September 25, 2018
Blurb: In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…
Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…
As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Unbelievably, it’s that time of year again. Someone already mentioned that they had seen Christmas being displayed in a store. Now, the Christmas books begin to hit the shelves so that you can pick and choose your Christmas reading via my reviews, of course.
A definite to add to this year’s pile is Sarah Morgan’s The Christmas Sisters about three sisters who lose their parents in a climbing accident and are adopted by their mother’s best friend, Suzanne.
Although I am not a fan of using more than two POVs in a short novel, it works in The Christmas Sisters, mostly, giving the reader a glimpse of how a terrible tragedy affected the lives of the sisters and Suzanne.
The three sisters are extremely different, and although they were once so close, they have now drifted apart. My favorite character was Posy, the youngest sister who has stayed close to home, joined a mountain rescue group, and is itching to climb. She is feisty and funny, but also the least drama queenish of the sisters, which made me wish she had been in the story far more. And, she has Bonnie, a SAR dog!
Hannah, the oldest sister, has hidden depths and was very well written. At first the reader thinks that Hannah is going to be totally unlikable, career-centered, cold, but it soon becomes obvious that this is a case of waters running deep. Not only did the tragic death of her parents hit her harder because she was more aware, but also the life she lived with them was by no means superlative. She’s closed herself off believing that she could avoid pain that way.
My least favorite was whiny Beth who came across as totally self-absorbed. ‘Nuff said.
Suzanne as the woman who takes on her best friend’s kids is remarkable. She’s understanding and loving and a whirling-dervish of activity, especially for the Christmas holidays. Her relationship with her husband Stewart may be worth the price of the novel, because they love and support each other, laugh and tease, and one can imagine that they have always done.
Despite the fact that The Christmas Sisters is women’s fiction, there is still enough romance in this charming, page-turning, heartwarming Christmas story. The Christmas Sisters checks all the boxes for excellent Christmas reading—and even non-Christmas reading. And, if you need more convincing, the setting is Scotland.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies
“I worry about Hannah.” She turned. “About what being here does to her.”
“I’m more worried about what her being here does to you. Maybe I’m being haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past.” He put the empty glass down and rubbed his fingers across his forehead. “You need to let her be, Suzy. You can’t fix everything, although I know you’ll never give up trying.” The light softened the hard angles of his face, making him seem younger.
His job kept him fit and lean and there were days when he barely looked fifty let alone sixty. The only clue as to his age was the touch of silver in his hair, the same silver that would have shown in hers if she hadn’t chosen to avail herself of a little artificial help.
They’d fallen in love when they’d worked together as mountain guides, when life had seemed like one big adventure. All they’d cared about back then was the next climb. The next summit. They’d been together ever since and, for the most part, their life had a comfortable rhythm. A rhythm that was rocked at this time of year.
The past never went away, she thought. It faded, and sometimes it was little more than a shadow, but it was always there.
“I’m going to make the lodge as welcoming as possible. Hannah works so hard.”
“So do you. Your life isn’t all about the kids, Suzanne. You run a successful business and this is one of your busiest times of the year in the café.”
The source of her anxiety shifted. “And now you’ve reminded me that I still have forty stockings to knit to raise funds for the Mountain Rescue Team. Thank you for stressing me.”
Stewart grinned and scooped up his clothes from the chair where he’d left them the night before. “Now that’s something I’d like to see. The rest of the guys wearing stockings. I’ll be taking a photo of that and posting it on the team Facebook page.”
Suzanne pulled a face. “They’re not for wearing, you idiot, they’re for stuffing with presents. We sell them for a good profit. And before you mock, I should point out that the profit from last year’s Christmas stockings bought the team a new avalanche transceiver and contributed to that fancy stretcher you use.”
“I like teasing you. I like the way you look when you’re mad. Your mouth pouts and you have these cute little frown lines and—ow!” He ducked as she crossed the room and flung a pillow at him. “Did you really just do that? How old are you?”
“Old enough to have developed perfect aim.”
He threw the pillow back on the bed, tossed his clothes back on the chair and tumbled her underneath him.
She landed with a gasp on the mattress.
“We have things to do.”
“We do indeed.” He lowered his head and the last thing she saw before he kissed her were his blue eyes laughing into hers.
One Print Copy of The Christmas Sisters
ABOUT SARAH MORGAN
USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.