Spirit of the Season

Spirit of the Season

Large Print - 2019
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Joy Preston misses her beloved late grandmother dearly. But when she learns the terms of Nana's will, she's shocked and more than a little irked. Joy moved to Colorado years ago and is now CEO of a successful nail polish company. Her life and career are in Denver. How can Nana have expected her to give that up, even temporarily, to take over a bed and breakfast in North Carolina for six months? Yet there's no denying Heart and Soul's charm, especially at holiday time. The B&B is always elaborately decorated for the season, with themed guest rooms and dazzling lawn displays created for the annual Parade of Homes competition. The entire town takes part in the festivities, and soon Joy, too, is joining in the gingerbread house contest and letting her reservations melt away. There's another special reason for Heart and Soul's popularity. Rumor has it that, during holiday season, guests can be reunited with the spirit of a loved one who's passed on. Joy's skeptical, yet she feels her beloved Nana's influence all around her, perhaps even indulging in a little matchmaking between Joy and handsome estate attorney Will Drake. A special homecoming and the glow of new beginnings will combine to make the holiday magical.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Wheeler Publishing/Gale, 2019
ISBN: 9781432870164
Characteristics: 375 p. ; 23 cm


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Nov 11, 2019

Whew! I just don't know where to begin with this holiday train wreck, 'Spirit of the Season'.

Do I start simply with the spelling errors and glaring editing misses?
Do I begin with being introduced to the lovely Granny Anna, only to see her family laugh inappropriately, exhibit no real grief and constantly behave and speak sourly unappreciative?

'Spirit of the Season' is almost schizophrenic in the way moods, emotions and conversations jump all over the place. One minute there are fond memories the next moment that which evoked the memories are a selfish inconvenience.

It's hard to like a book when I dislike the main character and I took an instant dislike to Joy. For a successful business woman she vacillates between the tantrums and babbling of a 3 yr old, acting like a 14 yr old and sounding like an immature petulant, over-entitled brat even when talking to herself: "And I'm getting a dog or cat as soon as possible. So there."
The dialog between most of the characters is forced and unnatural, even/especially between mother and daughter, and certainly between the love interests. Gag.
I had to laugh because Fern Michaels seems to want to give a nod to just about every social justice cause she could think of, women's shelters, adopted dog, one little afterthought mention of faith, "I'm a believer too. I know many people are not too hip on faith these days, but I just say a little prayer and hope they'll understand." and my favorite [end sarcasm], the one that had me rolling with laughter, the environment, with this gem: "She sneezed. "Okay, if you all don't mind, I think I deserve a five minute break to go outside and shake the flour from my clothes." . . . "She went to the end of the lawn, walking toward the edge of the property that led to the river. She leaned into the bag and brushed the flour from her shirt into it. Same with her apron, though she brushed her jeans off with her hand. She didn't want to give anyone the impression she wasn't hypervigilant when it came to caring for the environment."

I've read some Fern Michaels stories that I've really enjoyed. 'Spirit of the Season' is not one of them unless the intent was for incredulous laughter of disbelief. I also wonder if Ms, Michaels is being paid royalties for her blatant and far too many snooty brand name mentions. . .

Train wreck, indeed. The writing is awful, the conversations are unnatural and the main character is superficial and vacuous. 1 star for inadvertently making my laugh with head shaking incredulity..


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