a-christmas-brideTitle:  A Christmas Bride
Series:  Chapel of Love #1
Author:  Hope Ramsay
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  September 27, 2016
Publisher:  Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

A season of hope . . .

‘Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she’s determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself…

After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it’s harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime.

Titles in this series include:  A Fairytale Bride, A Christmas Bride, A Small Town Bride

Read on for my thoughts on A Christmas Bride.  No true spoilers, promise.

There are times when a story just gets to you on so many levels.  That was my experience with A Christmas Bride.  Sadness, hope, despair, fear and those endless possibilities that we have no clue how we feel about them only that they draw us in directions we’re unsure of.  A complete rainbow of emotions and each one of the characters brings something to the table.  You cannot read this story and leave it without experiencing some emotional reactions to the characters and their situations – you simply cannot.

Willow is returning home to Shenandoah Falls for the first time in years.  It’s been too painful to return after her best friend’s death.  Even the lure of her god-daughter wasn’t enough to bring her home.  Yet it’s time to return home and do what her best friend wanted – restore the Eagle Hill Manor.  Willow is determined to do just that – in spite of the owner’s bah humbug Grinch attitude.

David’s life ended with his wife’s death.  He went through the motions, he had a young daughter to raise after all but for him his life was full of the should have been moments.  He’s stuck in a past that cannot be changed and is becoming more miserable every passing day.  Willow’s return is upsetting his routine, she’s bringing back thoughts and emotions that aren’t wrapped around his wife and the what ifs that could have been.  He’s beginning to see that there might be more to life, a life that includes Willow.

I have to admit that it took me a bit to warm up to David.  He could be quite a jerk in all honesty.  And his family… oh, some slapping needs to be done there for certain.  Willow’s spirit,, her determination to embrace everything good about the Christmas season brings the light back into David’s life.  They each have issues, are still grieving the death of a best friend and a wife, yet life does move on… and perhaps that life could move on together as a new family.

I enjoyed my time in A Christmas Bride very much.  Christmas Romance always has a special part of my reading heart and this story fit in perfectly.  Life does go on after a tragedy and people need to mourn, and then be brave enough to live again.  David and Willow’s journey to that point is an emotional story that I would recommend to any reader.  You’ll feel with this one.  And you’ll enjoy every moment of it.

*I received an e-ARC of A Christmas Bride from the publisher, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle