by Donna VanLiere

October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-55836-9
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

For the past several years Iíve anticipated this time of year not only for the goodwill that seems to flow from one person to the next, but also for the wonderful holiday stories that get the attention they lack the rest of the year. One of my favorite holiday authors is Donna VanLiere and this year she gives readers her gift in the form of her newest book entitled The Christmas Secret.

The Christmas Secret is the story of Christine Eisley who is a single mom, as so many single moms, struggling to keep things afloat. She works hard, and yet when her babysitter shows up late one too many times, thus forcing Christine to be late to work she ends up losing her waitress job. Fortunately for her she quickly finds another, and while itís not meant to be a permanent job it does teach Christine some lessons that wonít be forgotten easily.

The Christmas Secret is also the story of Jason, Marshall Wilson's grandson who thinks that because his family has owned the local department store for years and years that life should be handed to him. Unfortunately for Jason, life hasnít turned out quite that way. Now heís back in the small town grudgingly helping his grandfather through another Christmas season, but as soon as he can land a new high paying job heís out of there...or is he?

The Christmas Secret is the story of what happens when two such different lives take an intersecting path. While I would tell you that The Christmas Secret is a story of faith and trust, itís also the story of love...maybe not a romantic love as a man for a woman, but of a love of one person for another, and the paying of one good deed forward so that it may turn into another and another still.

In the past Iíve found myself unable to put down Ms. VanLiereís stories, and while I wasnít that swept away by The Christmas Secret I still found it be amongst the best of the holiday books that Iíve read to the time of this writing. Unlike previous titles by this author I didnít need a box of tissues handy to read, but as I closed the book I was left wondering how I could go out and pay it forward.

Reviewed in November 2009 by Sandi.

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