Merry and Bright

Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances.

Merry Smith is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects—or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

Debbie Macomber can always be counted on to provide sweet, romantic, feel-good stories and when she adds in a Christmas season theme be prepared to read with a smile and thoughts of candy canes dancing through your head.

Her characters are likable which helps tremendously when reading a book with a Christmas theme but even better her side characters make wonderful additions to this story. Merry and Jayson are thoroughly enjoyable to read about as their dichotomy plays off each other and the story in a delightful way. Merry is all about the holidays and Jayson is the inherent Scrooge for balance who just like the Carol gets to see life in a better way under her influence. Macomber made sure to add her special touch to others such as Merry’s family. They are a tight group but it was her brother who really stole the show and often my heart! His portrayal felt honest, heartwarming and his relationship to others, particularly Merry and Jayson, added that touch of Tiny Tim Hope-feeling every good holiday story needs.

Her moments of humor will have you letting out those deep chuckles normally reserved for Santa. You will laugh, cry, and feel warm all over in alternating scenes and sometimes all at once because that is how Macomber writes – pulling at the heart strings. She proves you don’t need violence, graphic sex or colorful language to be entertaining.

If you love Christmas themed stories you really should give this one a chance.

Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for allowing me to review this!

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