Once Upon a Jingle Bell
At twenty-five, Merry Christmas Snow, who had been born on Christmas Day, has grown tired of all the ribbing about her name. So the day after her birthday, she changes it to Jocelyn, Joss for short. After losing her parents one Christmas Eve in a multi-car pile-up, thanks to a drunken old man in a Santa hat, she has also had enough of the holiday. For the past five years, Joss and her best friend Reese have managed to get away from the festivities during their Annual Escape Christmas Altogether Girls’ Week Out. Searching for the ultimate anti-Christmas holiday for the two of them this year, Joss comes across the Bah Humbug Cruise. For seven days, they will cruise the Mexican Rivera without a hint of Christmas. However, when she calls Reese, she discovers that her friend will no longer be participating in their annual escape. Her boyfriend Damian has proposed and now she will be spending her future Christmas holidays with her husband. Joss’ mother used to assure her that one day she would find her prince and they would live happily ever after. But so far, that hasn’t happened.
So Joss decides to take the trip by herself. But when she arrives for check-in, she discovers that this cruise has been re-booked on a larger ship. As she makes her way to the updated ship, she is nearly plowed over by a handsome Irishman, who flirtingly apologizes. But it is only after she is checked in that she discovers that the Bah Humbug cruise has been cancelled and in its place, she has been booked on the Twelve Days of Christmas cruise. With the ship already underway, she cannot even find a flight home. However, when she discovers that a contact important to her public relations firm is aboard and her dinner companion turns out to be the charming Irishman from earlier in the day, she decides to stay. Will this Christmas turn out to be as bad as she believes it will be, or does fate have some surprises in store for her?
It Came Upon a Midnight Deer
Reese has mixed feelings about the upcoming holidays. She hates letting down her friend, Joss, by not going on the cruise with her, but she is looking forward to going with her new fiancé Damian to Sugarloaf Mountain to meet his family. Her parents had moved to Berkeley during the sixties and become vegans and that is how they had raised Reese and her brother Herschel. Their turkey was actually made of tofu. To make matters worse, both Reese and her brother had been named after candy bars, to their dismay. So Reese is looking forward to experiencing a real Christmas meal.
Having never met her fiancé’s family before, Reese is desperate to make a good impression. But on the way there, she hits a deer and that starts a whole slew of calamities, including the burning of the family cabin. Will her fiancé still want to go through with the wedding after she nearly destroys his family’s Christmas celebration? Will they even accept her now?
A sweet holiday tale, author Sandra D. Bricker’s MERRY HUMBUG CHRISTMAS is a delectably funny, contemporary romance that will keep you turning the pages to discover the outcome. I love the way Ms. Bricker included both friends’ story in the same book, so readers can consume them back to back. These two delightful stories would even put Ebenezer Scrooge into a holiday mood.
Misadventure, mayhem, irresistible characters, friendship, family dynamics, humor, Christmas, romance and love all join to provide readers with two wonderful stories that they will not soon forget. Ideal for anytime of the year, MERRY HUMBUG CHRISTMAS is a special joy at Christmas. If you haven’t found that particular holiday book you have been searching for, give this one a chance. It is a true delight!