The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care.

Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

Titles in the Christmas Hope series include:  The Christmas Shoes – The Christmas Blessing – The Christmas Hope – The Christmas Promise – The Christmas Secret – The Christmas Note – The Christmas Light – The Christmas Town – The Christmas Star –

Title:  The Christmas Star
Series:  Christmas Hope #9
Author:  Donna VanLiere
Genre:  Inspirational Christmas Romance
Published:  October 16, 2018
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
My Rating:  4.5 stars

While usually I’d be suggesting that you read the entire series to get the full enjoyment from a story… I don’t feel you need to do that to be completely caught up in The Christmas Star for its message and story are timeless.  Yet, if you can read the other books in this series, even if it’s only over a few Christmas seasons, then you’ll find an inspiring, faith-filled Christmas Romance series with tons of believable characters and situations to enjoy for a very long time.  My own collection is not yet complete, but Christmas Hope is one series  that gets pulled out to be re-read at this time of year.

The Christmas Star is a story of hope, belief and maybe even taking a chance during the Christmas season.  Meet Maddie, one adorable little girl who has found herself in the foster care system.  Her greatest hope is for a forever home.  And when two of her favorite people around look like a really good match for a happy ever after, in Maddie’s mind at least, well, she’ll stop at nothing to get Gabe and Amy together… forever.  Unfortunately, Maddie doesn’t see the pain in Gabe or Amy, their past disappointments, how life has shaped them to bring them to this point.  Or perhaps that should be fortunately Maddie doesn’t see — for this little girl believes with all her heart, and her ability to move a situation around to her liking, that Gabe and Amy would be perfect for each other.  If there is a star of this story – aside from absolute faith – then it has to be little Maddie.  I loved that little maneuvering matchmaker and she so richly deserves every happiness she can find.

Both Amy and Gabe are alone, for different reasons perhaps, but the aloneness is still there.  Now comes the question that is at heart very simple, can two people who have faced life’s difficulties find it within their hearts to believe that there is someone perfect for them… in spite of their pasts.  That is the core of The Christmas Star.  And while it might seem that Amy and Gabe are on the opposite sides of a former situation, don’t give up hope for them – it is, after all the time of Christmas miracles… and one determined little matchmaker.

I enjoyed The Christmas Star very much.  Its message of hope, forgiveness, understanding and love is timeless and yet as relevant as today’s news.  None of us are perfect, we’ve all made mistakes, unwise decisions… but that doesn’t mean that we gave up our happy ending.  This story is faith based, yet it does not hit the reader over the head with one type of faith.  God is very much alive and working in lives… that is the underlying faith message.  I believe that only each individual reader can decide what they feel about The Christmas Star.  I happened to love it, and I believe you will, too.

*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.*

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