Christmas in Good Hope is a sweet romance between Amaryllis “Ami” Bloom and Beckett Cross. Two people with painful pasts not looking for love, but holding onto the pain it has brought them.
Ami (pronounced Am-ee not A-mee) is one of four Bloom sisters all with, you guessed it, flower names. I can’t even spell some of them so I won’t list them. She has lived all her life in Good Hope, a small town where cherries farming and fishing are the main income providers. Baking from a young age with her mother, Ami opens a bakery and pours all of her passion into it while also providing community services to the rotary club and the local group called the Cherries. Being a Cherry is a dream of Ami’s since her mother longed to be one, but was never invited. There is a secret in Ami’s past that she regrets, but doesn’t talk about much. A secret that could cause her problems in her love life.
Beckett Cross, or Beck, swooped into Good Hope buying up the Muddy Boots Cafe along with a Victorian home Ami has always thought of buying and turning into a B&B. He’s grumpy, but not unkind. So Ami confronts him with baked goods and coffee each morning and they become friends. Just friends at this point, when Ami is put in a bad spot of trying to get Beck to open his house for a Christmas tour which he has refused. He doesn’t want strangers tromping through his house when he is trying to recover from the loss of his wife and son.
The story weaves between the two slowly and builds in a sweet and tame romance. While they make love often, only one scene is written about it and it is brief and for a lack of a better word, tame. What draws you to these two is that Ami has such a giving heart. She wants to help everyone, and does everything she can with very little sleep. Her personality is bubbly and most of the town’s people love her. There are very few that know her secret and it is a secret that could destroy the love growing between her and Beck.
Beck for his part was awesome. Tragedy drove him to move away from his family and try something new in his life. He is grumpy, but not unkind. He mostly wants to be by himself, which confused me as to why he bought a cafe. His pretty neighbor of a bakery kind intrigues him as he tries to decide if he is ready to find love again after losing his wife while she was pregnant with their son. He feels guilt over it and an anger towards the woman who killed his wife that he can’t get over. Slowly and steadily, Ami works her magic on him and makes him an interesting character.
I loved the sweetness to the story with hint of conflict. While Ami angst over the secret, she didn’t let it confine her to not fall in love. The conflict hits hard and fast, but the resolve it quickly as well.
The one thing I really wanted to know is if Ami became a Cherry after all the drama or not? I guess I will have to wait till the next book on one of the other sisters…maybe Primrose (Prim), Marigold or Delphinium (oh heck I don’t remember if that is her name, but they called her Fin). The worst names ever people. Sorry. Oh, and the dad, Steve, is getting it one with a a woman the girls don’t like at all. I loved seeing how they dealt with that. I guess we have more time in the series to find out if the I-Need-A-Man grabs the dad for good.
I am thankful for Kindle First for giving me a chance to read this story. I wouldn’t have probably picked it up and I haven’t ever gotten a book from them before. This was a sweet book just right for the holiday season!
In the story, Ami owns a bakery and while I can’t bake what she does, I wanted to know more about a pastry called kringles since I had never heard of them. Yeah, what rock am I hiding under? So I started Googling it to see if I could make this for Christmas for my family and I think I have a new recipe for my stash! So I am sharing with you the recipe I will be trying. It sounds simple and that is what I need to make memories not time in the kitchen.
1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened (do not use margarine spread)Water
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, if desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Remove pie crust from pouch; place flat on ungreased large cookie sheet.
In medium bowl, mix 2/3 cup pecans, the brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle over half of pie crust to within 3/4 inch of edge. Brush edge with water; fold pie crust over filling. Move kringle to center of cookie sheet. Press edge with fork to seal; prick top with fork.
Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk until smooth and desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm kringle. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons pecans. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cut into wedges.
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