I could hear an audible gasp as you read the title. Yes. Yes, 58 days from today. I looked it up. So, what does one do when there are 58 days until Christmas? Review a Christmas-y book I just finished, of course. Grab your hot chocolate, warm blanket and settle in (unless you are in a warm climate then I just can’t look at you right now. Grab a cold lemonade and sit by the pool then. We won’t hold a grudge.). . .
Yuletide Redemption by author Jill Kemerer isn’t filled with Christmas fluff. It’s a novel full of real life issues – heartache, love, a life you didn’t want, forgiveness and redemption. Plus a handsome, brooding man doesn’t hurt.
After an accident leaves Celeste Monroe to raise her baby nephew, all she wants is to provide one-year-old Parker with a happy life. She hopes taking a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield will help fulfill that goal. But Sam’s determination to avoid the world throws a wrench in her plans. Despite his best efforts, Sam can’t take his eyes off the pretty caretaker. Her strength and her loving nature has him falling for her—and her baby. But he refuses to burden them with a man who’s not whole. Can Celeste convince Sam he’s daddy—and husband—material in time for them to celebrate Christmas together?
What did I think of Yuletide Redemption? I’m so glad you asked!
This is author Jill Kemerer’s fourth novel and her writing is only getting better with each book. Jill had me hooked within the first few pages. That, my friends, is a very important gauge in my reading life. If you can’t hook me by then I’m singing NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye which will be stuck in my head all day. And, I may or may not attempt the dance and no one wants to see that! No pressure, writers, no pressure.
In all seriousness, Jill brought out tough issues with the main characters, Celeste and Sam. Celeste is living with guilt and scars from the past. She desperately tries to move on but those scars keep reminding her of the past and her insecurities surface daily.
Sam is angry and has almost given up on hope. Questions swirl and he blames God for denying him what he hopes for the most.
Personally, there were a few themes that hit me right in the gut (in a gentle-ish sort of way). Sometimes life throws a curve ball** way too curve-y to even come close to hitting. I’m talking waaaay out there. But, you try. You try to hit that curve ball even if you look like a fool with your body flailing over the plate and the bat swinging. You see the bases and you just know if you can only hit that ball-of-life-jackpot you can dance your way home. But, that curve ball is just not within your reach. You want to give up. I mean like throw-that-bat-down-and-run-away-to-your-happy-place kind of giving up.
Only after your poor-pitiful-me party do you realize the next step must be taken. Determination and perseverance begin to surface. The author did a fabulous job of not only letting her characters struggle but what it looks like taking all those tiny determined steps and coming out the other side. Even if the other side isn’t puppy dogs and rainbows every day.
Yuletide Redemption is filled with . . . life. But it is also filled with hope and what it can look like when we fix our eyes upon Jesus.
Go on, now. Go pre-order Yuletide Redemption! And, won’t you be surprised when it shows up at your door or e-reader on November 22nd. It will be like . . . Christmas!!
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author and publisher. Any words written or babbled are my honest to goodness opinion.
**Sorry for the sports analogy. It may have something to do with the World Series being of high importance by some in this household. Just stick with me on this and hopefully it will make some sense!