Saturday, January 23, 2016

REVIEW: Dixie's Gift by Barbara Edwards #Holiday #Romance

Ellen Carter deeply grieves for her husband Dan, but at least she still has Dixie, her beloved Malinois. However, soon Dixie leaves her too. But the faithful dog cannot rest easy in heaven while her mistress is unhappy. Dixie pleads with the Archangel Michael to let her send help, and intercedes for Ellen in the only way she can. But will Ellen get the message, and more importantly, will she accept Dixie's gift?

Sexy newcomer Michael Burke can barely take enough time from his successful restaurant for a decent night's sleep, let alone romance. Still, he is intrigued by the beautiful widow and can't resist entering her shop. Sparks fly, and when Ellen has an accident in a snowstorm, he comes to her rescue. Trapped by a blizzard and aided by Dixie's Gift, Ellen and Michael find more than shelter--they find love.

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RATING: 4 Stars 

Anyone who has lost loved ones, people or pets or both, will fall into ‘Dixie’s Gift’, immediately familiar with the feelings and sensations being so well presented.  This story is simple, quiet, somewhat predictable – and very enjoyable.

It definitely is not difficult to understand, and sympathize with, lead character Ellen Carter, who still suffers from the death of her husband, and now is also grieving for her dog, Dixie, a faithful Belgian Malinois who had been such a comfort after losing Dan.  She still pushes herself on, running her gift shop.  As the story opens, she is removing the Thanksgiving merchandise and replacing it with Christmas items.  Michael Burke, who is relatively new to town, having recently opened a successful restaurant, is watching her through the store windows – and eventually can’t resist.  He goes into the store, to meet this attractive woman he has watched through those windows before.

Under most circumstances, the meeting would not have moved these two into a serious relationship, but Nature intervenes.  Michael has to rescue Ellen when a growing snowstorm leads to a car accident.  The storm continues, eventually stranding the couple, along with a stray puppy, in Ellen’s little house outside town.  They don’t realize it, but none of this is entirely accidental; Dixie, worried about Ellen’s loneliness, is watching from above, and has asked the Archangel Michael for help.  And as the blizzard continues, eventually leaving the still stranded couple cuddled in Burke’s truck, feelings grow, and two lonely people become nicely attached to each other.

Again, this is not a complicated story.  But it is a lovely one, and the added element of Dixie’s heavenly intercession gives it an original touch.  With the coming Christmas holiday serving as a pleasant background, romance is still the center of the story, and it leaves the reader with a nice, warm feeling.  The characters are beautifully drawn, and the warmth grows as the blizzard pushes them closer together.

I would have liked a little more detail about Michael Burke’s background and current position in town, and perhaps some more information about Ellen’s past, but overall, I rate ‘Dixie’s Gift’ as worth 4 stars. I do recommend readers give it a try, a chance to enter their hearts.

I am grateful for the reviewer’s copy I received.

Reviewed by: Roberta

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