Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy by Janice Lynn

Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy is the small town, I’d say slow burn romance between Sophie and Cole. While serving on his last deployment, Cole who was a Marine wrote in a journal. His entries were very descriptive and heartbreaking. He put the journal in a bin or something upon returning to the states not knowing that it was a donation bin. Sophie finds the journal and reads it (all of this happens before the story) Sophie tracks Cole down wanting to put a face with the person whose journal she couldn’t put down. He is now a civilian firefighter and the fire house always assists with the local toy drive so as much as Cole wants to keep his distance from Sophie-it’s impossible. The spark is noticeable amongst everyone, so everyone joins in, in finding ways for these two to spend time together.

One gripe that I had in 2019 was romances marketed as “Christmas Romances” weren’t actually feeling very Christmas’ey so that is something I am paying even more attention in 2020. I am happy to say that Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy, mentally transported me out of this 100+ degree South Texas heat to a small town with beautiful snow falling, hot chocolate to drink, wrapped in a warm quilt.

The lie that Cole tells himself basically 90% of this book is that Sophie pities him; she is only nice to him out of pity, only hangs out with him out of pity. Despite all of the nice, genuine things she does, and the moments where he lets his guard down a little..he always falls back on, she pities him after having read his journal. This honestly got a bit frustrating after a while but it wasn’t a bad frustrating. You want to shake Cole and yell, SHE REALLY LIKES YOU, CHILL! But he really has to figure it out for himself. A lot of his issues have to do with some of his Marines not making it home and that survivor’s guilt of being the one that did. So, you understand where his head is mentally and how he uses this to rationalize the lie about Sophie and her intentions that he continues to tell himself.

I liked Sophie and how despite what happened to her family, she still has such love and respect for military members. I love how she uses something she is very good at doing as a way to give something back to those who serve. She is very selfless and there was never any doubt that her heart was in the right place. There were a few times I was conflicted about her character but this is more of a preference thing-I know Cole was going through what he was going through but there were times he was a jerk and Sophie was a nice girl and just took it! I like seeing heroines stand up for themselves especially when you did nothing wrong. I mean, the entire book and conflict of the story lies in the lies COLE has convinced himself of. He is the one who twists everything and makes everything into something else-so in those moments, especially once what he thinks is put out in the air, where he’s being a jerk to Sophie, I really would’ve liked to see her stand up for herself. That is a personal preference though. I know some readers will think she handled things correctly.

Overall, this is a sweet, inspirational holiday romance sprinkled with the author’s faith. Thank you to Hallmark Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review it early, all opinions are my own

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Hi I'm Bree, an Air Force Veteran turned Stay At Home Mom, full time college student and lover of romance.

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