Karen Witemeyer is one of those authors that you can trust to always deliver a great story, the one whose books you can buy without hesitation. I have yet to meet a Witemeyer story that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Under the Texas Mistletoe gives readers three great Christmas novellas, one of which, A Texas Christmas Carol, is brand new, never before published, while the other two, An Archer Family Christmas and Gift of the Heart, have been previously published in other novella collections. While two of these novellas have been published before, I've only read one, which was Gift of the Heart, so two of the three stories are new to me.
A Texas Christmas Carol is a fabulous reimagining of the Dicken's classic. I have to admit, I'm not usually a fan of retellings of classic stories as they usually come off too cheesy or poorly executed, but Witemeyer has outdone herself with A Texas Christmas Carol. The story flows naturally, with great nods to the classic while maintaining a fresh and unique feel to it. This is the novella I enjoyed most from this collection. I loved the way Witemeyer created her own Scrooge character, in the handsome but standoffish Evan Beezer, the name itself a fun nod to Dicken's main character. A Texas Christmas Carol is a beautiful story of redemption, as well as finding joy and hope, with a few twists along the way. This is one I plan to revisit during the Christmas season.
An Archer Family Christmas is a festive installment of the Archer Brothers series in which readers familiar with the series get a deeper look into Jim Archer and wife, Cassie's story, which we've seen bits and pieces featured as secondary stories in the other books. Readers learn of the heart break that the couple have endured and how strong of a couple Jim and Cassie are. In An Archer Family Christmas, readers get to celebrate the holiday with the Archers, as well as "watch" a beautiful blessing play out, with some action packed in there as well. I found the novella a delightful and beautiful installment in the series, you really can't get enough of the Archers.
Gift of the Heart was previously published in The Christmas Heirloom novella collection, and is a take on the Bible story of Ruth and Boaz. The story follows widow Ruth Albright and her daughter Naomi as they move to a new town for a fresh start in life. Due to low funds, Ruth ends up using the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker, Bo Azlin. The more she gets to know the kind and generous man behind the stern business man, she hopes for a second chance at love. Another beautiful, well written story under Witemeyer's belt.
Overall, Under the Texas Mistletoe is an enjoyable, festive read, one I'll definitely revisit for the holidays.
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Liz is a freelance writer. She has written for websites, blogs, and magazines for the last 10 years. She also acts as a proofreader and beta reader for several authors, all the while working on her first book.