Because my reading is on a bit of a go-slow at the moment, I’m rather enjoying trying a few Christmas “shorts”. Sharon Booth was my guest here on Being Anne back in September, and it was lovely to “meet” her properly: you’ll find our chat here. I really wanted to read Once Upon A Long Ago, but instead I decided to tackle her Christmas novella, Baxter’s Christmas Wish. And it was so thoroughly gorgeous – a perfect little Christmas read – that I’m looking forward even more to reading Sharon’s books. Published for kindle and paperback by Fabrian Books, 150 lovely pages, and available for just 99p for kindle, here’s the blurb:
When Ellie Jackson’s marriage unexpectedly ends, she and her young son, Jake, seek refuge with Ellie’s cousin, Maddie. But Maddie soon tires of her house guests, including her own boisterous rescue Boxer dog, Baxter.
A trip to the park proves eventful, when Baxter literally bumps into Dylan. Kind, funny, and not-too-shabby in the looks department, Dylan soon wins Ellie and Jake over, and Ellie dares to dream of a happy ending at last.
But as the snow starts to fall and Christmas approaches, Ellie realises time is running out for them. Dylan clearly has a secret that may ruin their happiness, Baxter’s home is in jeopardy, and she has no way of making Jake’s wishes come true.
Must Ellie give up on her dreams, or can Baxter lead her back to happiness?
Light the fire, switch on those Christmas tree lights, curl up with a hot chocolate, and enjoy this heart-warming festive story of love, home, and second chances.
“Love, home, and second chances” – what a lovely description! Now, many of you will know that I’m not the world’s greatest fan of dogs, but Baxter – naughty as he often is, creating havoc with a smile on his face – totally melted my heart. I’m often not too keen on cute kids either – but Jake, Ellie’s young son, is an absolute smasher. And I took to Ellie immediately – life has dealt her such a bad hand, working all the hours she can n a supermarket (where she can’t afford the prices) to give her and Jake a home of their own, and she’s really rather overstayed her welcome at Maddie’s place (as unpleasant boyfriend Wayne delights in telling them).
One pair of waifs and strays are then joined by another – Baxter the boisterous boxer dog, a friend for young Jake and someone he can finally rely on (unlike his feckless father). They meet Dylan at the park – when Baxter flattens him – and go on to thoroughly enjoy their meetings with him and his gay Yorkie, Tyson. There’s a real joy in this story – and two damaged people drawn to each other over cookies and hot chocolate – until something goes wrong, and it looks like someone else has let down Ellie and Jake yet again. But hey, this is Christmas – and after a few worrying twists and turns, and a few surprises, the ending brought a tear to my eye and really warmed the cockles of my heart.
There was nothing I didn’t like about this one. I read it in one wonderful sitting, and recommend it unreservedly to everyone in the run up to Christmas. And Sharon Booth writes quite beautifully – an author I’m going to really look forward to reading again.