For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.
And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.
But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true.
Stand Alone Title
Title: A Second Christmas Wish
Author: Kathryn Freeman
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Choc Lit
My Rating: 4.5 stars
If your time crunch or budget only has space for a few select Christmas stories for yourself this holiday season then I’d strongly suggest that you put A Second Christmas Wish on the top of your list. You’ll discover a wonderful, heartwarming story of one disillusioned woman, one quiet and sad little boy and a man who has the power to heal them both – if they all can simply believe in themselves as a group that deserves to be happy together.
An emotionally abusive man can do far more damage with a few select words than with a physical strike, at least in my opinion. For the emotional damage goes on for years with the destruction of self-worth, doubts, fears and the determination to never be put in that place again… even when the best person ever comes along. Trust is shattered and difficult to regain.
This is where Melissa and her son, William are this Christmas season. She’s left behind an emotionally abusive husband and begun a new life with her son. Yet they each still bear the scars of Lawrence and his need to defile and destroy with words. William is closed off and far too quiet these days, but he does want to learn to play tennis with his best friend. This decision will open up a chance for normal for both son and mother, if they can simply believe in love. And for them, that’s a difficult task.
A Second Christmas Wish is so visually formed that it is so easy to picture scenes and people as they live their lives. In truth, this has all the go to buttons of a lovely Christmas holiday movie. Big screen. The book’s cover is the perfect opening scene that sets the tone for the rest of this story. Simple and stunning, and yes I do love that cover and can’t help but comment on it here.
Daniel is at the core a nice man. A talented athlete, yes, but a nice, compassionate man as well. His easy touch, the confidence he builds in William and the acceptance of William for exactly who he is makes him a perfect father figure for this young child. A father is not made from a blood connection, that’s DNA, what makes a parent is the love that flows to a child, the acceptance of the good and the bad moments but all tinged with an unshakable love that never harms but encourages. That is what I saw between Daniel and William, and it made this story all the sweeter and realistic for those touches.
While Melissa may have never known the family closeness that she longs for in her past, it could be there in her future. She has to go past what she’s known and believe that Daniel could love and treasure both her and her son in order to take a risk on what Daniel offers to them. It won’t be easy for Melissa to trust once again, that’s been destroyed. But if she can let go of what was and trust, just a little at first, then there is happiness and joy and security in the love Daniel has for them both… if she will take that chance. I never saw Melissa as weak, beaten down yes, but she has strength that she’s only beginning to understand. It’s that newfound strength that will help her make the best decision of her life – letting love lead the way.
One small child’s second Christmas wish is about to be answered in the most wonderful fashion. And isn’t that what believing in Christmas miracles is truly all about?
This story is one that I will bring out to read once again for years to come – thank goodness a digital copy cannot get frayed around the edges or damaged with hot chocolate spills. *smile* In all seriousness – A Second Christmas Wish is a delightful feel good story with believable characters and situations, and an absolutely brilliant solution. I loved this one and would highly recommend it for any reader no matter your preferred genre. Give yourself a gift this season and take a journey of discovery with Melissa, William and Daniel – you’ll have the time of your life.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this novel. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this story.*
This review first appeared on my book blog Keeper Bookshelf.
Available for the Kindle