Review of “Christmas With You” by Nora Roberts

Roberts, Nora. Christmas with You. New York: Silhouette Books, 2015. 

Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0373281930 | 345 pages | Contemporary Romance

Nora Roberts has been one of those authors whose recent works have tended to be more hit-or-miss. But somewhat recent events have inspired me to go deeper into her backlist, starting with the holiday ones, given the timing. And while I wouldn’t exactly call these two shorter books exemplary, they are sweet and perfect for  the holiday season.

Gabriel’s Angel (1989)

4 stars

While not immediately relevant to Christmas, this story is sweet. I loved the way it introduced two lovely characters in the form of the sweet and reclusive artist Gabriel and the battered wife Laura. While I can already tell abusive husbands frequently make their appearance in Roberts’ work, she always writes these battered women with such sensitivity and also gives them an underlying strength, and Laura is no different. I also love that Gabriel provided support for Laura through everything she was going through.

My main complaint is with the way the custody issue with Laura’s son is used as a plot point. It’s brought up as a threat early on prior to his birth, and it comes to pass with her former mother-in-law coming to sue for custody, but abruptly in the last pages, it just neatly resolves itself with little drama. Despite knowing the original format of publication as a category romance, I couldn’t help but want more from this aspect.

Home for Christmas (1986)

This was a promising second chance romance that I really wish had been fleshed out into a full novel. I mean, for the length it is, it did what it needed to. But given the issues it handles, like the reason for Jason leaving, the relationship between him and Faith prior to him leaving, and the consequences of that, I couldn’t help but wanting a bit more.

 

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