Book Review

by Carla Kelly

Genre: Historical Romance, Western, America, Anthology
Sensuality: MILD
Setting: 1809 California; 1855 Crimea; 1870s American West

RT Rating

Kelly combines the horrors of war with the comforting spirit of the holiday in an anthology as unique as the settings she has chosen. Sweeping around the globe, she follows three generations of a family seeking the comfort of the holiday amidst the chaos of war. Realistic and heart tugging, these novellas capture the eras, the places and the characters in a beautifully tender and touching manner. A lovely read to while away several hectic holiday evenings.

Captured by the Spanish off the coast of Southern California, ship surgeon Thomas Wilkie is left behind when his shipmates bargain for a vessel to take them up the coast. As the only physician in Alta he is in great demand, yet he longs to return to Scotland. It may be “Christmas in Paradise” but when the lovely and haughty Laura Marie Ortiz, daughter of the local auditor, falls on hard times, Thomas saves her with a proposal of a marriage of conve- nience that becomes one of true partnership and continues when he is rescued and they return home.

Their daughter Lily volunteers as one of Florence Nightingale’s nurses during the Crimean War. She longs to bring a Christmas tree to the wounded soldiers. Her plan to obtain the tree leads her to American observer and hospital administrator Trey Wharton. The local sultan brings them together as “O Christmas Tree” arrives in lights at the hospital.

Like the members of his family before him, Captain Wilkie Wharton is away for Christmas fighting in the Indian Wars of the American West when he finds love in an unexpected place and learns that war and peace can sometimes live together even if there is “No Crib for a Bed.” (HARLEQUIN, Dec., 300 pp., $6.25)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: HARLEQUIN

Published: December 2011

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