The Magic of Christmas by Cheryl St. John, Carolyn Davidson, and Victoria Bylin

Just Finished:

Synopsis: Four tiny babes! Three uplifting stories! One Magical Christmas!

A Christmas Child by Carolyn Davidson: Marianne Winters has no one in the world but her baby brother and, with Christmas approaching, she needs somewhere warm to stay. Will she find her home, and a loving heart, with the lonely pastor, David McDermott?

The Christmas Dove by Victoria Bylin: Maddie Cutler once snubbed bad boy Dylan McCall, but with nowhere else to turn she has come back to town—with a babe in arms. Dylan is a reformed man, and on seeing Maddie again he longs to heal her hurt—and claim her once and for all!

A Baby Blue Christmas by Cheryl St. John: Turner Price hasn’t been the same since he lost his wife and child. But when he finds a young woman and newborn twin babies in his stable, he realizes this may be his second chance to be a loving husband and father, just in time for Christmas!

My Thoughts: Recently, I got to experience my very first Cheryl St. John book, Joe’s Wife. Cheryl read my blog post and was kind enough to send me this book as a gift. Since I’m always in the mood to read a good book, I started it right away. Of course, it helped that Sybil had been twittering all over the place about it the week before. The book consisted of three short stories by three authors: Cheryl St. John, Carolyn Davidson, and Victoria Bylin.

A Baby Blue Christmas by Cheryl St. John: I read this one first because I’ve recently become so enamored with CSJ’s storytelling. This tale is no different. I was impressed, because I do think it’s difficult to tell a full narrative within the short story concept. CSJ managed to accomplish this in 93 short pages.

Gabby is a very strong-willed heroine, chasing after her pregnant cousin in Colorado. Although she’s not able to connect with her cousin, Willow, she does find her newborn babies in Tanner’s livery. I felt that Tanner and Gabby had a connection immediately and from their first meeting I looked forward to their story. They of course, have issues to work through. Gabby is ashamed of past; Tanner can’t seem to let go of his. But at the core of it all, CSJ has created two strong, good-hearted characters that I as the reader rooted for from start to finish. Verdict: Very Good

A Christmas Child by Carolyn Davidson: Carolyn Davidson is a new-to-me author so I was looking forward to reading this. I love discovering new authors and at 79 pages, I thought it would be the perfect way to introduce me to CD’s writing style.

I almost put the book down three times reading this story. First, the heroine was described as “a girl, for she was not yet a woman”. That stayed in the back of mind the entire time I read this one. I pictured a young girl, maybe mid-teens? It was a visual I couldn’t shake, even though I did find out halfway through the story that she was 18. I felt pacified, but just barely. Second, Marianne abandons her new-born brother, Joshua, in the manger in front of the church. I was outraged. Third, when I discovered the hero, David, was around thirty. Although, I didn’t feel quite as bad about that when I found out Marianne’s real age. I just wish CD would have mentioned it earlier. Verdict: Okay. Probably not the best Carolyn Davidson story to start out with, but I’m willing to give her another try.

The Christmas Dove by Victoria Bylin: Victoria Bylin is also a new-to-me author, and you all know what a sucker I am for unrequited or reunited romances. This was a great story complete from begging to end, condensed into a mere 83 pages. I can’t wait to see what she can do with a full-length novel.

Maddie was the spoiled daughter of Lord Oliver, a direct descendent of a British duke. She was the princess of the town, and acted the part. Dylan didn’t have it to lucky. He came from a bad family and had a lot to overcome in the eyes of the town. When Maddie left town with a gambler, Dylan tried to warn her not to go. In response, she slapped him and called him trash. One year later, Maddie’s back in town with an illegitimate child.

I enjoyed Maddie and Dylan immensely. I thought their story was very sweet and I enjoyed the fact that Dylan forced Maddie to come to terms with her past so that they could have a future together. It’s ironic how their roles seemed to have reversed; when Maddie left town, Dylan was viewed as nothing more than trash, while Maddie was revered because of who her father was. One year later, Dylan has become a respected citizen and Maddie is seen as the fallen dove. But Dylan doesn’t judge her and forces her to forgive herself. Verdict: Very Good

4 thoughts on “The Magic of Christmas by Cheryl St. John, Carolyn Davidson, and Victoria Bylin

  1. Jen ~ I really enjoyed the VB book in this one. I wasn’t sure I would after the first chapter, but then I could not stop reading. I need to pick up some of her full-length stories.

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  2. The Cheryl St.John was my fave, then the Bylin and DavidsonAnd I am a big fan of CD so that was disappointing but I am sooooooo happy to see her doing HH again.The St.John is a must read. Sez me 😉

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  3. Sybil ~ I completely agree. This probably wasn’t the best introduction to CD. I thought the writing was good, but I didn’t like the story. I didn’t expect to like the Bylin as much as I did because of the “fallen dove” scenario, but I got sucked in and read it non-stop. Of course, that’s easy to do when the story is under 90 pages 🙂

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