Christmas Stranger by Marion Kelley Bullock
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Book Title: Christmas Stranger
Author: Marion Kelley Bullock
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Publication Date: December 2009
ISBN: 978-1-936000-46-3
Pages: N/A
Genre: Historical
Inspirational
Series: N/A
Available In: E-book
CRR Heat Level: Sweet
Reviewer: Stephanie
Review Score: 4 Wings

Bullock pens a sweet, inspirational, American historical with Christmas Stranger.  Rich in setting, this story of a Missouri postmistress is one that captures the true spirit of Christmas. The story takes place in 19th Century America and opens with a fierce snowstorm engulfing the small town of Primrose, Missouri.  Melinda Jane Frazier is the postmistress of the town and lives alone.  In the howling winter wind, she hears a knock.  Answering the door with a gun in her hand, she discovers a man, Zeke, and his son, Timothy, needing shelter.  Melinda takes them in.  When the storm dies down, a grateful Zeke offers to help Melinda around the farm.  Timothy, who is seven, also settles in, helping his Pa.  Since Christmas is around the corner, Zeke and Timothy stay with Melinda.  Timothy makes new friends in Primrose and Zeke grows to admire Melinda.  After the holidays, Zeke, unnerved by the growing intensity of his feelings for Melinda, turns back to his wandering ways and leaves.  Only time will tell if Zeke can find his way back to Melinda.

Bullock’s style is easy to read and keeps the reader engaged.  She does a nice job capturing the authenticity of the story by including vivid descriptions.  Her dialogue and character accents are well done and give the reader a feel for the times. Zeke and Melinda are well developed characters and the reader can easily understand their motivations.  Zeke is an honest man at heart, but has to reconcile his need for wandering with a desire for a family.  Melinda is loyal, hardworking and honest, traits to be admired in an historical American character. Christmas Stranger is “sweet” for CRR readers with Zeke and Melinda exchanging longing glances and a gentle kiss.  Overall, Christmas Stranger is a tender, inspirational read that will warm the reader’s heart.



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