ROMANCE

Christmas in Icicle Falls

Mira: Harlequin. (Icicle Falls, Bk. 11). Nov. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780778330790. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488023583. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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When the artificial Christmas tree ordered by Muriel Sterling-Wittman, author of A Guide to Happy Holidays, turns out to be a sorry excuse for a holiday decoration, she decides it deserves a chance to be beautiful—just needing a bit of TLC. It ends up being a gorgeous success, but the idea that all things have potential and can be improved with some affection takes root, sparking a holiday project among Muriel's friends to look for the good in the Ugly Trees (i.e., difficult people) and send love their way. A curmudgeonly neighbor, a thorny ex-husband, a lousy landlord, and a rough-around-the-edges daughter-in-law are only a few of those who feel the effects of extra caring in this playful story that will leave fans hopeful and smiling. Recipes at the end are a plus.
VERDICT A lovely blend of romance and women's fiction, this insightful holiday treat hits all the right notes and ties up some loose ends as the "Icicle Falls" series finds its perfect finale. Roberts (Starting Over on Blackberry Lane) lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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