Christmas Presents and Past
Janice Kay Johnson
Harlequin Everlasting, Dec 2007, $5.25
In 1968, teens Will and Dinah went out on a date in which he brought her a Christmas present that showed he believed she could make it as a chef; something her family felt was foolish. Whether he was serving in Viet Nam or she spending a summer in Paris, they exchanged holiday presents. Even when they temporarily broke up they exchanged gifts.
Will the builder and Dinah the chef married and raised three children while each year they continued their custom of exchanging presents that symbolized their everlasting love for one another. That is until a tragic car accident ends their relationship and threatens their loving ritual or does it?
This is an interesting relationship drama that when Janice Kay Johnson covers the past feels nostalgic but lacks ardor; when the story line turns to the present following the tragedy, the emotions explode. Once the switch occurs, the plot becomes powerfully angst-laden filled with passion, much of which is negative. Readers will appreciate the gift giving tradition and the deep feelings between the loving couple once Christmas present occurs as this may be the year that the couple fails to exchange gifts as they have done for almost four decades.