The Christmas Bridgeby Elyse Douglas (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
on September 15, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Romance
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon • Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A First Love. A Second Chance.
A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.
An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.
Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.
Since this is the Christmas season, I’m in the mood to read a few books where Christmas figures into the plot or the story takes place around that time period. The Christmas Bridge by husband and wife writing team Elyse Douglas fits that bill nicely, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I connected with this story.
A Young Widow Tries To Wrench Herself Free Of Grief…
Forty-year-old Olivia has been a widow for one year, and she can hardly believe that her husband of nearly twenty years has been gone that long, after he died suddenly of a heart attack at the breakfast table. She has her job as an antiques/art dealer to keep her busy, but with their twenty-year-old daughter away at college, Olivia doesn’t have much to keep her occupied at night at home. Thoughts of the college romance in New York City with fiesty and intriguing Andrew keep her company as winter comes to Kentucky, and when she has a short work trip to New York right before Christmas, she gives in to her curiosity and reaches out to him in an effort to reconnect after all of these years.
A Chance Meeting Could Awaken Her Heart Anew…
While in New York, Olivia revisits places that were precious to her. One such place is the Bow Bridge in Central Park where she first met Andrew all those years ago, and she now meets a sweet, energetic, and certainly not reserved man, Brett Baylor. He has a lot on his plate as an aging professional baseball player, and he’s heartened when she has no idea who he is–but he recognizes her from a few episodes of Antiques Roadshow. And the two begin a whirlwind friendship and romance that changes how Olivia looks and herself and the world, all while she’s wondering if she should spend time with Andrew and see if anything is still there.
I really connected with this hauntingly beautiful story. Olivia’s pain and loneliness was palpable, and her hope for a future with someone to share her life lifted off the page while the settings came to life. Olivia really came to life for me, especially since we’re the same age, and I do understand what it’s like to be a young widow after witnessing a friend go through this same thing. The pain, the confusion, the loss, and ultimately the journey of Olivia rediscovering who she is on her own and who she wants to be is a page turner.
Brett is well-developed and such a great character, with his optimism and can-do attitude where he thinks that everything is possible. Nothing stands in his way, but he isn’t mean about it which is refreshing. Andrew–both young and older–is a great study in how we change as we age with our unique experiences and our priorities evolve. Olivia’s father in law Taylor Scott was a great supporting character, always there for her in such a stoic package. Even the daughter was well-written as a typical college student who reacted just like a thought one would when learning that her mother was seen with a celebrity.
I give The Christmas Bridge a five out of five. This emotional story about a woman’s journey from sorrow to finding happiness again was well-written, mature, and quite fun in spots. The New York and Kentucky settings were vivid and came to life. I experienced such a wide range of emotions while reading this book: sorrow, dread, fear, happiness, the flutters of new love. The story wasn’t too predictable, and the twist about two-thirds through had my heart falling to my feet before everything was right in Olivia’s world again. I really connected with Olivia, Brett, and Andrew, and I highly recommend this book to contemporary romance lovers out there.
About Elyse Douglas
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist. She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.
Douglas grew up in a family where music and astrology were second and third languages. He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years. His two detective books include Death is Lookin’ for Elvis and Death is a TapDancer. His great great grandfather lived to be 132 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1928.
Elyse Douglas live in New York City.
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