The Christmas Edition Review
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In southern Wisconsin, it’s Christmastime, and it’s cold, but that’s the least of Lucy’s concerns. A big newspaper is moving in, and it’s a real possibility that her small town paper, The Turtle Creek Newspaper, won’t survive. With her father on the brink of retirement, it’s up to her to keep the family business going. She needs to bring in a new editor with fresh ideas, so when Joe McNamara blows in with the latest snowstorm, she thinks her prayers have been answered. But the longer he’s around, the more mysterious he becomes.

Joe needs a change, so when Lucy offers him the job as an editor, he jumps at the opportunity, even though it isn’t exactly what he’d planned. It isn’t the reason he sought out Lucy, either. He has another agenda, and he’s starting to feel guilty about keeping secrets from her. She’s been hurt in the past, and he doesn’t want to be the next guy who breaks her heart, but that’s exactly what could happen if he doesn’t change the course of things.

The Christmas Edition is a sweet and inspirational holiday read that will take your mind off the stress that this time of year brings. Ms. Shope has a knack for bringing her settings to life. You’ll feel the cold snow, taste the hot chocolate, and feel at home with Lucy’s family, leaving you with warm, fuzzy feelings.

I did have a slight problem with the characters, though. Most of the time, Lucy comes across as too trusting and naïve. Also, I didn’t really understand why, after two years, she’s still so upset about losing her fiancé because I thought that she’d been left at the altar—and a guy who would do that isn’t worth that much grief. In the end, when Ms. Shone finally explains what really happened, it makes more sense, but it would have been better if she’d at least hinted that there was more to Lucy’s story, allowing the reader to relate to her feelings a bit better.

Joe McNamara also comes off as a little too creepy for my liking. All the talk about mental hospitals, drinking problems, secrets, and sudden disappearances made me worry about what Lucy was getting herself into. I understand that Ms. Shope needed to be vague in order to make the ending a surprise, but she’s a little too vague where Joe was concerned. For that reason, I never really warmed up to him, making him a less-than-satisfying hero.

Other than that, though, I enjoyed the read, and I especially liked the surprising ending—because it’s one of those twists that I love. I just wish that the author had led me there with a little more skill in pulling the plot together.

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