by Polly Bolack

November 2002
ISBN: 1-58749-331-4
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All We Want For Christmas is a nice, friendly love story. The romance is gentle and inevitable, presented without any real obstacles, and since the characters are so pleasant this seems only right. The villain is odious, but not evil, and even he ends up touched by the Christmas cheer filling every page. There is something about it that makes you want to decorate your home with pine bows and maybe have some hot chocolate.

Cute but distraught widower Mike Couric is having problems with his children, who demand a new mother for Christmas and have even picked one out for him ó child Psychologist Dr. Joyce Anderson. One meeting with Joyce and Mike has to agree; the difficulty lies with Joyce. She is determined to go ahead with her marriage to a rich snob, a sacrifice for someone dear to her, though she keeps her motives a secret from Mike, not wanting him to get any closer to her than he already has. But her choices have left her out of touch with herself and with her faith, and it will take Mike, his children, their housekeeper, their pets, and their pastor to help her find love again.

Faith is the major issue of the book, and it would be impossible to review this book without discussing the Christian values and morals occupying much of the charactersí, and the readersí time. It is the governing force in the lives of the novelís characters, and seeing as a large percentage of the population, myself included, are, or were raised, Christian, and noting that this is a Christmas story, I see no problem with that fact in itself. In fact it made the book different from many romances with violent heroes and degraded heroines. However, accompanying the admirable sentiments of trust and love was an irritating sense that anyone who was not Christian was just not quite good enough, expressed a few times, but enough for me to truly be bothered by it.

But ultimately, All We Want For Christmas will make you want to have the best Christmas ever, lights, candles, and a big tree shining with stars. And if Mike and his familyís charity will inspire you to acts of your own, then perhaps it will be.

Reviewed in November 2002 by Wendy B..

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