Gracie's Holiday Hero

Author: Betty Jo Schuler

Publisher: Writers Exchange

Release Date: May 17, 2005

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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After living in Chicago, and a disastrous marriage, Grace Singleton Saylor, is glad she decided to move back to Ferndale, Indiana. She starts a business called Special Effects, a decorating company, and buys a house, cheap, since it is supposedly haunted. She is glad she is able to come back and be "somebody" after growing up there dirt poor.

While out buying Christmas trees, she runs into, literally, Merett Bradmoore, an old friend from school. She had idolized him back then, he was her hero, but he had a steady girlfriend, whom he ended up marrying. She never expected to see him again. Merett and his daughter, Kristen, are there shopping for a tree of their own.


Merett had moved back to Ferndale months earlier to live with his father, after his mother was put in a nursing home. His wife had died a couple years earlier, and he felt like he had been a failure in New York where they had lived, so he felt he had nothing to lose anyway. He is now working at the local small town paper; actually, he is running the local paper. He doesn’t tell Grace that though. He still feels like a failure—after all, he doesn’t even have the courage to go visit his own mother.


They keep meeting up, and to be honest, Merett, keeps initiating meetings with Grace. There is something about her that appeals to him. There always has been, even back when they were in school. Grace feels the chemistry between them, but she tries to ignore it. She doesn’t think he’d want her, she is a failure at marriage, and too old to have children, since she is nearly thirty.


Merett has been bitter and disillusioned for a long time, but Grace is making a dent in his attitude. He starts taking some of her advice and doing things he had never thought of doing before. Kristen has fallen in love with Grace, and wants them to get married. She doesn’t understand why "friends" can’t get married.


Problems with a vindictive neighbor, her two sisters, and Merett’s talking about moving back to New York, start to get Grace down. Surprisingly, Merett is the one to bring back her optimism. He is the one she always credited with changing her outlook on life when she was young, and now he’s doing it again. Maybe he isn’t as bitter over life as he thought. Will the spirit of Christmas and the ghost of Mirabelle work their magic on them? Do Christmas miracles still happen?


Enchanted is not a strong enough word to say how I felt while reading GRACIE’S HOLIDAY HERO.  I laughed, cried, sympathized, and got angry while reading this wonderful story. The characters were down-to-earth and became part of my "family." Ms. Schuler has done it again with another excellent story to add to her fine list of books. If you like a story with real problems and solutions in life and love, this is one for you! I am more than delighted to add this one to my collection, and wait excitedly for her next release.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Teresa Henson

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