by Christine Feehan

November 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-7628-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Christine Feehan has taken some new directions with her writing lately, and the creation of the magical Drake Sisters is one road leading to success. Introduced in the anthology Lover Beware, these seven sisters possess special gifts that are handed down through the generations. Their ancestral home is located in a small community with tolerance and a willingness to accept those gifts. In fact, in some respects, Sea Haven not only accepts their unusual abilities, but counts on them in times of crisis.

The Twilight Before Christmas opens with a strange poem, reflecting an eerie sort of horror over the impending holiday with curses and bloodshed. The precursor of events is played out through the book, as Kate Drake comes home to stay. A successful novelist, she has finally decided to put down roots and is glad to be home in time for the annual Christmas pageant. She is also looking forward to spending time with her family and friends.

Her plans to open a bookstore on the grounds of an old mill require some expert renovation, so she contacts Matthew Granite, a former Army Ranger who has also returned home to stay. She cannot understand why she is always such a basket case around Matt, whose adventure-seeking exploits have always terrified her. He is the best one for the job, though, so she will just have to try to keep her composure when he is around.

Matt has always wanted to be more than a friend to Kate, and sees this as a golden opportunity to let her know how he feels. He is not expecting to find danger swirling around her, and he is not prepared for the Drake family heritage or their commitment to the town.

I had really enjoyed the initial introduction to the Drake sisters, and this story was even more entertaining. Each time we encounter the siblings, a little more of their personal story is revealed, like peeling an onion. There are plenty of personalities to explore, and Ms. Feehan is weaving a fine tapestry between them that will carry us through the rest of the series. Personally, I hope that the stories continue to unfold in book-length form, rather than in anthologies. The Twilight Before Christmas brings together ancient magic and the wonder of romance, creating an exciting drama that builds to a thrilling conclusion.

Reviewed in November 2003 by Paula.

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