My book club had decided to read Tinsel by Hank Stuever for December, so I knew I would have that book at least. I thought that I could find a few good choices at my public library, but when I went before Thanksgiving no holiday books were out. Then I remembered that my mom has read holiday books in the past. Over Thanksgiving, I borrowed from her 5-6 books that were holiday themed.
I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of holiday books. I think it is the predictable nature of the plots and sometimes the unrealistic settings. Even with these misgivings, I was willing to get in the holiday spirit and try to read holiday books again.
The first book I picked up was Santa Cruise by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark.
At the start of the lighthearted fourth yuletide mystery from the bestselling mother-daughter Clarks (after 2004's The Christmas Thief), Randolph Weed, "self-styled commodore," launches his newly refurbished boat, the Royal Mermaid, from Miami with a "Santa Cruise" to raise money for charity and reward 400 "Do-Gooders of the Year." Meanwhile, Weed's greedy nephew, Eric Manchester, has made a secret $2 million deal with escaped felons Bull's-Eye Tony Pinto and Barron Highbridge to keep them hidden aboard the Royal Mermaid until it reaches Fishbowl Island, where they can make trouble out of federal jurisdiction. Fortunately, there are plenty of Do-Gooders to foil the bad guys, notably the mystery mavens of the Oklahoma Readers and Writers group and sleuthing philanthropist Alvirah Meehan. Full of mystery-lite cheer but lacking in style and substance, this collaboration is never quite buoyant enough to really deck the halls for fans of the Clarks' superior solo efforts.- Publishers WeeklyThis book was like Love Boat combined with Murder, She Wrote. The plot was an interesting story but it was easy to see where the authors were going. A few chapters from the end, the authors told the story from the perspective of a minor character which didn't fit with the tone of the rest of the chapters.
The next book was Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah.
What I liked about this book was that the main character was a librarian. Also there was a decent plot twist between the two parts of the book. I did think it was a little strange that Joy wasn't hurt more after the initial plane crash. I felt how Joy found Danny & Bobby at the end was a little far fetched. The ending was good, but the author could have continued the story for a few more chapters to give the reader more feeling of how Joy, Danny & Bobby moved on together.
The final books were two short story collections headlined by Fern Michaels Comfort and Joy and Snow Angels. I liked the stories by Fern Michaels and Marie Bostwick. The other stories were okay, but very "fluffy". I felt at some points that I was reading a Lifetime Movie.
"Comfort and Joy" by Fern Michaels. Angie and Josh disagree on everything until they face the truth, encouraged by the loving relationship between his father and her mother who have found each other; that they need to look deeper inside each other's heart.
"A High-Kicking Christmas" by Marie Bostwick. Because she broke her foot, Rockettes dancer Kendra agrees to direct a Yuletides play in Maple Grove, Vermont; she never expected to co-star in a personal production with Pastor Andy and his daughter Thea.
"Suzanna's Stockings" by Cathy Lamb. As she lies in a coma, Suzanna's spirit overhears learning things about her family and friends that make her understand what caring truly is.
"Family Blessings" by Deborah J. Wolf. With her mother's mental state rapidly deteriorating from Alzheimer's, Kacey and her family struggle with celebrating Christmas.
"The Presents of Angels" by Marie Bostwick. Former Rockettes dancer Kendra Loomis is happy to be pregnant and loves her husband, the town pastor Andy, and her teenage stepdaughter Thea, but she has doubts about Christmas in Maple Grove Vermont rather than Rockefeller Center.
"Decorations" by Jana McMahan. After her husband Randy dumps her, Michelle Duncan starts over caring for her mother in Asheville and working at a Christmas store with no thought of men until she meets her sculptor neighbor Baxter Brow.
"Miracle on Main Street" by Rosalind Noonan. On Christmas Eve NYPD cop Joe Cody works a drug overdose case that depresses him even more than the fact he and his wife Shelia cannot afford much for their kids for the holidays; he wishes for a miracle and gets one as he learns what a true gift is.