One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts has Catherine Pine looking forward to Christmas with her two children and their families. The prior Christmas was the first one without her husband, and Catherine knows that it was rough for the family especially since she could not seem to stop crying. Catherine wants some special memories to help her in the new year when she will be undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, Catherine’s kids have made other plans leaving her high and dry. Her best friend, Denise is taking a Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise and invites Catherine to come along with her. Catherine and Denise meet a diverse group of people their first night on the cruise. Sophie Miles is a hypochondriac who takes extreme measures to protect her health. When she meets Dr. Rudy Nichols, Sophie believes he is the perfect man for her. Rudy’s daughter, Athena has no intention of letting another woman get her hooks into her dad. The last woman was a disaster who broke Rudy’s heart. Athena came on this cruise to keep on her outgoing and kindhearted father. Sophie’s sister, Sierra booked the cruise as a surprise for her husband. Only the surprise was on Sierra when hubby said he could not get the time off from work and encouraged her to go without him. Sierra’s husband loss is Sophie’s gain. Kurt is supervising his advanced German class on this trip and convinced his chocolatier brother, Trevor March to come along to assist him. Trevor takes one look at Sophie and knows she is the woman for him. Trevor is hoping his stash of chocolates will lure Sophie away from the good doctor. A chocolate a day will keep the doctor away or at least that is what Trevor is hoping. Rudy is drawn to the kindhearted Catherine. Catherine likes Rudy but, after he watched his first wife die from cancer, it would not be right to encourage him considering her uncertain future. Holiday magic is at work to make this One Charmed Christmas for our travelers.
One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts is a heartwarming Christmas story. Our main character is Catherine Pine who is a widow and has been diagnosed with cancer. She has already had extensive surgery to remove the cancer, but Catherine will be having chemotherapy and radiation treatments in the new year. The prior Christmas was dismal because it was the first one without her husband, so Catherine is looking forward to celebrating the holidays with her two children and their families. Unfortunately, the bleak holiday is still fresh in her children’s mind, and they have made other plans. Catherine’s best friend, Denise is taking a Rhine River Christmas Market cruise and she needs a bunkmate. It will be good for Catherine to get out of the house. Once the pair are on the cruise, they meet a diverse group of people. I liked the different characters in the story and the fact that they are varying ages. We get to experience the story from each person’s point-of-view (Catherine, Sophie, Athena, Rudy, Kurt, Trevor, etc.). I liked seeing how people’s perceptions of each character changed as the story progressed. It was hard to like Athena and Sophie in the beginning, but they grow on you. Trevor is one of my favorite characters. I loved that he was a chocolatier who went around handing out his yummy chocolate. One of my favorite lines was, “Chocolate cures everything.” The other line I liked was, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I picked up One Charmed Christmas and was immediately drawn into the story. I was up quite late reading because I wanted to see how each person’s story ended. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, but it was delightful and left me smiling. I like how the story mixes romance, friendship, family situations, health concerns, and humor into one entertaining tale. I enjoyed the descriptions of the boat, the towns they visited, the Christmas markets, and the items they purchased. There is some mild foul language in the book. I enjoyed Sheila Roberts’ latest Christmas story. It is a great escape book. One Charmed Christmas is a charming Christmas tale with a romantic river cruise, scrumptious chocolate, present shopping, a stubborn student, spouse distress, cancer concerns, and marvelous memories.
The Avid Reader