Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas Kiss (Forever Christmas Book 2)

I normally don't share reviews I've gotten on my books but this one was so thoughtful and heartfelt I had to share.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Novella for Christmas but Will Capture Your Heart During Any Season of the Year!, January 21, 2015

Corduroy - See all my reviews

This review is from: Christmas Kiss (Forever Christmas Book 2) (Kindle Edition)

I was very lucky to be selected to receive an Early Reviewers copy of this title from the "Early Reviewer" December 2014 listings. I enjoyed the title as much as my anticipation. First, I love the title, "The Christmas Kiss" as it exudes love and perfectly captures the story of main characters Adelaide Duval and Roman Bennett. As I read this story, I felt as though the chapters were flowing through my imagination in full-color production as exquisite as a Hallmark Channel Holiday movie. As I share that statement, I hope not to elicit any negativity as I share it with the highest compliments to the novella's author and also to Hallmark.

One of my sheer delights as a reviewer is to share that this romance novella may truly be enjoyed by women and men. The characters of Adelaide and Roman are human and real. The reader gains a glimpse from each character's perspective as they move forward from the past in a positive way. I hope that readers will not judge that Adelaide's recovery of her self-confidence and venture into a new relationship or that Roman's acceptance of Adelaide's explanation of an incident Roman interpreted in a different way at first sight have each occurred too quickly. I would rather commend Sharon Kleve for using the format of a novella so intricately for an honest and frank portrayal of two adults in recovery. Adelaide is in recovery from a relationship of emotional abuse and Roman is in recovery from a physical injury which necessitated a career change and a relationship that was more surface then depth. It is also very enriching to see the characters surrounded by supportive and encouraging friends.

One of the glimpses that is so realistic and true to the core of understanding relationships and moving forward is to understand that perhaps a phrase, a sentence or a song will be a trigger to a negative memory or a sad memory in someone's past. A trigger to Adelaide is hearing Roman say something as simple as "We make a good team." Thankfully Roman is instantly alert to Adelaide's response and immediately asks the right questions of "Is everything okay? Did I say something wrong?" Adelaide is still frozen in place but Roman persists for Adelaide to open the door to the past by telling him what's wrong and more importantly listening to her answer. Then he admits an important acknowledgement by saying "I've got my share of relationship baggage I carry around too." I hope that Adelaide and Roman will encourage others that are seeking their self-worth and self-confidence to be open to new possibilities, new beginnings and maybe even the addition of a rescue puppy for the delights of a full life, a life bubbling with love and laughter.

I loved this selection not only for the outstanding story itself but also for the wonderful and beautiful presentation. The presentation begins with a poem entitled, "Heigh Ho, The Holly" by William Shakespeare that I had never been aware. As I love both quotations and poetry, I find it very meaningful when authors have taken the time to include this element in their writing presentation as the poem or quotation helps to set the atmosphere and mood and further engrosses me into the story setting. The discovery of the quotations and poetry also enrich my horizons and stimulate my personal growth in thoughtful reflections during my reading and as the story concludes.

Chefs in the reader audience (and their families and friends invited to taste test) will be thrilled with the inclusion of the Blueberry Stuffed French Toast Recipe. Sharon Kleve shares her personal love of animals and highlights an awesome animal rescue organization that she has had a personal connection in the section entitled, "For the Love of Animals" as she answered the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) of "why there is some sort of animal in every one of her books". Additional features include a preview of other stories in the Forever Christmas Series and "About the Author Sharon Kleve". The last component which I found very welcoming was a brief message from "Books to Go Now" publishing not only to share their vision in representing authors but in welcoming readers to engage in communication. I have read many novels and do not remember a publishing house providing such an engaging welcome directly to the reader. I found it to be the culminating factor in a breath of fresh air in the entire presentation of the novella. I believe this is my first experience with this publishing company and as the example of an overall experience I found it to be very heartwarming in a variety of ways. I highly recommend this novella and look forward to reading other selections by Sharon Kleve. I will also be interested to learn of other authors who have been published by this company which is a direct result of their welcome to readers and not a discovery step to the publishing house of an author that I've ever considered prior to this positive experience.



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