It’s always a pleasure to come into a book where you are not entirely sure what to expect, then you read it and it was so much more than you expected.
Generally, when you approach a book that involves a main character who is a minister/pastor, you’d be pretty correct in assuming the title sits in inspirational or Christian fiction. Not so with Married for Christmas. It’s simply a contemporary romance where the hero happens to be a minister.
I really enjoy different characters. As much I love my soldier and cowboy heroes, getting to explore the other side of someone like a pastor is pretty cool.
What is Married for Christmas about?
Daniel is her best friend, and she’s known him all her life, but he’s never gotten over losing his wife two years ago. His dream is to become the pastor of the church in their hometown, but the small-town congregation keeps balking over calling an unmarried minister. Since Daniel needs a wife and Jessica wants a husband and family, she proposes an arrangement that benefits both of them.
They can get married. They can build a life together. They can celebrate Christmas as a couple. It’s fine that he doesn’t love her. And it’s fine that she’s not exactly suited to be a small-town pastor’s wife. And it’s fine that she’s more attracted to her sexy, brooding husband every day.
Jessica can be practical about this marriage. She knows what she’s getting into, after all…
So, here’s what I thought of Married for Christmas!
Jessica and Daniel have known each other most of their lives, and have developed a wonderful close friendship over the past few years. As most know, I love friends to lovers as a trope. With Married for Christmas, the close friendship between them is relatively new but no less strong. They share much in common – their hometown and a mutual faith in God among them.
There is a measure of convenience for them in getting married (Daniel’s desire to minister in his hometown church and Jessica’s wish to have a family), and both are initially realistic as to what this kind of marriage entails.
What I think I enjoyed about this story was the romance that developed between Jessica and Daniel. Watching their feelings for each other change and grow towards the type of marriage they both deserve was just gorgeous.
Another thing I thought was lovely was how Daniel never expects Jessica to be like his late wife. He mourns her and is angry about her death, sure, but I loved that he didn’t place her on an unwarranted pedestal.
If you are coming into this thinking you are going to be bombarded by religion and Bible quotes, you would be incorrect. I love that even with the gentle concentration on faith, you aren’t left in any doubt that the church is a central part of their lives. Even if you don’t share the character’s faith, you should enjoy this story.
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 1 December 2013
Note: I was provided with an advance reader copy by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.