The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey


Book Review #118


Hardcover, 291 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by St. Martin’s Press (first published September 19th 2009)
Original Title
The Christmas Secret
ISBN: 0312558368 (ISBN13: 9780312558369)
Edition Language: English
Series: Christmas Hope #5
Characters: Christine Eisley, Jason Haybert
One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to curl up with a wonderful, touching and inspiring book. Donna VanLiere has become such a tradition for me, or rather her books have. Each year I eagerly anticipate her newest release, which I gobble up within a couple of days and then I am left downtrodden because I know I have to wait another year for another treasure by her.

Each of Ms. VanLiere’s stories are filled with the greatest of struggles, perseverance, warmth, the greatest of goodness and bonds of selfless friendship. Each and every story has yet to fail to warm my heart and put a smile to my face at the acts of kindness and generosity of the characters.

The Christmas Secret is the story of a young single mother, Christine, who is constantly struggling to make money to feed, clothe and take care of her beloved young children. To make matters worse, her ex-husband is a vengeful man who tries, at every corner, to make Christine’s life more stressful and worrisome with threats of taking the kids away from her.

This is a story of one young mother’s deep and unyielding love for her children. A mother who would do anything to care for them. Christine’s big break seems to come when she is hired by Betty who is the owner of a bakery/restaurant. It is here that Christine meets many new friends and learns the true meaning of faith, bonding and what it is like to belong. Not to mention this is also the place she comes in contact with an obnoxious and overbearing, but very handsome man, who she feels a strange sort of connection with.

The Christmas Secret is full of delightful twists and turns and a few surprises along the way. I have to say that I adored all of the characters and felt a very special adoration for Gloria, one of the most generous and caring woman you will ever meet. Throughout the entire story, I was brought to tears, laughter, warmth and every motion in-between. Ms. VanLiere has such a mind-blowing talent to bring her readers into the story, make them care deeply for the characters and make the characters and actions remain with the reader long after the final word is read.

I actually discovered Donna VanLiere a few years ago and have felt truly blessed by her work ever since. As I had stated previously, hers is one of the new releases that I eagerly anticipate each year and I have yet to be disappointed. For me, the holiday season isn’t off to an official start until I have read a novel by this wonderful author.

I highly recommend The Christmas Secret for anyone looking for an excellent and engrossing story. A story that will remain with you for a very long time and turn you into a huge fan of Ms. VanLiere