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Friday, April 23, 2010

Christmas Stranger by Marion Kelley Bullock

Christmas Stranger by Marion Kelley Bullock
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Holiday, Contemporary, Christmas
Length: Short (99 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Melinda Jane Frazier, postmistress and farmer in Primrose, Missouri, accepts her single state. But her quiet existence changes overnight when strangers arrive during a blizzard. She hefts Papa's old rifle from the gun rack, cocks it and cracks the door open.

She opens her home to Zeke, a widower, and his young son Timothy. They fill her heart with unexpected Christmas cheer. Though Zeke insists he¿s a drifter, Melinda begins to hope he¿ll change. How can she bear to return to the lonely life she knew before Zeke drifted to her door?

The Christmas stranger in the story Christmas Stranger is a stunningly good looking widower and single father, Zeke. Zeke, for all his don’t-tie-me-down attitude, evokes empathy in the alone and lonely spinster woman Melinda Jane Frazier. She’s a postmistress (might as well be a librarian) in a tiny prairie town. It’s easy to see her attachment coming; and honestly, just how Zeke chats with young son Timothy, makes him seem the gentlest of men. It’s not hard to predict that the postmistress in her empty house would find him attractive… and right away, her cooking ability makes her a hit with the two menfolk. Still, love just can’t be that easy – or can it?

Lovely background descriptions evoke a wonderful sense of the place, and of holiday sentiments. Melinda’s cooking, and discussion of the menu items (fried chicken and the like) enhance the down-home feel.

The only drawback, in my opinion, was that Ms. Bullock rather lost some of the dramatic tension when she exhibited Zeke’s point of view at times. In a story so blatantly predictable from the start, it would have been better to hang onto what little tension existed.

Still, overall charm and wonderful warm-hearted characters make this a very enjoyable read. Not to mention, the simply charming cover suits it perfectly. I give this four books.