Unlucky in love, Maddie LaRocque moves to Calgary at the urging of her former college roommate. Maddie’s luck goes from bad to worse when she’s laid off from her job two months before Christmas. Undeterred, she sets up a gift wrapping business in the lobby of the Drummond Building in downtown Calgary where she meets Annie, a ten-year-old who has recently lost her parents.
When Maddie falls into the arms of the building’s maintenance man it looks as though her luck is changing, but she soon learns that Brent isn’t who she thought he was.
Maddie’s roommate Lily hasn’t fared too well in the romance department either, having been used for her beauty and Asian heritage by a man in Calgary.
The moment Chase Drummond spots Lily, he’s stunned by her beauty, but Lily resists his advances, unwilling to have her heart broken by the most eligible bachelor in town.
Will a young orphan girl be able to convince the two women that love is the best gift of all this Christmas?
***** Review *****
This is a wonderful Christmas read full of FEELS. 🙂
There is a duality of focus on Maddie and her friend Lily, and their romantic counterparts, brothers Brent and Chase Drummond. The Drummond brothers are unique in their own individual ways, as are Maddie and Lily.
Maddie brings a past with her to Calgary. Something she’s put to rest and come to terms with, but it rears its ugly head again. I can understand the depth and complexity of emotion tied to the man and little boy she had to leave behind, and given that, I was impressed with how she handles it all when it comes back to haunt her.
She glanced at the cubicle. There was nothing here she wanted. She hadn’t brought in personal items like most of the rest of the staff. Maybe on some subconscious level she’d known that it was only temporary.
Maddie also brings Annie, the Drummond niece, under her wing, and the two along with Lily become a “girl gang.” Annie thrives with their friendship. Lily becomes not only a friend, but also a mentor to Annie, pushing her to pursue her fashion design interests. Maddie has more of that best-friend/aunt relationship with Annie, and they both benefit from it. It’s as if Annie has always been a part of their lives, and I loved that feeling.
The Drummond brothers are not like most. They actually talk about how they feel. Imagine that! On several occasions, it helped the other keep his foot out of his mouth and prevented some awkward situations. However, both have their own small issues hanging over them, and they both have to make some choices…and they’re not easy.
After finishing the book, I came back and pondered the cover. The little girl is of course Annie, but the couple is Brent and Maddie. For some reason the cover slightly annoys me because a large focus of the book was also particularly on Chase, and of course Lily.
***** About the Author *****
Mona Ingram is the author of 20 romance novels, including two novellas. Many of her stories take place in British Columbia, where she has lived since the age of twelve. In recent years she has lived in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. In addition to reading and writing, traveling and bird watching are among Mona’s favourite pastimes.