Passey’s (The Tree Keeper’s Promise, 2016, etc.) latest Christmas tale is a lighthearted romance inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic holiday novel.
Eleanor Fooge is running her grandmother’s fudge business in Pine Creek, Colorado, and it’s not going well. The company is losing money, and Eleanor’s control issues have alienated her business partner. When Eleanor’s angry opinions about charity go viral, the business’s reputation suffers. She’s seen as a classic Scrooge despite her strong aversion to her name’s being compared to Dickens’ famous literary character’s. Enter Cam Wilson, a consultant whom Eleanor brought in to help save the business. He had a crush on her back in high school, years ago, and he’s retained his youthful good looks and charming personality—and Eleanor takes notice. He’s also smart enough to recognize that although Eleanor can effectively make the hard decisions required to save the company, her temperament is unpredictable. She also treats her employees terribly, going so far as to force them to work on Christmas. In addition, her hatred of all things Scrooge causes her to pass up good business opportunities, such as selling fudge at a local theater company’s sold-out performances of A Christmas Carol. She just wants to save the business before her grandmother finds out about the trouble. Cam wants to do his job, but he also finds himself falling for Eleanor all over again. Passey’s spin on the Dickens tale is as sweet as the fudge that Eleanor dishes up throughout the novel. Eleanor’s transformation is expected but enjoyable, and Passey makes a good observation about Scrooge himself: “he’s generous and kindhearted by the end. But no one…wants to give him that credit. Once a miser, always a miser.” The author’s prose flows nicely, and the chemistry between Cam and Eleanor is a consistent treat. There are no steamy love scenes along the way, but Cam’s willingness to lay everything on the line for Eleanor is a Christmas gift that romance fans will want to unwrap.
A light and fluffy confection that’s a perfect read for a holiday break.