While on a weekend road trip last month, I read Love Finds You at Home for Christmas--a two-part book series full of Christmas warmth and goodness.
If the fact that I started and finished the book while on a road trip with my two young kids tells you anything, I really liked it!
Sweet Southern Christmas by Annalisa Daughety, the first book in the series, tells a Christmas tale of years gone by. This story takes place in a small Arkansas town during World War II. Daughety truly painted the perfect picture Ruby, of a small town farm girl who wanted nothing more than to do her part for her country during a tumultuous time. And, like any good Southern girl, she accidentally finds a Prince Charming at the same time.
Ruby is dead set on doing anything BUT finding love, and it's exciting to watch a friendship blossom between her and Cliff, who by all accounts seems like the epitome of perfection to every other girl he meets. (Even I--a human--had a little crush on Cliff--the book character.) But Ruby was determined to make her own way, she'd been in love before and it cost her.
It was interesting how Daughety was able to weave in interesting tidbits of history while telling this heartwarming story of two friends who just might want to be something more. There were moments where I felt as if I was going to work in the Arkansas Ordinance Plant doing my part to help the boys fighting overseas. I wanted to be there and see it with my own eyes.
To make the story even sweeter, Daughety fits together pieces of Ruby and Cliff's love story by taking cues from her own grandparents, who met in Arkansas during World War II and lived happily ever after.
In Small Town Christmas by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, we have a modern tale for the ages. Girl meets fledgling rock star and falls in love, leaving behind her nerdy best friend (who happens to be a boy who is completely in love with said girl), gets married, gets cheated on and comes back home to her hometown as a divorcee.
Somewhere over the years of being married to a musician, Sophie lost her way. When she comes back to the small town where she grew up, things are different. Her father has passed away, and Sophie simply doesn't know where to start until she begins a new venture opening a restaurant.
Over the years, Jon, the former nerdy best friend, has made a name for himself as an author. Despite the accolades, fame is not his motive, and he prefers to stay out of the limelight. When Jon and Sophie reconnect, they find familiarity, comfort and friendship in spite of the years spent apart.
Jon is easy to root for because, really, who doesn't love the nerd? It's nice to find Sophie take charge of a terrible situation and tackle things by creating a fresh start rather than running way.
Faulkenberry's characters are likeable and timeless--just about any girl can relate to falling for the bad boy and getting a rude awakening when it's all said and done.
Overall, this series really flowed well together and had an interesting twist to connect the two worlds.