Review by Booklist Review
Can the magic of Christmas bring the Mitchell women back together? Determined that her two daughters grow up prepared to handle whatever the world throws at them, Gayle has always shown them tough love and never let them see her softer side. But it's been five years since an argument that estranged them, five years since she's even seen Samantha and Ella. A brush with death brings them back together and Gayle hopes that the holiday can reunite them, but she's never been good at Christmas. Family secrets, a holiday romance, and a visit to the Scottish Highlands--along with a castle, snowmen, and lots of holiday baking--round out Morgan's (The Christmas Sisters, 2018) latest holiday tale of redemption and family.
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Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Forgiveness tops the Christmas list in this heartfelt, family-centric holiday romance from Morgan (Family for Beginners). Successful consultant Gayle Mitchell has always prioritized work over family. But after an accident lands her in the hospital, she questions her choices and reaches out to Samantha and Ella, the adult daughters she hasn't spoken to in five years. Confident Sam, the owner of Really Festive Holiday, a travel company that organizes Christmas vacations, has always resented growing up without affection, toys, or holiday celebrations thanks to her mother's hands-off parenting style. Sweet people-pleaser Ella, a teacher, is happily married and the mother of an adorable four year old--but she's never told her mother about either her husband or child, fearing her disapproval. After reconnecting at the hospital, Gayle cajoles her daughters into spending the holidays with her in Scotland. The breathtakingly described highlands serve as a backdrop for moments both humorous and tender as the women reconnect and love blossoms for Sam. Morgan expertly avoids cliché and easy fixes, resulting in a deeply believable portrait of a family relearning how to love each other. Readers will be delighted. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Oct.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Gayle Mitchell has spent her life teaching women how to achieve success in business, at the cost of being a mother to her two daughters. Now they're grown with lives of their own, and she barely knows them. After sustaining a head injury, Gayle is determined to reunite with her family at Christmas. Eldest daughter Samantha, an accomplished travel planner, is particularly skeptical of her mother's change of heart, feeling like she can never live up to Gayle's exacting standards. Still, Sam agrees to let her mother and younger sister Ella, along with Ella's family, accompany her on a business trip to a remote Scottish lodge during the holidays. Sam has difficulty navigating the new family dynamics and her growing feelings for Brodie, their host in Scotland. Meanwhile, Brodie is nursing his own familial pain but is equally attracted to the strong-minded Sam. VERDICT The prolific Morgan (Family for Beginners) offers another tender, family-centered story told in alternating voices among the women of the Mitchell clan. The Christmas setting and romantic subplot will appeal to fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Susan Mallery.--Kathryn Howe, Saint John Free P.L., NB
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