Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Perfect Christmas

The Perfect Christmas
Debbie Macombe
232 pages
Rating: 4/5

What would make your Christmas perfect?For Cassie Beaumont, it's meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.
What's left? A professional matchmaker. He's Simon Dodson, and he's very choosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she's astonished when he accepts her as a client.
Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa's elf at a children's party and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all—and she's finally ready to meet her match.
But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!

My Thoughts:
This Sunday afternoon as I listen to Christmas carols on Pandora and snuggle under a quilt on the couch, my Christmas spirit was complete as I read this fun Christmas romance by Debbie Macomber.  I have to admit that I was not expecting anything extraordinary, merely a romantic comedy with cute-but-cliched lines and a predictable plot.  However, this novel surprised me in that it captured my heart, made me laugh, and plunged it's way into the forefront of my Christmas favorites.

I have to admit that this novel is easily my favorite Debbie Macomber book so far.  I loved the characters, laughed with the mishaps, grunted with frustration over bits of stupidity, and sighed with happiness over the story ending.  I'm not sure that there was particularly something that made this novel stand out, but it captured my heart and made me smile this Christmas. 

Cassie is a fun, lovable character that, in fact, reminds me a bit of myself.  At 34, she decides to make a giant leap of faith and go to a matchmaker to find her perfect match.  She seems to take funny mishaps in stride, love her family and friends, and opens her heart to those around her.  I enjoyed reading about her journey for love.

The few small characteristics that annoyed me were not majorly present in the plot and became an afterthought for me.  Mainly, my biggest frustration would be the characters insistance on a perfect Christmas.  To me, Christmas cards hardly are an accurate representation of a person's life.  And I never can grasp the concept of looking for perfection in things, as I think they never exist.  If one goes into a relationship looking for the perfect mate, to me, it seems that you are giving yourself an out for when it fails because you did not put enough effort into it.  But that happens to be a personal pet peeve.

All in all, The Perfect Christmas was a heart-warming, fun Christmas story.  It did not annoy  or frustrate me as some other Christmas stories do.  It was a fun lovestory.  I enjoyed the subplots, even though I predicted them accurately.  I loved watching the love story come to life.  And I connected with Cassie as a character.  I thought there was a good amount of character development and the plot wasn't overly detailed from the characters' pasts.  I honestly can't say exactly why I loved this novel, but it's my favorite Christmas novel.  I plan to add it to my shelf of books to read each Christmas.  I lost myself in the story for a couple hours, and I emerged with a smile on my face.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves romance novels and is looking for a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit.

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