- The Wild Rose Press
- Release Date
- December 2013
Widow Noel Martin never breaks promises, and she promised her kids they'd have Christmas at her childhood home in Connecticut. But driving across country takes money. Noel is broke when a snowstorm blows them into a tiny Minnesota cafe owned by a man who can change her mind. She accepts his offer of a job. Despite her attraction to him, she makes it clear she is only temporary help.
Dan Longstreet isn't adopting any more strays, but he needs a waitress. Dan works so hard to make his cafe a success, he doesn't have time for love. Though Noel's slender blonde beauty stuns him and her two adorable children tug at his heart, he denies how they threaten to change his life.
When tragedy strikes, their new-found love is the first victim. Noel can't stay and Dan can't leave. Will their journey be the gift that reunites them?
Dec 26, 2013 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
72 people found the following review helpful
She's looking for a fresh start and some semblance of security. His life doesn't need more complications, but he's too kindhearted to keep a firm resolve.
Running out of gas money and coasting into a small Minnesota town on fumes in the middle of a snowstorm wasn't what Noel Martin anticipated when she'd made careful plans for a cross-country relocation from San Francisco to the farmhouse she'd inherited from her grandparents in Connecticut. It was almost Thanksgiving and, with her little girl and infant son in tow, the sign in the window of the Deer Run Lounge and Café advertising for a waitress seemed like a badly needed symbol of hope. If she could land the job on a temporary basis, there was a chance she could make enough money to keep her promise to her daughter to have them safely resettled in Connecticut by Christmas.
Deer Run Lounge and Café owner Dan Longstreet had watched the economy wreck his small Minnesota town. A man with a giving heart, he'd let out his farm to a couple of families in distress in exchange for the goods they raised on his property. He knew he shouldn't take in more strays, but when Noel Martin and her children entered his business just before closing time, he kindly offered the widowed mother the waitressing job and the use of the room upstairs that he'd been living in. He knew it was only temporary and that Noel planned to leave before Christmas, but he needed a waitress as badly as Noel needed to earn the funds to reach her final destination. Sleeping in a small room in the back of the café was a small sacrifice to make if Noel helped him through most of the seasonal rush.
Neither Dan nor Noel expected the close bond that developed as they sheltered and worked together in the café. Suddenly they almost seemed like a real family. Making sacrifices when things get tough is what friends and families do. Both Dan and Noel unselfishly give up something for the other, but Noel must complete her journey before the gifts of sacrifice reward their givers with the ultimate joys of peace, love, and Christmas.
Modeled after O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, Barbara Edwards has crafted a wonderfully touching holiday short story that is sweetly uplifting and sure to melt the hearts of readers looking for a needed respite from the demands of the season. This clean, contemporary tale of 68 pages is finely detailed with emotional drama and memorable characters that truly bring this gem of a story to life. So, whether just for simple reading pleasure or for a gentle reminder of the reason for giving, I highly recommend this exceptionally told and emotionally satisfying holiday story of love, caring, and selfless sacrifice.
A clean romance with references to mature subject matter.
Was this review helpful to you?