mid-series. The short version, it annoys me. I hate reading a book, having past books come up and having no idea what is going on. So yes, I was happy with this book. I was able to get into Devin and Jenna’s story without having to worry about the past books being a major issue. I liked how true to life the author made Jenna’s stalker storyline. Unfortunately, in real life, most stalking cases are not addressed by the police because of the reasons stated in the book. Most stalking victims (male and female) have had to take drastic measures like Jenna took to escape their stalkers. While Jenna’s case did get resolved (because someone took her serious), most don’t. Like I said at the beginning of the paragraph, I enjoyed it. As for Jenna’s stalker, I thought knew who it was. So when her stalker’s identity was revealed, I was surprised. I felt awful for Reilly during the book. He endured 2 traumatic experiences that scarred him. I know that Jenna was doing what she thought was right but I didn’t think that traveling the country in an RV, under an assumed name was the right thing for him. That poor boy needed therapy as soon as the second traumatic event happened. Not almost a year later. Not faulting Jenna, because she was in flight or fight mode, but still. I was glad when Jenna relented and got Sinatra for Reilly. I also was glad when she allowed him to go to the ranch, where there were people qualified to help him. I thought Devin was awesome the entire book. He went along playing Santa when he could have been a Grinch about it. He started the ball rolling when he found out about Jenna’s stalker. He was a devoted brother, uncle, and son. He also had a jealous streak a mile wide. I called when he had a fist fight wi
4.5 Stars “Because I choose to live my vision, not my circumstance.” – Celeste Blessing The Christmas Wishing Tree was the perfect way to gear up for the holiday season, leaving me with a happy heart and firm belief in the magic that Emily March has created in Eternity Springs. I have only read three books in this series, but it didn’t take more than a few pages of the first to know that I was going to love the small town “where broken hearts come to heal” and the little bit of magic that seems to have embodied itself in the form of Celeste Blessing, “Eternity Springs’ very own angel.” This book focuses on Devin and Jenna, two people who don’t reside in Eternity Springs but find themselves in need of the comfort and healing it provides. And it wouldn’t be Eternity Springs if Celeste didn’t also add in a bit of her magic and wisdom, which helps these two find their way to one another – who knew a burner cell phone with a number advertised as the Santa Hotline would start a chain of events that would lead Jenna and Devin right to each other and fulfill a child’s ultimate Christmas wish?! And even though their road to finding one another was not easy, Eternity Springs provided all the right support for Jenna, Reilly, and Devin, as they unraveled the mystery of Jenna’s stalker and find a way to become a family. Emily March has such a way of embedding true emotion into each of her characters. We are treated to glimpses of many of the residents of Eternity Springs, and each one has been brought to life with their own unique personality and character, guaranteeing that each story in this series is one that will warm your heart and renew your belief in true love. The little details that she also adds to the story, like the Christmas Wishing Tree, and her ability to convey that family feeling the entire town has, adds to the warmth of the story. This is book 15 in the series but can easily be read as a stand-alone. When needed, the author gives enough background to each of her characters to ensure continuity of the story line – but let me warn you, she’ll also give you just enough to make you want to go and read them all! So even though you can read this on its own, I would recommend starting at the beginning so you can enjoy each book in the series – something I wish I had done! I can’t say enough about this series – Eternity Springs has quickly become one of my favorite small towns and I have fallen in love with Emily March’s writing style and voice. I look forward to reading more from this author! A definite must read for everyone!
The Christmas Wishing Tree is a fabulous contemporary romance from Emily March. Ms. March has given us a well-written book. I totally adore the characters in this story. Jenna is a doctor being targeted for nasty pranks. She moves her young son and herself to another state and the pranks start again. Devin is in Eternity Springs for Christmas with his family. Due to an unfortunate event, his phone is damaged and he takes a loner phone from a friend. Jenna's son thinks he's calling Santa, but it's Devin that answers. Devin and Jenna's story is loaded with drama, humor, sizzle and suspense. I enjoyed every page of this book and look forward to reading more from Emily March in the future. The Christmas Wishing Tree is part of the Eternity Springs Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ARC for honest review with no compensation, received from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press This is the 15th book in the Eternity Springs series by Emily March and its a well written Christmas story that puts you in the Christmas spirit! ! Devon Murphy is back in Eternity Springs visiting his family and when his phone is dropped in the shallow river he is given a temporary replacement one. One evening he receives a call from a little boy asking if he is Santa and would he bring him his one wish, he wants a Dad? Little does Devon know that fate has opened the door to his heart. Jenna Stockton is being stalked and when its taken to far and her son is hurt she moves but she takes her son to Eternity Springs hoping that being Christmas time and a new town will help her son get back to being the boy he was. When they return home it looks like they are safe until it happens again. This time she moves to Eternity Springs and meets Devon Murphy and the man she spoke to on the phone a year or so ago after her son dialed his phone by mistake thinking he was Santa. The stalker isn't finished with her yet. The sparks fly between jenna and Devon but he knows that Eternity Springs is not really home to him and tries to keep his heart under wraps but fate has something else in mind and when the stalker starts on jenna and her son again, the town rallies around to make sure they are safe. Can Devon just up and walk away or will he fight all her demons and make them a family that they are meant to be??
Simply sweet, utterly adorable and filled with that wholesome vibe... you can't help but want to become a part of the Eternity Springs family. If you are looking for the perfect read to put you into the Christmas spirit any time of the year, The Christmas Wishing Tree is the book for you. Babies, puppies, a budding but resistant romance, and maybe one of the best cast of truly nice and sincere group of characters you'll find, The Christmas Wishing Tree had it all. I received this ARC copy of The Christmas Wishing Tree from St. Martins Press. This is my honest and voluntary review.
I just loved my visit to Eternity Springs, just like all of my previous visits!! This story will make you believe in the magic of Christmas. Riley makes a phone call to Santa, asking for his only wish a dad. Santa turns out to be Devin in Eternity Springs, who is there visiting his family. Many calls in sue between the two, until Riley's mom, Jenna intervenes. Now Jenna and Riley's lives are in jeopardy, and she decides to move to Eternity Springs, not knowing that Santa is from there. With the magic of Christmas, family and friends of Eternity Springs makes for the perfect holiday read for this season. Oh, did I say babies and puppies too. A light suspense is also in the story line. I highly recommend this book!!
I didn't realize this was #15 in a series! I've read a few of the previous books because characters started sounding familiar. That said, this book can definitely be read as a stand alone but if you think you want to read this series, then start at the beginning because a series is always best started with the first book so you can watch the personal lives grow. This installment focuses on Jenna and Devin. They meet totally by chance but had spoken on the phone without knowing it when they met. Jenna's son Reilly called Northpole One to reach Santa to add a Dad to his Christmas list. It was a fluke that a burner phone that Devin had was that number. I have to admire Devin for playing along and not crushing a young boy's belief in Santa. He tried to reach Jenna to let her know her son was calling him, but Jenna would not answer. She had her own issues with a stalker and thought it was that person. Thankfully she finally answered and they got that squared away. I think it was at that moment that Devin fell in love with someone he didn't even know. Jenna ends up in Eternity Springs because it is touted as a place to heal broken hearts. Plus she feels safe there when the stalker forces her to go off the grid to escape him/her. She just didn't realize that she would find her new home and potentially family there. Turns out it was a great decision for her. Plus since Jenna is a OB/GYN she was able to help all the women that seemed to have gotten pregnant during a blizzard in March. One of my favorite lines near the end - "After that, it was like dominoes. All six women...every last one of them...went into labor." Another favorite line between Jenna and Devin - Jenna "Who starts a fight at a cakewalk? You smashed Maggie's cake!" Devin - "That was unfortunate. But since I as the winner, the only person I hurt was myself." (there was more but I just highlighted my favorite parts) There are some tense moments for Jenna when the stalker initiates some pranks and (apparently) what they call swatting (prank calls to emergency numbers). I will say that the whole situation with this stalker fell a little flat. I realize it wasn't the main focus of the book, but once they discovered who it was it just ended and there wasn't any more mention of this person or what happened to them or if Jenna would need to testify against this person. Overall this is a very enjoyable book and I can just imagine that one of the upcoming books will be about Boone. This book just hints that there is more to him than meets the eye.