Mission of Christmas by Candice Gilmer

Mission of Christmas by Candice Gilmer
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (85 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

There’s more than one way to unwrap a gift.

Erica Jones is a Scrooge, and she doesn’t care who knows it. She doesn’t “do” Christmas, never has, never will. For anyone who believes that everything is “merrier and brighter” during the season, she has a news flash—it’s not any better. Just colder.

Andrew Hawkins has never had a bad Christmas, never understood his best friend’s aversion to it. After all, it’s all about family and togetherness and faith, right? Instead, the faintest twinkle of tinsel or the whiff of evergreen sends Erica into self-imposed exile to watch the latest action movie.

Not this year. This year, Andrew is on a mission to find Erica’s Christmas spirit.

With him.

Even if he has to drag her, kicking and screaming.

Written in the first person, Mission of Christmas gets up close and personal with Erica, a female version of Scrooge, and her long-time friend Andrew. They work in the same company and see each other on a daily,  and love each other, but are not ‘in love’ with each other. At least Erica assumes so.

Ms. Gilmer creates vivid settings of the co-workers in the office to family Andrew’s family and friends at home. This story is about extremes and the impact past events can have in life if they are given more power than they deserve. Each extreme, from attitude to experience is brightly woven into the fabric of the story showing the writer’s characters in all their glory and all their flaws. The secondary characters have equal impact and yet do not overpower the hero and heroine but add to the flavour of the Christmas spirit, or in Erica’s case, the lack of it.

The hero, Andrew/Andy Hawkins is a patient man and will wait for what he truly wants in life, but is this the one time when his patience will fail to win out this time?

For Erica, it is more than a lack of trust that holds her back from going after her dreams, but will she allow her fears to rob her of the one thing she wants more than anything else?

Ms Gilmer’s writing is light and yet packed with emotion and insight. The story is well presented in a tight timeline that held this reader’s attention. I found Mission of Christmas a delightful story that I would pick up to fill the time.

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