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5 stars for Santa’s Wish Fulfilled by Jan Scarbrough #holidayromance #romance #bookreview

Title: Santa’s Wish Fulfilled

Author: Jan Scarbrough

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance

Book Blurb:

Last Christmas, Santa made a wish…

Last Christmas Roz Henry lost her boyfriend and her job. With her beloved grandfather sick, she went home to the small New England town of Dickens. She’d found what she didn’t know she was looking for: a second chance with the boy she’d left behind all those years ago, Cooper Brown. A widower, Cooper had never forgotten his first love. Christmas brings rekindled romance and a proposal, just like a perfect Hallmark movie. But what happens after the happily-ever-after ending?

This Christmas, Santa’s wish is fulfilled…

A year has passed but Roz still hasn’t started planning the wedding, and Cooper’s starting to worry. Roz is, too. Is it just cold feet? Worry she’s not living up to her potential? Roz comes from a long line of selfless medical professionals, so what’s she doing working in a bookstore? She wants to be more than a housewife and mother, even though that life made her Grandma Tress happy. Her grandfather believed love never dies, but can it wither away from neglect? Roz loves Cooper, but she needs to be her own person first. Maybe a real happily-ever-after takes hard work, a lot of love, and some special Dickens Christmas magic.

My Review:

Jan Scarbrough brings a unique and welcome twist to the romance genre in Santa’s Wish Fulfilled. Instead of dropping us off at the happily-ever-after (however satisfying that is for readers), she digs deeper, taking us behind the scenes to show what’s involved, at times, to make the romance work.

You may think this strips the romance out of the story, but quite the opposite is true. The journey to the ending is well worth taking and makes the ending that much more rewarding.

Roz Henry lost her marketing job and her boyfriend on the same day—okay within the same hour. Right before Christmas. She heads to the comfort of the home of her grandparents for the holidays to contemplate her future.

It’s in the little town of Dickens in New England she reconnects with her former boyfriend and now widower, Cooper Brown, who stills lives next to her grandparents. He acts aloof at first, and who can blame him? She dumped him for her dream of a career in the big city.

Did she make a mistake all those years ago? And will Cooper give her a second chance?

She loves Cooper, but will being his wife and simply working in a bookstore be fulfilling enough for her? Her parents are doctors who travel the world, and her grandfather is a retired doctor. She wonders if she should follow in her family’s footsteps and pursue a medical career.

Her internal struggle to find her place in a small town after experiencing the city and a career is fundamental to the second half of this remarkable book. While she decides to go to nursing school as a way to find what fulfills her, it’s her grandmother’s old diary that holds the key to her happiness.

I love this story—two stories, actually—because it shows that happily-ever-afters don’t always come easily but are worth working toward. The plot twist in the second half of the book is surprising, but in keeping with the character of Tress, Roz’s grandmother.

From the quaintness of Dickens, the quintessential Christmas town, to the down-to-earth characters who populate it, there’s a lot to love in this story. Scarbrough portrays Roz’s doubts about her place in the town in a realistic, yet sympathetic manner. I connected with her because at some point in a woman’s life, we question our purpose.

Scarbrough has written an alternative romance story that entertains and delights as well as gives you something to think about. By allowing us to peek behind the happily-ever-after, she’s brought a positive realism to the genre, while maintaining the warmth and fuzzy feeling we all love.

If you’re looking for a Christmas-in-July read, I highly recommend this book. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, turn up the air conditioner, snuggle under a blanket and be transported to the Christmas town of Dickens.

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

The author of two popular Bluegrass romance series, Jan Scarbrough writes heartwarming contemporary stories about home and family, single moms, and children. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.

The Ghost Mountain Ranch series is a contemporary western series with a good blend of mystery and happily-ever-after romance. The Dawsons of Montana is another four-book contemporary western series.

Jan leaves her contemporary voice behind with two paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her historical romance, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan self-publishes her books with her husband’s help.

Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with one rescued dog, one rescued cat, and a husband she rescued twenty-three years ago.

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Reviewed by: Terry


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