Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Kissing Father Christmas" by Robin Jones Gunn

Did you happen to catch Finding Father Christmas on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries last month? It stars Erin Krakow of When Calls the Heart as a woman named Miranda who, in the process of searching for information about her father, finds both family and love at Christmas. The film is based on Robin Jones Gunn's novella of the same name, and, while there are notable differences (like the setting!), I felt like the movie stayed true to the spirit of the novella.

Gunn followed up Finding Father Christmas with Engaging Father Christmas, which continued Miranda's story. Now she's written Kissing Father Christmas, and I think it might be my favorite of the three!

Anna's first visit to Carlton Heath in England was last May for the wedding of her cousin Ian to Miranda. The beautiful event ended with a dance under the stars and Anna receiving an unexpected kiss from Peter, the groomsman who caught her eye and now holds her heart. Now, at the invitation of family and friends, Anna is returning to Carlton Heath for Christmas. She has Peter's recent email to fill her with assurance that he's looking forward to seeing her again as well. More than his brief words, though, the vivid memory of their unforgettable kiss provides a promise of more to come. Anna, ever the imaginative artist, has been busy painting a romantic conclusion to her holiday visit. Certainly she's not the only one who has been dreaming of another dance and another kiss.

But when she sees Peter again, his intentions seem to shift as speedily as the blustery winter weather. Is Anna's heart misleading her, or will Father Christmas bestow on her the gift of love for which she has long dreamed?

Kissing Father Christmas is a completely charming novella! When American Anna returns to Carlton Heath for Christmas, she dreams of continuing her burgeoning relationship with Peter, a man she met at her cousin Ian's wedding. But when Peter immediately tells her he just wants to be friends, Anna is confused ... especially because Peter's actions don't match up with his words. What follows is an incredibly enjoyable journey, as Anna both finds her place in Carlton Heath and navigates a "friendlationship" with Peter.

Anna is such a delightful character, and I enjoyed watching her experience Christmas in England for the first time. And though I found her relationship with Peter to be just as confusing and frustrating as she did, and I even said I wanted to knock some sense into him, when his full story was revealed, his actions ended up making sense. (I still don't like how Peter treated Anna, but I do understand it.)

Overall, I loved reading Kissing Father Christmas. Here's hoping the Hallmark Channel decides to make it into a movie, too! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Robin Jones Gunn's Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii (3 stars).

ROBIN JONES GUNN is the much loved author of over 90 books with more than 5 million copies of her titles sold worldwide. Her Father Christmas books are a Hallmark Original movie. Her popular Christy Miller series now continues in Christy & Todd: The Married Years. Robin's novels and non-fiction works have received multiple awards and are a favorite with book clubs and study groups. Robin and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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