Finding Home (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) by Marianne Evans
As an avid reader, I have not just read but experienced hundreds of books in my lifetime. Some books are slow burns, taking awhile to grab your attention, while others are like friends that hug you in greeting when you open their covers. A few burst in on your senses with fervor and intensity, while others leisurely wind their friendly tentacles around you, giving you a measure of comfort when you read. Of course there are the action stories that move from page one to the final scene with relentless push, and once in awhile you find a dud; nothing happens when you read the book. There is such wonderful variety, depending on the type of storyteller the author happens to be.
Finding Home by Marianne Evans is a tale that reminds me of the candies with liquid in the center. Just as you are all set to enjoy a sweet treat, an intense burst of flavor awakens your senses. Author Ms. Evans creates a sparkling palette for the imaginary senses–aromas to waft your way, bright and colorful visual images and sounds that enhance the internal movie playing in our mind’s eye, even taste sensations and tactile experiences play a role. All this is entwined to create unforgettable atmosphere–the kind that moves the reader into the setting to experience what the characters experience.
The story centers on Alexa Gordon, successful number cruncher living in Southern California near her family. In spite of the warm sunshine of the season, she is still in a fog of depression. A few months ago, her bubble of well being collapsed when her fiance dumped her, amidst wedding preparations, for another woman. Feelings of emptiness were threatening to overcome her. She needed a change of scene to knock her out of her funk.
She thought of her friends Vanessa and Peter Colby. Vanessa was her roommate in Britain during a study abroad program in the UK. Three years ago, they had become fast friends. On weekends, Vanessa took her to her family in London where they spent some time with her twin, Peter. The three had become inseparable. Perhaps a trip to London was just what she needed. Messages flew across the pond via Facebook and video chat and her idea was met with enthusiasm.
The visit was chock full of atmosphere, flash and sparkle as the threesome reconnected. Christmas festivities in the city buoyed Lexie’s spirits during her two week stay. So did Peter’s attentions. Was she falling in love with him, or was this just rebound? She wondered how Peter really felt about her. The story vibrates with true to life doubts, dating, denial, conflict and resolution. It was definitely worth my time to read and I’m certain I will read this again many times. I recommend this story especially if you enjoy holiday stories of romance.