Have you read many Christmas books in December? I love Christmas books and I usually set aside time in December for my Christmas reading. This year I had hoped to start by early November, but ‘life’ got in the way. When we recorded the StoryChats @InspyRomance – All things Christmas Romance! podcast/YouTube episode, I was okay for movies but I was looking for book recommendations. Valerie and Elizabeth both suggested I read Once Upon a Silent Night by Kimberly Rae Jordan, and I’m sharing my own recommendation for the story here! #betterlatethannever
Unwilling to fulfill her parents’ expectations for her, she left behind a comfortable life in pursuit of her dream.
Alessia Talbot had been raised with the expectation that she’d go to law school and join the family law firm, but that isn’t what she wants for her life. Determined to achieve her dream of a career in music, she strikes out on her own. Her new life away from her family is a reality check, and she soon finds her life on a downward slide.
Two years on, her dream is still out of reach, and she’s nearing rock bottom. With hope nearly gone and feeling no joy in the season that was once her favorite, Alessia wanders into a church in search of warmth and some quiet.
He gave up his life in order to bring his brothers to justice.
Gio Morgan (formerly known as Giovanni Moretti) was born into a mob family, but he’d never fit in. When he made the decision to testify against his mob boss brothers, he knew it meant the end to that life.
He now lives in New Hope Falls in order to be close to his half-sister, Cara. He is trying to build a new life for himself, and part of that is participating in the church’s 24 hour a day open door ministry for the month of December.
Will a connection forged in the quiet of a church during the early morning hours be the start of something new? Or will it lead to heartbreak if the draw of a dream is to powerful to resist?
I enjoyed reading Once Upon a Silent Night, Book 4.5 in Kimberly Rae Jordan’s New Hope Falls series that can be read as a stand-alone story. The minor characters from the previous stories, and the hints regarding their unique backgrounds, were intriguing. I want to read more books in the series and spend more time with the characters in New Hope Falls.
We meet Alessia in early December when winter is setting in and she’s sleeping in her car. I was surprised to learn that she came from a wealthy family, had a college degree, and her circumstances had effectively forced her into homelessness. Alessia epitomises the plight of the working poor. She has a job in a bar but she doesn’t earn enough money to pay for a roof over her head, despite living in a small Washington State town. Alessia is stubborn, resourceful, and starting to question the big sacrifices she has made in pursuit of a seemingly elusive singing career.
Gio’s background is fascinating and he has a maturity gained from surviving tough situations. He volunteered to do the graveyard shift at his church’s open door ministry, and figured he’d likely be alone for most, if not all, of his shift. Alessia turns up in the early hours of the morning and he’s curious to learn her story. She becomes a regular visitor during Gio’s shifts, and an unexpected friendship develops that has potential for more.
Once Upon a Silent Night is a sweet romance with depth and strong faith elements that explore the true meaning and blessings of Christmas. Highly recommended for contemporary Christian romance readers who like Christmas stories.