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By: Beth Harbison
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 10/18/2016
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
From the author of the beloved bestseller, Shoe Addicts Anonymous comes a heartwarming twist on a classic tale filled with holiday cheer.
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Beth Harbison returns following (2016) One Less Problem Without You, with a heartwarming contemporary holiday "time-travel"— A SHOE ADDICT’S CHRISTMAS. A guardian angel, and ghosts of Christmas' past, with a modern day twist.
It was a picture-perfect, Christmas Eve, with snow falling at almost two inches an hour swirling down in front of the Simon’s Department Store window displays- on Massachusetts Avenue, like flakes in a snow globe.
Noelle works in human resources at the store, and her friend Lorna Rafferty and her business partners at Shoe Addicts Anonymous were among the best shoe designers around. Simon’s was the company’s only distributors.
Each display in the store told a story and everyone loves to buy a great story.
However, even though she worked at the store, she seldom had time for shopping. Lorna had asked her to accompany her on a trip to Rome, leaving Christmas Day and she balked. It sounded good on paper, but it would end up becoming more of a challenge.
Even her boss, Lex tried to persuade her to take a trip between Christmas and New Years, since it would be the perfect time for some R&R by a crackling fire with a man by her side. She was at a crossroads in her life. Love and adventure did not seem to be in her cards, and she is not a fan of the Christmas holidays.
With the heavy snow coming down, the door was locked tight. She was stuck in the store. There was nothing to panic about. The store had closed at six and it was currently seven forty. What place more comfortable than Simon’s and what else did she have to do? There were worse places to be trapped in the snow on Christmas Eve. She was locked in a beautiful fortress.
She could shop, try on clothes, shoes, sleep on the beds, and eat fine cheeses – top end! With the cheerful holiday music playing, it was hard to feel anything but festive.
Suddenly she hears a loud crash in the shoe department. An old lady with two thousand mismatched shoes. She says her name is Charlie. A guardian angel (or working to be one) she is her first. Maybe the old lady had watched too many Christmas movies and found this the perfect way to occupy herself on an otherwise lonely Christmas Eve.
Noelle found herself somewhat enjoying the experience. Charlie says she is here to help her get over her troubles. When Noelle explains she is not troubled, Charlie wants to know why she is stuck here on a beautiful Christmas Eve? Avoiding life.
Going through shoes, Charlie takes her back in time with each pair of shoes. Her experience, her feelings, the what ifs? Memories. It apparently was the guardian angel’s job to come here and remind Noelle that she has choices in her life.
She keeps making choices that keep her from living the life she is supposed to live. The safe road? Regrets. Sad times could have been happy times.
From the shoe department to the toy department- they have enough Christmas music, tea, luxury beds, food, and a beautiful fallen blanket of snow. Dreams. Manolo Blahniks. Magic. Enchantment. She has a guardian angel!
From ghosts of Christmas’s past, she soon realizes she was too busy working to realize for other people life had taken a turn. For her, life never took a turn. Charlie’s examples. Fate. Parables. She was sent boats (opportunities), and she had refused them. She never gets out of her house long enough to get on the boat.
Turns out it was one of the best Christmas Eve’s ever. Had she imagined the entire experience? A time-travel. A dream? However, she decides to make the trip to Rome, Jimmy Choos and all! A special woman, an unforgettable one. A Godsend. A Christmas in Italy. She was finally taking the road not taken.
Risks. Chances. Unexpected surprises, await when you least expect and open your heart to the endless possibilities.
An entertaining, witty, and emotional chick-lit holiday story, with a contemporary modern day twist! For fans of Harbison’s Shoe Addicts Anonymous series, a perfect holiday tale for any woman who has ever struggled to find the perfect fit.