Miracle Creek Christmas
By Krista Jensen
Miracle Creek Christmas
By Krista Jensen
Riley Madigan escapes to the sleepy mountain town of Miracle Creek after her relationship with an A-list actor ends badly. At least for a time, she hopes her new job as a high school art teacher will bring her the peace and quiet she is looking for. The last thing on her mind is love.
Mark Rivers was a firefighter until he got trapped in a wildfire and suffered third-degree burns on his face and body. After a year of recovering, Mark is trying to piece his life back together but struggles both emotionally and psychologically. He’s been a recluse until he forces himself to attend his niece’s school play and sees Riley, the school’s art teacher. Immediately, Mark feels a connection to her. Maybe it’s the kind way she greets his niece or the way the art she created for the school play is reminiscent of his late mom’s artwork. Either way, Mark feels driven to get to know her, but first he’ll need to build up the courage to talk to her.
When Mark asks Riley to work on a special nativity, he finds himself falling for her, particularly because Riley doesn’t seem bothered by his scars. Is her affection for him real or is she simply overcompensating, pretending he’s not different. One thing’s for certain, in a small town that views Mark as a fragile hero, it’s hard to pursue a relationship without everyone in his business. And although Riley has sincere feelings for Mark, is she really ready to risk her heart?
Broken hearts and lives are mended as the town of Miracle Creek comes together to celebrate a Christmas to remember.
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Review by Melissa Dalton Martinez
In this charming Christmas romance about a city girl who moves to a small town, you will find more than just a love story. Miracle Creek Christmas is about healing, learning to trust, and finding friendship even in the darkest of times. This message is best conveyed by the characters, who are both relatable and captivating.
Riley, the protagonist, lives and works as an artist in Los Angeles until her celebrity boyfriend publicly breaks her heart. This leaves her distrusting and private, prompting her to escape from city life to a small town. Meanwhile Mark, a firefighter beloved by his small town, is severely injured while saving children from a forest fire. During his recovery, his fiancé leaves him when he needs her most.
Both characters demonstrate superhuman perseverance while falling to the same follies in their own unique ways. Having both been betrayed, they retreat into themselves, finding it difficult to trust or make any connections. Their struggles make them relatable, while their virtues make them admirable. Both are characters you will root for—Riley for her strength and Mark for his compassion. You will find yourself cheering for their successes as though they were your own.
Another great aspect of this book is the setting. The fictional town of Miracle Creek offers a cozy world to fall into. The author’s descriptions and portrayal of a small-town Christmas make you want to curl up by a warm fire with a cup of something steaming. Meanwhile, you will devour the story without even realizing.
As with every good romance, there is also tension. While Riley and Mark begin their journey of healing and self-discovery together, another man pursues Riley romantically. He not only brings suspense and conflict into the story, but acts as a foil for our hero. Where he pressures Riley for romance in a time when she needs space, Mark treasures her friendship. When their friendship starts to blossom into something more, it is natural, realistic, and satisfying.
Miracle Creek Christmas is the perfect story to curl up with this holiday season. From start to finish, you will find yourself transported from the bustle of your own life into the quaint streets of Miracle Creek. Read it for the sweet romance, and stay for the heartwarming message of acceptance, trust, and love. This book brings the holidays a warmth we all crave.