My Review for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Holly’

Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope your holiday season is going well. I love the Christmas season and Christmas themed books. For several years now I have been enjoying author Samantha Jacobey’s Christmas series. Today I am sharing my review for the fifth installment, ‘Christmas Holly’. This one is different from the others and touches new territory. Below are links to my reviews to the four previous parts.

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/my-review-for-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-candy/

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/my-review-for-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-eve/

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/my-review-of-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-carol/

https://lynnlawler.blog/2018/12/22/my-review-of-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-joy/

Both Christmas Candy and Christmas Eve are free from Amazon until the end of Christmas day.

Purchase Christmas Candy

Purchase Christmas Eve

This story starts off with a single mother, Candy, doing her best to raise her son, Daks. After she meets Gary, her life begins to form in a new direction, complete with new challenges, some with risk. With a new family member and another who is gravely ill, Candy and Gary seek out a caretaker and new player, Holly. Like always the story is told in the late autumn and early winter, covering the Christmas season.

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In the beginning, Holly comes off as shy. As the story goes on, she shows her strong women strength with Candy over various things, including issues Candy doesn’t want to deal with. Nothing stops Holly and she does get what she wants, the front door way. Her caring and commitment qualities are very well shown throughout.

Carol is back with spunk. She speaks her truth in plain words and often challenges Candy. She has a loving demeanor and cares much about Candy’s family. Her love for children is great and she can settle any situation with them.

Candy is Candy, except without the sweetness she’s had in the other installments. She comes off as being rushed and exhausted; she really doesn’t take the time to really care for herself. She has overstretched herself with school, motherhood, and family. I feel she dips into being inconsiderate at times, probably due to all stress she is under. Empathy for others isn’t always her strong suit, nor can she see things from other points of view. Her rash decisions cause friction with others.

Gary is his sweet and diplomatic self. How could anyone not like this character. He is a firefighter with a heart full of gold. His calm demeanor is soothing and he knows how to soften any situation. His love for his growing family is solid and genuine. The scenes with his baby girl are priceless. His presence attracts others and he treats others with respect and understanding. However he is still sometimes the middleman between two women he cherishes, Candy and his ‘high and almighty’ mother, Eveline.

The interactions between the players are dynamic. There is plenty of tender flirting between Gary and Candy. One character shows a new set of colors that surprised me. Another couple has some sizzles between them.

An eye-catching twist pops in and will glue you to the rest of the story.

I’m ecstatic that the author chose an LGBTQ storyline in the story.

The pace of the book is slower than the other four, but there is plenty of drama that will lead you along. The descriptions show the story and at times you will feel that you are there. What stands out are the nice touches the author adds to the story, such as drawings and the naming of each chapter. This story is perfect to read in front of a roaring fire in your fireplace. By the time it is over, you will be touched. I’m looking forward to the next installment. I am recommending this to all.

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Here is an excerpt:

*

“Candy, I’m going to be real blunt with you.” Holly paused, tapping the table a few times with the tips of her fingers. “I think you have a hard time with empathy. You don’t see things from other people’s points of view, which makes you very hard to get to know and to trust on a personal level.”

“I agree,” Carol seconded, leaning her forehead against her hands as she clasped them before her.

Candy’s gut ached as if she had been punched. Gasping for air, she managed, “You don’t think I care about other people?”

“It’s not that you don’t care.”

Carol shrugged, looking at Holly dolefully, silently begging her not to do this now.

“Maybe it’s your birth control,” Holly reasoned. “You may not be tolerating it well.”

Candy gaped at her, surprised she had hit so close to her inner battle and the medication she took in secret out of fear at what others would think. “It’s not that. My meds are fine,” she snapped, on the edge of losing it.

“Well, something is off. From what I’ve seen, you have a hard time seeing beyond your own problems. I think something happened to you, and you are broken by it somehow. You have some healing to do from old wounds, and your life won’t ever get easier until you face that pain and deal with it.” Her heart racing, Holly could see she had struck a nerve. “I’m sorry, Candy. You and I don’t know each other that well, but I’d really like to. I love your family and caring for your mother, and I think we could all benefit.”

“If you could change me,” Candy finished for her, anger seeping into her words. “You think I’m broken. That there’s something wrong with me. That I need to be fixed. Is that what hospice nurses do? Fix people?” She blinked rapidly, hot tears spilling over to streak down her cheeks.

“I didn’t say that. I think you could learn to be a little more understanding if you wanted to. Plus, I think you would benefit if you did. Things wouldn’t always be such a struggle.” Holly’s eyes teared as well. “You are so young, and I hate to think of you running yourself ragged this way.”

“We both do,” Carol quickly agreed.

Wiping at her drops of sorrow, Candy glanced between them. They had already talked about her and her condition; she was certain of it. “So you’re teaming up against me on this?” The thought occurred to her that she could fire the pair of them on the spot, but then where would she be? Besides, if she did that, she would have to explain why to Gary. No, she had to stick it out until she could figure out what to do about this plan of theirs.

Giggling anxiously, the two girls shared another glance. They were on thin ice, and they knew it. Enjoying their coffee for a few minutes, they let Candy calm down before Carol confessed, “We have spoken of it. I know Cathy is your best friend, but we’re practically part of your family, and we only want what’s best for you.”

“Wow.” Candy forced a smile. “I know you guys mean well, but I really don’t think this is a problem. I love my family and do all I can for them. I have my friends, like you said, and I think they all love me the way I am.”

Her jaw dropping slightly, Holly gaped at her. She has no clue. She couldn’t believe anyone could be that dense, that far out of touch with socially acceptable behavior.

Seeing the other woman’s reaction, Carol covered quickly, “Well, you know there is always room for improvement.” Candy was their employer after all. Starting such a campaign would be foolish if the girl was resistant to the idea. “Let’s table this discussion for now. I can see you are both very passionate about your point of view, and pushing on from here wouldn’t be good for any of us.”

“Always the sensible one,” Candy observed with a click of her tongue. Her jaw tight, bitterness boiled below the surface, coupled with a deep hurt. She’d been working on herself for years, since she and Gary had started dating in fact. Having these two smug little witches pointing out she wasn’t perfect bruised her ego significantly, and all she wanted to do was run upstairs and cry.

Not willing to give them the satisfaction, Candice forced herself to finish the drink. When she was done, she washed out her cup and returned it to the dishwasher before excusing herself to the office where she would study the afternoon away and could sulk in private.

*

Both Christmas Candy and Christmas Eve are free from Amazon until the end of Christmas day.

Thank you for stopping by today. Also if you like this book, be sure to check out the 6th installment of this Christmas tale, ‘Christmas Lane‘, out now.

I want to wish everyone safety and wellness this holiday!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

www.lynnlawlerbooks.com

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