A Vision of Sugar Plums by Jennifer Blake
Rating: 4 out 5 stars
Christmas is a holiday that represents magic, love, and family. For Meghan Castle it’s the worst holiday in existence. She’d rather forget the whole thing, and plans to. Until her eyes spy a baby hiding under a Christmas tree in her shop, and a gorgeous looking man offers to help her take care of the child for the holiday. With no one else to turn to for assistance and a snow storm on the way Meghan accepts the challenge.
Rick Wallman planned on a quiet holiday, until a brown-eyed beauty crosses his path. He doesn’t like lying to Meghan, but can’t seem to help himself. He wants to get to know this woman with pain in her eyes, and believes that he and little orphan Annie are just the pair to cheer her up. Unfortunately, even the smallest lies have a way of revealing themselves, and Rick’s praying he can convince Meghan he’s more than just a devil in disguise.
Blake’s contemporary Christmas novella is a treat; an interesting tale of heartache, loss, and ultimately forgiveness. The story has a good pace, and is a quick read for those who want something that doesn’t take a big time commitment. Dialogue and description are evenly matched, and create the mythical flow that some writer’s strive for.
At first I was a little freaked out by a guy picking up on a woman with a baby, but Rick is a caring guy. Once you get in his head, you can’t help but see he’s the type who would help a stranger in need or haul cars out of ditches. He’s definitely got some secrets and I’m not going to share them. Once I found out about them, I quickly was able to sympathize.
Meghan’s definitely got a lot weighing on her shoulders. Her losses are deep, and she’s been in the dumps for far too long. The appearance of the baby and Rick set her on edge, but I liked how she was able to relax and open up to the possibilities. She’s definitely a strong character, and how she gets her HEA is surprising; yet heartfelt.
My only issue with this story is that a couple of situations were not realistic. The situations are based on some of the romance, and the reality of the plot. These issues were easily overcome because I’m a sucker for the hero, and at Christmas just about anything can happen.
Overall, a sweet tale and a good read. Especially if you need to be reminded of why lying doesn’t get you anywhere, and how forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we have. I will caution readers that this novella was originally released in 1996, so some of the settings and technological mentions may not be current with today. If you love Jennifer Blake and a good Christmas story then this one should be a purchase.