Fifth grade math teacher Jillian Magee loves Christmas and all the folderol that goes with it. Unfortunately, the universe seems bent on depriving her of joy in the season. All her well-thought-out plans have gone awry, including her family members, who are all MIA this year. She’s stuck with her awful cat, Buster, and a deep longing for the good old days when her best friend, and first love, lived across the street. Then, a well-intentioned celestial do-gooder shows up in the form of a quirky Jacob Marley—of the female variety. So as Christmas Day draws near, Jillian finds herself careening toward a Yuletide disaster.

Tristán Solano aka Trystan Sol, mega heartthrob and lead keyboardist for a popular rock band heads home, where he finds himself up to his elbows in tinsel and small-town holiday traditions—and everything else he left behind to follow his dreams, including the only girl he ever loved. With more money than he could ever spend in one lifetime, he longs for his old, uncomplicated life back…and for his first friend, Jillie Magee. 

Is Jillian destined to have her heart broken again, or can she and Tristan overcome the past and keep each other warm this Christmas?

Title:  All Hearts Come Home for Christmas
Series:
Author:  Annalisa Russo
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  November 15, 2017
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press
My Rating:  4 stars

When I want to read a book, I’ll read that book one way or another.  I had requested this one on NetGalley and due to some glitch that I still don’t understand, it never appeared in my approved for download tab.  I don’t get every book that I request, and if I truly want to read a particular book, I head over to Amazon to grab it… so I wasn’t too worried until this title showed up in a never downloaded tab… what the heck?  So, although this part of my review will only show up on the blog (and maybe Twitter & Facebook), I did want the publisher to have some way of knowing that I did indeed read and enjoy All Hearts Come Home For Christmas – even if it doesn’t show up on the NetGalley reviews.  🙂

Tristán and Jillian have a history, childhood best friends, young teens with a huge crush or maybe puppy love – in Jillian’s mind they were a couple forever, right up until Tris took off for the bright lights and fame of the music world and left her back home …alone.  It’s been eight long years and Jillian really hasn’t moved on from her young love.  She has a career as a teacher that she loves, a group of really good friends, and a community that she takes pride in being a part of and helping where she can.  She has a good life, even if it is missing that special someone at her side.  This Christmas season everything Jillian thought she knew for certain is going to change – all due to one love coming home and a sassy, angel or ghost that insists on barging in on Jillie’s sleep… or maybe she’s just finally lost it, who knows.

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas combines bits of mystical magical takes on It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol in the form of one very sassy, determined being who invades Jillian”s night time and shows her parts of her life that she never knew about… the ways she’s touched others in their time of need without even knowing it.  Underlying Jillian’s excitement at Tris being home again is still fear and worry that just like last time he won’t stay.  He still has her heart but she’s hesitant of simply handing it over into his care once again. A lovely getting to know you again romance that is strong on family, friends and community and spiced with special Christmas touches.

I enjoyed myself in this world and was very satisfied with how Jillian and Tris reconnected.  We’re left with a happy ending that, frankly, feels like a happy for now ending that will grow into a happily ever after as they continue their romance off page.  And really that’s fine, I was content with this couple finding their way back to the one they belong with eventually.  I’ve no doubt that their future is in good hands.  If you have a heart for the Christmas classics, then this romance is perfect for you.  I’d recommend All Hearts Come Home for Christmas to any reader who believes in second chances and still has the faith to believe in miracles.  On a slightly side note, I am going to keep my eyes out to see if there is another connecting story in the future for I certainly would like to know how a certain New Year’s blind date goes.  *grin*

I own a Kindle edition of this story.

Available for the Kindle