Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Door Country Christmas

Authors: Eileen Key, Becky Melby, Rachael Phillips, Cynthia Ruchti
Publisher: Barbour Books
September 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60260-968-6
Genre: Inspirational/Christmas/contemporary

Love blossoms in a Wisconsin Winter.

The Heart’s Harbor—by Cynthia Ruchti. Amanda Brooks needs to get away from Chicago’s hustle and bustle to the quiet of the northwoods. But she doesn’t expect for the owner of the bed and breakfast, Lola, to be called away for jury duty. Nor does she expect Lola’s son, Jordan, to show up. And she certainly doesn’t expect for Lola to hand the bed and breakfast over to Amanda and ask her to run it for three weeks. Including the infamous Christmas tea. With everything going wrong, is it possible something might go right?

Ride With Me Into Christmas—by Rachael Phillips. Joanna Flick has just struggled through her first year as a widow, but then she meets her neighbor, Paul Sorenson who shares her passion for bicycling and Door County. But their grown children have issues with Joanna and Paul developing a friendship. Will they be able to move past their children’s issues and find love?

My Heart Still Beats--by Eileen Key. Madison Taylor takes two elderly friends to Door County so they can put their cabin up for sale. Their niece insists it is time for them to sell. While there, Madison skids on the ice and has a run-in with the real estate agent Grant Sterling. Both of them get off on the bad foot with each other. When potential buyers back out, will Grant blame Madison for sabotaging the sales? Or will they be able to move past their negative feelings for each other?

Christmas Crazy—by Becky Melby. Jillian Galloway’s vacation is spent trying to salvage Uncle Buster’s dinner theater in Door County, but a leaky roof and oddball actors challenger her plans to have it done by Christmas. When mysterious Brazilian, Ricky Jimmy, offers his assistance, Jillian doesn’t know whether to trust the rumors surrounding Ricky, or his dark Latin eyes.

A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS is a collection of four novellas centered around Door County, Wisconsin. The setting sounds absolutely lovely, and I would love to visit there someday. The authors all did a wonderful job bringing the setting to life as an additional character.

I enjoyed the first story, The Heart’s Harbor, the best. Ms. Ruchti’s humor is absolutely stellar and is used to it’s fullest potential in this novella. I laughed out loud in several places in the story. I also really enjoyed Ride With Me into Christmas. The characters weren’t as quirky as Mr. Ruchti’s, but they were very well developed and lovable. The other two stories in this collection were average. The characters weren’t as well developed and they were more formula romance and as a result, kind of flat.

If you are looking for a wintery Christmas themed book, then A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS is a book to consider. All four stories were good, but two fell in the category of great. Available now at your favorite bookseller. $7.99. 346 pages.

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