Three friends, three wishes—one Christmas!
Riley Erickson, her pregnant sister, Jo, and their friend Noel are all wishing for the same thing: the perfect man. Or at least men who are perfect for them. Riley's hasn't turned out to be too impressive, dumping her for her bridesmaid three weeks before the wedding. Jo's husband is being perfectly stubborn. And Noel has given up completely.
When the three women visit a shopping-mall Santa on a lark, the guy is full of predictions. Riley's going to meet her perfect man in a memorable way. Noel is going to get a good man to go with that house she's trying desperately to buy. And Jo, well, a new man is about to come into her life. What on earth does that mean? She already has her hands full with the one she's got. As for Riley and Noel, they have some holiday challenges to meet…
But Christmas wishes can come true, as these three women are about to discover. Because in spite of romantic setbacks and derailed dreams, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
Three women trying to solve their relationship issues, to find their happily-ever-after and make the most of their lives resort to a Christmas wishes for a Santa Claus at the mall, and then oddly, eerily, the wishes start to come true.
I have thought about this story for a few days now, trying to decide if I liked it or not, it falls so perfectly into the middle that I can't dip the scale to either way. I liked the characters well enough. Jo, Noel, and Riley are all struggling with their relationship status from the different angle.
Jo is a Navy wife who gives a birth to a baby and struggles with the long times of separation from her husband while he is serving overseas. The troubles, and blessings, that the military families have is weighted heavily. Jo's mind is muddled with the baby hormones, and from missing her husband's support. She doesn't save the words and ultimatums, as they struggle with the issue of her husband re-enlisting.
Noel just wants to own the house she lives in, to achieve that, she goes into an elaborate scheme to accomplish it. But the man she is trying to butter up not only has a dragon of a mom but is jilted from a previous relationship. The obsession with the house goes a little overboard with Noel, and that's what her story mostly focus on, not the fact that she nearly destroys any chances of a relationship she can have with her dream man while trying to con the house from him. Her sporadic inner-thoughts with her book character were kooky.
Riley's story was the most likable to me in the book, yet it lacked the most believability. If the timespan where she completely got over of her engagement, celebrated and embraced the 'near-escape' of a marriage and found a new man would have been longer than three weeks, it would have worked for me, even three months would have been better. But maybe she really didn't love her first fiance at all, being able to leave it all behind in a blink of an eye but even in that scenario three weeks isn't enough time. Considering she doesn't even meet Jack until way after the midpoint of the book, there isn't much development of the relationship.
Then you add on a Santa Claus who starts to grant your wishes to you, and I realized that maybe I should approach the story from a fairy tale point of view, even more than normally. Then looking from that angle there's all the trimmings of Christmas, the lights, decorations, family, friends, cooking, and baking, there's love, children, gifts, and snow, the spirits are high, and the Christmas miracles are plentiful, all the dreams come true, and love finds it way to a lovely happily ever after despite all. From there, you get yourself an enchanting and amusing Christmas tale for the grownups
~ Three Spoons
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. Her books have been best-sellers, Amazon top ten romance picks, and her popular holiday novel, "On Strike for Christmas" was made into a movie for the Lifetime channel. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.