We are accustomed to thinking about a quick courtship being a thing of the past. In the last century, if a couple got married quickly, people often wondered when the baby was going to be born.
My husband proposed to me after we had known each other for just a few months, and we married only a few months later. It may have been my imagination, but I often felt like when people heard that and then followed up with asking how many children we have, it was an insinuation that maybe we “had” to get married quickly because of pregnancy. And, no, there was no way I could have been when we married!
Another assumption is that marriages where the courtship is short are doomed for failure. My take is that marriages that are based on anything other than the foundation of first, a deep love for the Lord and commitment to follow Him and His word, and second, a commitment to not giving up on the marriage are more likely to fail than for any other reason.
While my husband and I are not perfect and our relationship has had some rough times, we both knew that we are in this for life and have the motivation to work through our disagreements and to seek the Lord’s help.
The 12 Gifts of Christmas
by Lena Nelson Dooley
Published by Whitaker House
Publication Date September 4, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Texas Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
Malcolm MacGregor is a descendant of Scotland’s Clan MacGregor and a successful young businessman in Fort Worth, Texas. Alanza Cantalamessa works at a gourmet pizzeria owned by her Brazilian artist mother and her Italian Poppa. Both of them are smitten with each other but Malcolm is too reserved to do much more than make small talk—until a promotion at work that will send him away to Australia for six months. It’s December and he has to do something—fast. Praying about the situation, Malcolm decides to give her twelve gifts leading up to Christmas. Their families and friends think they are moving too fast. And a gold-digger who tossed Malcolm aside in the past has now decided he’s the man of her dreams. Can Malcolm and Alanza overcome their obstacles before he has to go abroad? Or is it really not meant to be?
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
When Malcolm finds himself attracted to Alanza, he spends the night in prayer asking for wisdom and determines that the Lord is directing him to marry her. The following month! Now all he needs to do is convince her of that fact. The only problem is that they haven’t spoken other than when he pays for his meal at her family’s restaurant!
Malcolm was very sweet in the way he was determined to win Alanza’s heart through gifts and kindness. He was very thoughtful in his gifts, and perhaps more than a bit extravagant. Then again, when you have a wealthy family and an excellent job, what is expensive is a matter of perspective, right?
I did like Malcolm and appreciated the way he spent time in prayer for so many things. He wasn’t perfect and got so angry with his roommate that he couldn’t even talk to him. So it was nice that he wasn’t so perfect as to seem unrealistic.
The overall plot of the story was good and was romantic as well. There was even an unexpected situation near the end in which Malcolm got to prove himself a hero in a big way. There was a great focus on prayer and dependence on God. The characters’ hearts for ministry was very sweet – I love that they had several dates serving others.
I did find that the dialog was awkward in places and there were facts imparted in a way that felt too much like facts being imparted, despite being “disguised” in conversation. The writing was good in parts and okay in others.
Overall, the book was good, it just lacked that certain something that would have elevated it to great.
She took the pan off the burner, dropped tiny marshmallows into the waiting over-sized mugs, and filled them with the fragrant hot chocolate. “Do you want to drink it here, or would you rather go in the living room? The sofa is more comfortable.”
“Whatever you want to do.” His honeyed tone wrapped around her like a warm blanket.
She handed a mug to him, picked up her own, along with coasters and two napkins, and headed into the living room. He followed.
Alanza’s Best Hot Chocolate
4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
3 tbls. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 dark chocolate bar
1 can real whipped cream
Heat milk over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until milk starts to bubble slightly (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, mix sugar and cocoa together until well blended. When milk is ready, gradually add in sugar, cocoa, and honey, stirring constantly. Put heat on low and add shavings of chocolate bar and vanilla. Continue stirring until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Add whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cherries on top, as desired.
The Power of Words, October 9
Two Points of interest, October 9
Among the Reads, October 10
A Diva’s Heart, October 10
Luv’N Lambert Life, October 11
Baker Kella, October 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 12
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 12
Britt Reads Fiction, October 13
Texas Book-aholic, October 13
Susan Loves Books, October 14
Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 14
Splashes of Joy, October 15
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15
Creating Romance, October 16
Bigreadersite, October 16
Mary Hake, October 17
Janice’s Book Reviews,October 17
Maureen’s Musings, October 18
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 19
Bibliophile Reviews, October 20
Pause for Tales, October 20
More Of Him, October 21
Carpe Diem, October 22
A Baker’s Perspective, October 22
To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbuck’s Gift Card and a surprise Christmas gift!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c9/the-12-gifts-of-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway