Welcome to Advent Reads!
This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now. Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!
Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Audiobook
Synopsis: "When a quilt shop ownerfinds a former Marine’s journal,
she longs to heal his heart…
When Sophie Davis sorts through a box of donated books to her church, she’s surprised to discover a soldier’s journal. As the daughter of a veteran who watched her father struggle over the years, she feels a deep connection to the man who wrote the emotional entries.
Former Marine Cole Aaron battled to find peace after returning to civilian life. He’s always needed to protect others. Now, fighting fires in Pine Hill, Kentucky helps him put out the demons within him. When Sophie shows up at the fire hall with his journal from when he’d first returned stateside, Cole can’t believe it was in the box he’d donated. Not wanting to face painful memories, he tells her to trash it.
Sophie and Cole are drawn together as they both volunteer for their community, but it’s hard for Cole to let down his guard, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. After all he’s been through in the past, can he find faith in a more hopeful future…one touched by joy?
This heartwarming romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Dilly Duchess Potatoes."
My Review: As I am sure you know, I am all about the cozy holiday books and jumped at the chance to read this one. My interest was definitely piqued with the combination of a quilter (my mom has her own quilting business) and a Marine (many of my family members are members of our armed forces). This was exactly what I was looking for in a holiday book, a character with an internal struggle and one who just wants to love and bring comfort and joy to those around them, you add in a stray cat needing love and I am all for it. I do have to say that while Cole is struggling with some pretty big demons, we never get to fully see what all he is fighting internally, we get bits and pieces but not the full story, which I am okay with because it might make this book a bit too heavy. I loved Sophie, she just has so much love to give and while her upbeat personality would drive me nuts in person, it is just what this book needed. This does seem to be a second book in a series but you really don't notice, I do think I will be going back and reading the previous book though as I love the Quilts of Valor are the main theme in the series. This is definitely a book to pick up if you are looking for a book with comfort and hope in them to give you the warm fuzzies.
My Rating: I enjoyed this story, I was able to connect with the quilting aspect and the love that goes into a handmade quilt. The story was so heartwarming, and I do appreciate the fact that we didn't dive too deep into Cole's PTSD and Survivor Guilt, as I really wanted a light holiday story to get me in the joyful mood. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion.
You can find out more about Janice Lynn and the Wrapped Up in Christmas book on her Goodreads Page.
Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy was just released on October 27th so you can get your own copy and enjoy it now in digital or print format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or independent bookstore.