Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim

Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Hailey Kirby plans to spend a wonderful Christmas holiday at the Cedar Mountain Lodge with her family, celebrating her sister’s wedding as Maid of Honor. Things go awry when the wedding is called off. Hoping to comfort her sister, her mother and three sisters decide to go ahead with their winter vacation plans at the Lodge.

Hailey works in town as the children’s librarian, and under the pen name of Lee Merriweather is secretly the author and illustrator of picture books. Young children adore the stories of Charlie and his dog, Zeke, including Regan, the niece of Nick Hensley, a rock star musician who’s recently moved back to Granite Ridge. When he reaches out to the author to seek permission to write songs to go with the stories, Hailey is forced to confess who she is and the painful reason why she’s been hiding behind a pseudonym.

As Hailey and Nick put their creative minds together, they form a friendship that quickly grows to much more. Hailey learns to trust and discovers some chances in life are worth taking.

Titles in the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge multi-author series include – 1. Christmas Sisters by combined – 2. Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim – 3. Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace – 4. Christmas Hope by Violet Howe – 5. Christmas Dreams by Ev Bishop – 6. Christmas Rings by Tess Thompson

Title:  Christmas Kisses
Series:  Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge #2
Author:  Judith Keim
Genre:  Christmas Contemporary Romance
Published:  October 1, 2020
Publisher:  Wild Quail Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars

Christmas Kisses is the second title in the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge multi-author series and brings us Hailey’s story.  A delightful, emotional romance for a woman who doesn’t trust easily and a man who could bring her every happiness she ever dreamed of if she’ll only take that risk.

We met Maddie and four young girls in Christmas Sisters, the prologue to this series, and now we’ll get to see how this family has grown in the fifteen years they’ve been together as sisters and mother… even if none share DNA.  If you can I would suggest going back to Christmas Sisters for it gives a good background to the stories to come, and we get a firsthand look at how different each woman’s early life had been… and what a loving home and family can accomplish in a young life.

Hailey is an accomplished author and illustrator of children’s books and a librarian at the Granite Ridge Library.  Yet, she’s not sharing that connection with anyone beyond her family for she writes as Lee Merriweather but lives her life as Hailey.  She’s insecure and doesn’t trust easily.  So she keeps her talents hidden fearful that once known as Lee people will only see and like that personality and not the true Hailey.  Fears don’t have to make sense to anyone else but the one experiencing them, so I cannot put myself completely in Hailey’s shoes but I can and do appreciate the struggle she goes through to be seen as herself and to trust others to take care with that trust.

Hailey has always had a crush on Nick, now a famous rock star, and recently he’s returned home and comes up with an intriguing and frightening proposal for Lee Merriweather… to make songs from her stories which his niece adores.  Trusting Nick with her true identity, enjoying being with him and his niece starts a change in Hailey.  And watching her sister go from deepest pain to happiness once again is also working magic on Hailey’s perception of trust and love.

Christmas Kisses has everything you’d want in a Christmas Romance – small-town celebrations, a loving family, a bit of drama, and two people who have issues but are willing to take a risk in giving their hearts away, that they will be treated kindly and not crushed as the world often does.  I enjoyed myself back in this world again.  Hailey and Nick make an interesting couple, bring out the best in each other, and deserved their happily ever after.  Now, it’s time to wait for the next story’s arrival.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle

 

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