Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson

Warm August sunlight slanted across the dusty windshield of Cameron McLendon's blue Ford pickup as he drove south on Highway 93. ~ Opening of The Christmas Room

The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson
Berkley, 2017
Romance (Holiday); 428 pgs
Source: E-copy provided by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

This was my first time reading something by Catherine Anderson and The Christmas Room did not disappoint. I am used to Christmas-themed romances starting up closer to Christmas than this one did, and so the August start threw me for a minute. I didn’t mind though.

The Christmas Room was a double romance, really. Catherine adeptly showed the nuances of love earlier in adulthood and in later adulthood through both of those relationships. I enjoyed following both Kirstin and Cam’s story as well as Maddie and Sam’s.

Sam Conacher is a wealthy widowed rancher who has no patience for anyone and not only runs off his twenty-six year old daughter’s beaus, but also makes sure to ruin their reputations as well. Kirstin wants a life of her own and to get out from under her father’s thumb. She loves him though and loves the ranch she grew up on.

Cameron (also known as Cam for short) and his son, along with Cam’s mother, Maddie McLendon, have moved to Montana to start a new life. Cam has long wanted to settle in the state, having been stuck in California for years due to custody issues. Now in Montana, the McLendon's haven’t been able to break ground on their house, and have set up camp on their land.

When Cam and Kirstin meet at a local bar, there is an instant connection. Cam is reluctant to pursue a relationship at first, given who Kirstin’s father is. Both, however, decide it is worth the risk. Sam Conacher is not at all happy when he finds out they’ve been sneaking around behind his back and threatens to ruin Cam. Only, every time he tries to confront Cam, he instead ends up in a face down with the formidable Maddie McLendon, a popular mystery author.

Caleb isn’t without his own troubles as he tries to adjust to being in a completely new environment, struggling to fit in. Cam was young when he became a father, and Caleb was raised by his grandparents for a good part of his childhood. At sixteen, he is proves to be a loving son and good all-around person. It is obvious Cam and Maddie love Caleb and he them.

I enjoyed The Christmas Room more than I thought I would. I had gone in expecting a straight forward romance, but what I got was so much more than that. I adored Maddie and not just because she is a mystery author. I loved her spirit and how she protected her family. She is such a strong woman, and I enjoyed watching her confrontations with the curmudgeonly Sam. When she finally was able to break through his protective shell of grief over the loss of his wife, she did not hold his past actions and words against him, but encouraged him to step up and be a better person.

I have found that many romance novels touch on the subject of grief in one form or another. This one deals with the grief from the loss of a parent and a spouse. Grief is such an individual process—how we cope, the guilt and anger we may carry, and the pain and sadness that can linger. It has been six years since Sam’s wife died, and yet it is like yesterday for him. Kirstin misses her mother, but also her father—the man he used to be before grief took over his life. When Cam’s dad died of cancer two years before, Cam stepped up to take care of his mother the way she had taken care of him and his son. Maddie is afraid to burden her son any further than he already must feel—keeping her health issues to herself, not wanting to have to worry him and her grandson.

I really came to care for all the characters in The Christmas Room. This was a heartwarming book and made for a wonderful holiday read.

To learn more about Catherine Anderson and her work, please visit the author on the author's websiteYou can also find the author on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. So nice when a book ends up being more than you were hoping for! It's like an early Christmas present. :)

  2. This sounds like a wonderful Christmas romance. I've read a couple of Anderson's historical romances and those have been enjoyable so I would definitely check this one out!

    1. Iliana - I will have to check out her historical romances since you enjoyed them. I have another of her contemporary ones to get to before the end of spring. I'm looking forward to that.

  3. I haven't read her books in a long while and this one sounds like a winner.

    1. Melody - This was my first by her, and I really enjoyed it. :-)

  4. Nice to have a Christmas romance with a mystery author. :)

  5. Sounds like a great holiday read! Thanks for sharing(:


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