Title: Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs
Lakeshore Chronicles Book Ten
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 329 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR SUSAN WIGGS INVITES YOU TO AN UNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS IN THE CATSKILLS
A single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O’Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O’Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake, a place for the family to reconnect and rediscover the special gifts of the season.
One of the guests is a newcomer to Willow Lake—Darcy Fitzgerald. Sharp-witted, independent and intent on guarding her heart, she’s the last person Logan can see himself falling for. And Darcy is convinced that a relationship is the last thing she needs this Christmas.
Yet between the snowy silence of the winter woods, and toasty moments by a crackling fire, their two lonely hearts collide. The magic of the season brings them each a gift neither ever expected—a love to last a lifetime.
Candlelight Christmas is a superbly written novel that has a lovely cast of characters and a compelling storyline. In this latest addition to the Lakeshore Chronicles series, Susan Wiggs expertly blends complex life issues with a charming romance and the resulting story is a magical love story that tugs at the heartstrings.
Candlelight Christmas is a leisurely paced romance between Logan O’Donnell and Darcy Fitzgerald. At the end of summer, they are introduced by Logan’s matchmaking sister India who just happens to be Darcy’s best friend. While there is a spark of interest on both sides, the timing is just not quite right for them to pair up. Fast forward to Thanksgiving where the two share a hot kiss and that spark between them gets a little more notice from both Darcy and Logan. But it is not until Darcy joins the O’Donnell family for Christmas that their relationship gets the attention it so richly deserves.
Since her divorce, Darcy has been fiercely guarding her heart. She has decided the only way to protect herself from ever feeling that much pain again is to avoid any type of emotional entanglement. While she is not averse to casually dating, she does not plan on getting too seriously involved and men with children are definitely off limits.
Logan’s marriage may have ended in divorce, but he still dreams of having a large family. He is devoted to his son Charlie and he treasures the time they have together. After returning Charlie to his ex at the end of their latest visit, Logan is struck by the realization that he needs to make some changes to his life. He jumps at the chance to purchase his favorite ski lodge and throws himself into making a go of his new business. The only thing missing in his life is the big family he has always longed for.
While there is a romantic element in Candlelight Christmas, the story mainly focuses on the changes Logan and Darcy are making in their personal lives. Without the growth of the characters, a romance between them would be impossible. Once they redefine their ideas of what they want out of a relationship, their romance falls easily into place. The beauty of the Christmas season is the perfect backdrop for them to explore their burgeoning relationship.
The dynamics of their respective families add another dimension to both the storyline and the characters’ growth and development. While Darcy is quite close to her parents and sisters, her interactions with them are pretty limited due to the complicated past with her ex-husband’s family. Logan’s decision to buy the ski lodge is met with his father’s disapproval and that in turn revives his feelings of inadequacy that stem from past mistakes.
The children in Candlelight Christmas invoke many of the “awww, how sweet” moments. Charlie is a typical kid in many ways but he is a little more mature than his contemporaries because of his parents’ divorce. The circumstances of Charlie’s close friend Andre bring another realistic facet to the storyline and together these two manage to find a little mischief that brings Charlie closer to Darcy. While both kids are a little worldly wise, they still retain a blind faith that Christmas will bring them their greatest wishes.
Candlelight Christmas is sure to be a hit with old and new fans of this wonderful series. Susan Wiggs keeps the Lakeshore Chronicles fresh and interesting with inventive storylines and the addition of new characters. While characters from previous novels make guest appearances, newcomers to the series will feel right at home in this warm and loving community.