Who stole the million-dollar Christmas ornament? Principal Olivia Lyons sets out to uncover the thief. Sparks fly when she discovers the charismatic new guidance head thinks she took it. Fighting her growing attraction to him, she worries she will end up in jail, in love, or both.
Learning how to reach out for help is as important as knowing when to reach out a helping hand to others.
If you love Hallmark movies, you will adore this wonderful Christmas story with an uplifting message about how to help those who are struggling with loss and learning to live and love again. Then there are the unexpected surprises that keep you turning pages and wondering how come you didn’t see that coming!
Open Suzanne Hurley’s new novel, The Christmas Rose, and it lights up like a Christmas tree. Ms. Hurley’s story embodies all the beloved elements of the season: festive decorations, holiday music, good food, and good cheer. In addition, she gives her readers a mystery-romance wrapped up like a surprise present.
Sadly, not everyone anticipates a happy Christmas. Since the death of her mother, ironically on Christmas Day two years earlier, Olivia, has ignored Christmas. This year, to add to her angst, Dave, the man in her life, has deceived her, having failed to mention that he has a wife. In these circumstances, it would take more than decking the halls to kindle Christmas spirit in Olivia.
She loves her job, though, and, as principal of her local high school, she enjoys chaperoning the school’s band and choir to the annual Christmas celebration at the mansion of Eugene Turner. Unfortunately, while there, a jeweled ornament worth millions goes missing.
This decoration is a golden angel, holding a garnet and jade rose. It has great sentimental value attached to it. Could one of Olivia’s students have stolen it? It looks that way, and, if so, this would be a huge black mark against the school. Even worse, what if the thief proves to be Jacob, a boy whom she has befriended, along with his twin sister, Kaley?
This possibility of Jacob’s guilt would complicate her already difficult relationship with Jacob’s uncle, the enigmatic Steve Lesnick.
As signs of Christmas flourish all around her, Olivia is determined to find the thief and return the ornament to Mr. Turner. Ms. Hurley provides many a twist and turn along the way until finally Olivia herself emerges as a suspect. And it looks as if once again a man is going to betray her.
But this is a time of miracles when not all is as it seems, and blessings of all kinds lie in wait for those who persevere.
In The Christmas Rose, Hurley demonstrates her understanding of troubled adolescence and also her skill in crafting a puzzling mystery. She is, after all, the author of the acclaimed Samantha Barclay mystery series which never fail to delight the reader. With this touching story, she proves that she is a talented romance writer as well.
The Christmas Rose deserves a place on your Christmas shopping list. Buy one for yourself and an extra copy for someone you love. It’s a superior holiday story, as rare as a priceless angel ornament.
Review by Dorothy Bodoin,
The Christmas Rose is written in the first person and the reader is very swiftly drawn into Olivia Lyon’s life. In fact, the novel is so well written that you could almost believe that Olivia was a real person.
At thirty-two, Olivia is the principal of a school, Centennial High in Belltown. Her mantra is, “she never wants or needs a man” but then she falls for Dave, a married con man who plays upon her good nature and takes her money. Worse, Dave also has a vengeful wife.
The story line is made all the more realistic by subplots concerning the theft of a valuable ornament and dealing with a disrespectful member of staff.
The Christmas Rose has a plot that twists and turns like a snake. But I’m not revealing any more.
Read the book.
Five Stars *****
Review by Andrew R Williams