Good afternoon Friends and welcome. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving this year. Mine was everything I could want. Thank you for stopping by two weeks ago for my review for Victoria Avilan‘s ‘A Small Country About to Vanish.’ Today I am presenting my review for Barbara Winkes‘ ‘Bells Will Be Ringing.’ This is a perfect read for this time of year and it will grab your heart.
Dana is a lawyer working in a high-stress environment. At the start of the story, all hell breaks loose in her life and she is forced to change direction. She decides on a vacation to a small town and pursues a project to settle her thoughts. Along the way, she meets Holly and all of a sudden her heart changes. Her priorities change as she embraces the small town.
Holly is an overworked town doctor who is using her work to cover up a past pain she is trying to process. She is friendly but a bit emotionally frail about a certain subject. She really isn’t looking for love but has a lot to think about. She is a bit reserved, yet is willing to move into uncharted waters.
A twist happens in the book that took me by surprise and I felt emotions over it. You will see what I mean when you read it. Dana is caught in the middle of a situation and it is up to her to fix it without sacrificing anything. The drama in these scenes had me sitting on the edge of my seat.
The story is moderately paced and fun. I had a warm feeling as I read about the protagonists sitting in a cozy booth enjoying a meal together while the snow fell outside the window. The descriptions made me feel like I was there with the action. I love Christmas stories and this one lifted me. It is perfect for a snowy day with a cup of hot coffee. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.
Here is an excerpt:
On the bright side, she didn’t have to drop her pants like the last time. That was the only saving grace. Dana hadn’t known that the prick of a needle would be the last straw, but all of a sudden, the tears started falling beyond her control.
“You’re good. All done.”
“It’s all right. A lot of people have a fear of needles. You’re going to be fine.”
“No, you don’t understand. I quit my job, my girlfriend cheated on me, and I can’t even turn on the damn heating without stabbing myself! I’m not fine. Nothing is fine. It’s going to be the worst Christmas ever. I wish I could just cancel it.”
“Ms. Clover. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of stress lately. It makes a person a bit of a Grinch, I understand that.” McEwen handed her a box of tissues. “I’m sure Mr. Peterson can take a look at your heating system. He’s only a couple blocks down the street. I can’t do anything about Christmas, I’m afraid, but how about I get you a coffee while you fill out the paperwork?”
Despite herself, Dana managed a smile. “That would be great. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I’ll be right back.”
Left alone for the moment, Dana tried to process what had just happened. The wound still hurt, none of her problems had been solved yet, but she felt a bit better, if slightly flustered after the small breakdown. She had tried hard to maintain an optimistic attitude, but in one moment, it all came crashing down. She wasn’t sure whether she appreciated that it happened in the presence of a sympathetic stranger, or if she was more embarrassed about it. This was not the way she liked to interact with an attractive woman like McEwen. Then again, she wasn’t likely to see her again anyway, so why did it matter?
The doctor returned with a clipboard and a cup of coffee.
“I didn’t know how you take it… I can get you some milk and sugar if necessary.”
“This is perfect, thank you. And I want you to know that I’m not going to scam you out of the money. My insurance should still be covered for this month.”
“I didn’t think you were going to,” McEwen said, and Dana turned her attention to the questions. When she paused, looking up again, she realized the doctor’s gaze was still on her.
“Good. You must know your way around town pretty well, right?”
A smile played over her lips. “You could say that.”
“I really need to buy some shoes and clothes, and a few blankets. Even better, if you can tell me where I can get wood for the fireplace… I’m afraid my caretaker didn’t take his job very seriously.”
“You’ll find most of that on this street. Except for the wood, of course, you’d have to go a little out of town for that.”
“Of course. When I drove out of town, I assumed that everything would be taken care of,” Dana said ruefully. “And I didn’t think it would be this cold. One last thing… Where could I get some decent food around here?”
“That depends on what you prefer…”
“Frankly, right now, I’d eat whatever anyone wants to put in front of me. I’m sorry, that’s not what a doctor wants to hear… I assume.” She put the clipboard aside.
Dr. McEwen hesitated for a moment, and Dana almost thought she was going to give her a lecture on the importance of eating well.
“Look, if your shopping can wait another day, I could close up here now, and show you a place. Unless you think… I mean… if it’s not too straight forward.”
Dana thought the doctor was seriously overestimating her at the moment. Her priority was getting food, and soon. She wasn’t going to misinterpret an offer from a helpful, friendly townsperson.
“That would be the perfect solution.”
Purchase ‘Bells Will Be Ringing‘
This is the perfect story for the season. Thank you for stopping by. Be sure to visit next week when the author of this great story, Barbara Winkes will be here to share.
Until Next Time,
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