Amanda’s Review – The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson

The Christmas Room was a charming story and captured the spirit of the holiday for me. ~ Amanda, Guilty Pleasures

Widow Maddie McLendon has uprooted her life to move to Rustlers Gulch with her son and grandson. But as a brutal Montana winter looms on the horizon, contractors have yet to break ground on their new house, leaving them to live in a makeshift camp of trailers, tents, and sheds….

Since his wife died six years earlier, millionaire rancher Sam Conacher has been content to wallow in his grief alone, while keeping a tight rein on his twenty-six-year-old daughter. But now the girl has gone and fallen in love with his foolish new neighbor’s no-good son….

Maddie and Sam will never see eye to eye on anything, until a near-tragedy gives them a true glimpse into each other’s souls. And as the first snowflakes begin to fall, they’ll discover that an open heart is the biggest gift of all….

The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson is a charming holiday romance story that touches on grief, healing and redemption. Two families find their lives intertwine when an accident causes them to move in together. Over the course of time two romances develop. One I could see happening but the second one was one no one would have predicted.

Three generations of McClendon’s have come to Montana to fulfill a dream of making a life here in Rustlers Gulch. Their neighbor isn’t too happy that they have taken up resident in a temporary cabin, tent and an old RV trailer. Sam Conacher and his daughter Kirstin have a tough job on their hands trying to run a large ranch without much help. Sam became a hard and angry man after the death of his wife 6 years ago and his hands couldn’t work for him any longer. Now he keeps suitors away from his daughter Kirstin but she finds ways to live a little.

Maggie McClendon is a widow mystery writer who is making the most of her time with her son and grandson building a home in Montana. She also had been keeping a secret from them and has just a few more treatments before she is clearly in remission. When Sam comes looking for Maggie’s son Cameron, to warn him off from his daughter, they totally get off on the wrong foot and turn adversaries. Forced to live together they slowly realize how much they have in common since they both lost their spouse. Maggie helps Sam see the error of his ways and a friendship is born. Love comes softly for these two and unfortunately hit a few bumps. Nothing can be worse than losing a spouse and blaming yourself for their death. Sam had a lot to overcome and Maggie led the way to his recovery.

The romance that developed between Cameron and Kirstin was heartfelt with cautious baby steps. Cameron didn’t want to repeat an impulse marriage and wanted to really get to know her before getting intimate. Kirstin was ahead of the game and knew it was right with this man. Her past partners may have been limited but the connection she felt with Cam was real to her. After his accident he knew without fail that he loved Kirstin. I guess facing death will do that to you. Cameron and Kirstin’s relationship might have started with an attraction and then in secret, but it felt like they made a real connection and that it was going to be a long lasting one.

Overall I enjoyed this story. Real emotions were expressed and the griefs that both Sam and Maggie felt were genuine and my heart ached for them. Her grandson Caleb was a bright spot throughout the story and had a good head on his shoulders for someone so young. The scenes of Montana she described were breathtaking and I can only imagine what it might be like to see those views every day. The Christmas Room was a charming story and captured the spirit of the holiday for me.

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