The Christmas Clock

Author: Kat Martin

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Release Date: October 2009

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5

Format: PRINT

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Lottie Sparks never imagined that at the age of seventy-one, she would be raising her eight-year-old grandson Teddy.  His mother died four years ago, losing control of her car on her way home, after drinking, partying and hitting a tree with her car.  Teddy is a joy, but Lottie is faced with a dilemma.  Two years ago, she was diagnosed with a very progressive form of Alzheimer, which is destroying her brain cells and robbing her of her memory.  The symptoms are expected to worsen at a very rapid pace and the disease will eventually kill her.  She has to find teddy a home before it is too late.  Her husband, daughter and sister are dead so there is no family to which she can turn.

Joe Dixon is half owner of Murdoch’s Auto Repair.  He plans to be the sole owner by the time Bumper Murdoch retires.  If Joe had not spent three years in prison, he would probably already be the sole owner.  He blames Sylvia, the girl he was engaged to before she left him eight years ago.  Though he has to admit that back then, he had been a hothead and he had been as good with his fists as he was at working on cars.  While Joe is working on Lottie’s car, Teddy asks Joe about any work around the garage that he could do.  Teddy is fascinated with the sights and sounds of the garage and he is saving up to buy the Victorian clock in Tremont’s Antiques window display.  Though Joe does not like having a child around the heavy equipment, he gives Teddy a job cleaning up around the garage, promising his grandmother to keep him safe.


During Sylvia Winter’s first year at Dreyerville Community College, she fell in love with Joe Dixon, the college’s star quarterback.  In fact, she became engaged to marry him.  But a routine doctor’s exam brought an end to her happiness.  The news was so bad that a week before the wedding, she called off the ceremony, packed her things and left for Chicago, where her Aunt Bess and her best friend Mary helped her get through the worse time of her life.  That was eight years ago.  Now she is returning to Dreyerville.  Mary has found her an apartment above the garage at Doris Culver’s home.  She also managed to get a job as a nurse in a local doctor’s office.  Sylvia’s mother Marsha Winters is now dead.  She started drinking when her husband disappeared twenty years ago and didn’t stop.  Sylvia never heard from her father since he disappeared.


Doris Culver is not a romantic, not since she was nineteen and found her boyfriend in the backseat of his parents’ car with the local librarian.  She married Floyd when she was thirty-four.  Now, at fifty-six, she feels old.  Floyd is six years older than Doris and he is retired, after selling his business Culver’s Dry Cleaning.  He spends all his time now building birdhouses in his workshop and Doris rarely sees him, which leaves her very lonely.  Doris works at Brenner’s Bakery and she loves it.  However, when she gets home, she fixes dinner, Floyd eats and retreats to the workshop while Doris cleans up and works on her ceramics.  Floyd goes to bed promptly at nine every night.


Every day Lottie gets a little worse, but when she passes the antique store, she sees the clock in the window.  The clock seems to center her, carrying her back to a warm time in her past, when she was a little girl.  It brings her a sort of peace and never fails to remind her of her mother.  Can Teddy get it for her before it is too late?  Who will take care of Teddy when she can no longer do it?


THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK is an emotion-packed contemporary romance that will have you smiling one moment and in tears the next.  Joe wants nothing more than to adopt Teddy, but the courts won’t let him because of his time in prison.  Sylvia can no longer have children after her health problem.  Doris and Floyd would love to take him in, but they both feel they are too old now to take in a child.  In the middle of it all, is this charming little boy who just wants his grandma, but if he can’t have her, his next choice is Joe and Syl. He loves both of them dearly and, as young as he is, he doesn’t understand why he can’t just go home with them.  I absolutely loved this story. THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK is a perfect holiday story!  I recommend THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK to anyone looking for a wonderful story for the holidays or any time of year.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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