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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
At the ripe old age of 42, Cecilia Brightman has decided that her solitary life of charity work no longer fulfills her. Regretting her choice to neglect finding a husband and having children, she sets off to Colorado to visit her brother and his family and that is where Verna Clay’s Christmas Kisses kicks off. A fortuitous opportunity presents itself to Cecilia in Colorado and she jumps at the chance to make much needed changes in her life in the form of a small-town coffee shop. Then we meet the reclusive Connor Mackenzie, painter extraordinaire and a man carrying around a deep, deep hurt. Throw in a mystery son and a host of adorable children and you’ll quickly see why Christmas Kisses is more than a love story.
Whether she intended to or not, Verna Clay has presented us with a story about healing in all of its varied forms. Connor must heal from a lost love and rejected son, while Cecilia must heal her heart enough to allow it to learn to love again. Sean has to grant forgiveness before he can heal and they all must confront their inner demons if happiness will be part of the future. Christmas Kisses is not your average saccharine sweet holiday tale, but rather it is a somewhat dark and searing story of people forced to make tough choices in life. When Cecilia gets a glimpse of what it’s like to be part of a real family, through her brother and others in Paxtonville, she finally sees what she is missing and determined to have. Her strength and ability to remain pure of heart through it all made her a much stronger heroine than she seemed on the surface. Overall, Christmas Kisses is a quick but satisfying read.