Recently I had the chance to read not one, but three books by a favorite author. How excited was I? I got to read these three books:
In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson’s search for her father leads her unexpectedly to London with only a few feeble clues as to who he might be. Immediately welcomed into a family that doesn’t recognize her, and whom she’s quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can’t bear to leave.
In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can’t wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she’s sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda’s high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian’s father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda’s mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.
A year-and-a-half ago, Anna flew from Minnesota to Carlton Heath to attend the wedding of her cousin, Ian, to an American woman named Miranda. The beautiful event ended with Anna receiving an unexpected, unforgettable kiss from groomsman Peter. Now Anna is delighted to be invited back for Christmas with her family, dreams of romance dancing in her head. But when she finally sees him again, Peter insists his only interest in Anna is as a friend. Anna is hurt, and becomes even more confused when Peter takes her on a romantic tour of London. Is Anna’s heart misleading her, or is there a reason Peter is denying what he feels?
Robin Jones Gunn knocked it out of the park with the Father Christmas stories. They’ll fill the most Bah, humbug reader with hope of love this Christmas season. The three stories are connected by setting and a few background characters, and they provide a delightful backdrop that will keep the reader coming back for that alone. I fell in love with the town of Carlton Heath and would love to see such a place myself – and I’ve never really wished to visit England.
Miranda and Anna, the American female leads, are sweet. While their personalities aren’t alike, the way that they’re welcomed by the residents of Carlton Heath and the way that they respond are somehow both sweet and innocent, even when the circumstances of the story aren’t. I love the wisdom that Gunn imbues into every element of the story and the faith journey that she sends her characters on.
If you step back and think about it, the odds of any part of these stories coming true is extremely unlikely, but Gunn writes with such sweet conviction that they are completely believable. I loved the impending, suspenseful romance of each story and the life lessons that are contained in each.
The Father Christmas books are moving to the top of my favorite Christmas stories list. I love the serious view of love with the lighthearted touches scattered throughout the story and will reread these over and over. The biggest downfall is that I don’t have cable, because I would have loved to watch the Father Christmas movie that debuted recently. If you have the chance, check it out!
I received a free copy of these books from FaithWords. The opinions expressed are my own.