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September 29, 2020

A Heartfelt Christmas Promise by Nancy Naigle ~ a Review

by MK French

Vanessa slid her hand along the slick wooden banister as she climbed the stairs. The warmth of the wood softened the appearance of the decorative black wrought-iron balusters -- a real statement of strength and beauty. (pg 1)

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A Heartfelt Christmas
September 2020; Griffin; 978-1250312648
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); holiday romance 
Instead of spending her Christmas in Paris, France, Vanessa Larkin has to go to North Carolina to shut down the fruitcake factory and convert it into warehouse space for her company. Mike Marshall's family had founded that fruitcake factory, and as a widower with a teenage daughter, he had enough loss to deal with. He still has to be Vanessa's guide to the town and is someone she grows to love as much as the small-town life. How can Vanessa find a worthy gift for her newfound home?

The cover sports an adorable puppy with a huge bow. Between that and the obvious plot, this is a perfect story that would be on the Hallmark channel for the holidays. Vanessa is a hard-working woman, never having vacations, friends, or even serious romantic relationships as she did her job. The man she was seeing at the beginning was convenient and she had no real feelings for him, and he felt that she suited his needs. Not exactly romantic, so she left him and took off for North Carolina. It's a town of under two thousand people, so everyone knows everyone else, and a number of them are determined to think the worst when the two people who'd worked at the fruitcake factory the longest were let go, even if they had generous severance packages. Mike is upset with Vanessa; not only did his grandfather sell the factory, but one of those two people was his mother.

Vanessa incorporates the locals' ideas into her plans to redo the factory without completely upending everything they've ever known. It also helps that her boss is conveniently incommunicado. The romance budding between Vanessa and Mike is slow, building from friendship to a closer connection. It means more when they spend time together, taking time to get to know each other and what they dream of for the future. This isn't a book with a steamy interlude partway through, so you don't have to worry about that if it embarrasses you. It's definitely a sweet story, and just as heartfelt as the title.

Start reading:

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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  1. An adorable cover and blurb. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This looks so sweet. I love the Hallmark Christmas movies and I've been wanting to read this author.

  3. Thank you for the lovely review! I really enjoyed writing this story. The second love story with Buck and Anna made it extra special. I appreciate you spreading the word. Hugs and happy reading, y'all!