The Christmas Room
By Catherine Anderson
Author Website: www(.)catherineanderson(.)com
The beloved author of the Mystic Creek series gifts readers with a novel of homespun holiday cheer, as two families discover the joy of hope and redemption….
Widow Maddie McLendon has uprooted her life to move to Rustlers Gulch with her son and grandson. But as a brutal Montana winter looms on the horizon, contractors have yet to break ground on their new house, leaving them to live in a makeshift camp of trailers, tents, and sheds….
Since his wife died six years earlier, millionaire rancher Sam Conacher has been content to wallow in his grief alone, while keeping a tight rein on his twenty-six-year-old daughter. But now the girl has gone and fallen in love with his foolish new neighbor’s no-good son….
Maddie and Sam will never see eye to eye on anything, until a near-tragedy gives them a true glimpse into each other’s souls. And as the first snowflakes begin to fall, they’ll discover that an open heart is the biggest gift of all…. (Goodreads)
Cam McLendon has moved his family (his mother and son) to Rustler’s Gulch to start a new career and build a new home. They have to live in a makeshift camp of tents and trailers until their new house if built. It is a tough way to live but Cam knows when the house is done, they will have a great place to live. When he is introduced to Kirstin Conacher through a chance meeting, he finds himself intrigued with her and wants to get to know her better. But Kirstin explains to Cam that her dad will not be happy if he finds out about her and Cam spending time together. Sam Conacher is a mean spirited man who is overly protective of his daughter and thinks that no man is worthy of her. That does not really discourage Cam so they start seeing each other secretly. It is not an ideal situation but as Cam and Kirstin’s feelings begin to grow, the alternative of not seeing each other is unacceptable.
Sam knows that he is pushing his daughter away but he cannot help himself. Since his wife died, he has become a bitter man and is very afraid of losing Kirstin because he will then be truly alone. When he meets Cam’s mother, Maddie, it is a very bad scene and the two instantly hate each other. They both plot ways to hurt the other and a real feud develops. But when tragedy strikes, both Sam and Maddie begin to reevaluate their actions and begin to see each other as people instead of enemies. Both Sam and Maddie can learn a lot from the other, if either is willing to give their relationship a try and become friends instead of enemies.
I really enjoyed the fact that three generations were shown in this book and each generation had their problems to overcome. Cam’s son, Caleb, is a teenager with all of the problems those years entail. But he is good kid and you can tell how much he loves his family. I really enjoyed getting to know him. Cam and Kirstin have their own set of problems, not the least of which were taking care of their parents while still trying to live their lives. The generation I enjoyed the most was Sam and Maddie’s. They had health issues and emotional baggage from their previous spouse’s death, but they were able to overcome a lot. All three generations were blended together nicely and woven together to make a great story.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted women’s contemporary. It was a story of love, loss and second chances. It had humor, drama, sadness and hope. It was a really great book and I am very happy that I read it. I think you will be too.