Author: Erin Stevenson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 14, 2022
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
When Finn Donovan answers a late-night knock at the door, there stands Charity Sullivan, the only woman he' s ever loved. He hasn' t seen her since the night nearly seventeen years ago when they shared a magical kiss after a months-long friendship.
But Charity isn' t alone, and her last name is no longer Sullivan. Her four children are with her, and she' s looking for a place to hide. Her marriage just ended, and her former father-in-law, a powerful, dangerous underworld boss, will stop at nothing to keep her from leaving with his grandchildren.
As Finn and Charity' s friendship rekindles, Finn' s protective instincts go on high alert. He' s never stopped loving her, but as an upright, God-fearing man, doesn' t want to take advantage of her vulnerability. Charity is drawn to Finn. She dreams of a future for them, but unanswered questions from the past stand between them.
When Charity receives a phone call telling her that her former father-in-law has discovered her whereabouts, she decides to go on the run again. But Finn isn' t having any of it. He has a Christmas dream of his own, and it won' t come true without Charity and her children.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
Finn Donovan just finished closing his restaurant for the night. He felt good about the Thanksgiving dinner he served to his community, giving people with no place to go a warm meal and sweet fellowship. Finn thought that serving wasn’t always about the money. He told his family it was about investing in people’s lives.
There was a loud knock. He opened the door. Finn wasn’t prepared for the surprise he found. He couldn’t believe his eyes. There stood a woman he knew well and her children.
Seventeen years ago, they “shared a kiss that shimmered with hope and promise. It was one sweet, perfect, magical kiss.” Now she shows up at his restaurant with four children. Something was amiss.
The author starts this story in the current time and then gives readers a peek at past events through flashbacks. I loved their stroll down memory lane as they tried to clarify what had happened during their senior year of high school.
I loved the hustle and bustle of how the Donovan’s did family, how they came together to support one another at the restaurant, and how they encouraged family through hard times. The love that they had spilled over to Charity and her children.
I loved watching Charity (the pastry chef) and her children bloom and grow as she made the desserts she loved. It was fun to have her set up the Cheesecake sampling event. (I wanted to go there)
This delightful story will help you get in the Christmas spirit as the author welcomes readers to join the Donovan family restaurant experience as they prepare for the holidays. I liked how Finn and Charity talked about how becoming a Christian changed their lives and how the subject came up naturally, not in a preachy way.
It has a surprisingly sweet ending and an epilogue that will make you smile. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I requested and received a copy of this book from the author through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this following the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
This was a charming novella. I loved that it included two people with a second chance at romance.
Seventeen years before Finn Donovan and Charity Sullivan met, Finn had a lovely and caring family. But Charity's family life was not so great. Because of her father's political position, Charity was thrust into a marriage beneficial to her father but not to Charity. Her family only went to church on Christmas and Easter.
Charity's older boys had one father, and the younger children had another father. Neither father was supportive of their children.
One night Finn Donovan received a knock on his restaurant's door. There was Charity and her four children. They needed a safe place, and Finn let them come in. This began the friendship and attraction all over again for Finn and Charity.
I loved the book's strong references to God and the Lord Jesus.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Rick Norris
Erin Stevenson's novel, A Dream of Christmas, brings the real spirit of Christmas to the reader any time of year. This novel isn't the typical Christmas story like It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas, where Christmas lights and trimmings take center stage. Instead, this wonderful romantic novel illuminates the Christmas spirit of love through the actions of individuals who really care for each other.
The central story begins when Charity Sullivan walks back into the life of Finn Donovan after a seventeen-year absence. She was the only person he had ever loved, and he couldn't forget her. But this reunion wasn't one of laughter and sharing of funny memories. Instead, Charity returned to Finn, the only person she could trust, with her complicated, dangerous, and mysterious life—and four kids. Finn, who wears Christian empathy on his sleeve, couldn't say no to her request to stay with him because the family had nowhere else to go.
Erin Stevenson does two things very well in this book. She quickly and very carefully sets the stage and introduces the protagonist's (Finn Donovan) character. Second, she peels away the story like an onion, merging past and present into a well-organized narrative. She masters the craft of flashbacks and foreshadowing and never loses the reader. She often switches points of view between scenes, illuminating the characters' private thoughts without "head-hopping."
The author is not shy about invoking Christian values. She focuses on the characters' motivations for choosing Jesus Christ as their last resort when confronted with trauma. The traumas and situations in the book may resonate with readers, making this novel more relevant to what they have (or are) experiencing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it and its author.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author through Interviews & Reviews for an unbiased and objective review.
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