When baby Emma has croup and can hardly breathe, her young widowed mother, Celia Anderson, is desperate. God sends Mark, a stranger looking for a room at Widow Anderson’s boarding house, to save Emma. At least that’s what Celia says, but Mark does not have much use for God.
It’s 1882 and Mark is scouring the West to find his father, a man who left him and his mother when he was a baby. His last lead sent him to Celia’s Wyoming Territory town, and it seems to be a dead end. Since Mark has nowhere else to go at least until spring, he settles in as the town’s carpenter, boarding at Celia’s.
So Celia has yet another suitor eating at her boarding house table, one who is conflicted about his own father as well as about his ability to be a father to baby Emma. She ponders which of the men will be a good father as well as husband (and Celia has decided opinions about what makes a good husband), but before she can decide, Mark comes face to face with his past.
Beautiful Celia is sweet and spunky, handsome Mark is sensitive and manly, and baby Emma is a dream. This sweet novel is both predictable and improbable, but that is part of its charm. I enjoyed Christmas Roses and think it will please anyone looking for a light read.
This romantic Christmas novel has a surprisingly deep theme: fatherhood. It is not a good reflection on North American culture that missing fathers are becoming common even in fluffy novels, but Amanda Cabot uses the theme to add poignancy to the romance.
Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.