Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
published by Mira in September 2010
This Christmas, Emily Merkle (call her Mrs. Miracle!) is working in the toy department at Finley's, the last family-owned department store in New York City. And her boss is none other than… Jake Finley, the owner's son.Genre: contemporary romance
For Jake, holiday memories of brightly wrapped gifts, decorated trees and family were destroyed in a Christmas Eve tragedy years before. Now Christmas means just one thing to him—and to his father. Profit. Because they need a Christmas miracle to keep the business afloat.
Holly Larson needs a miracle, too. She wants to give her eight-year-old nephew, Gabe, the holiday he deserves. Holly's widowed brother is in the army and won't be home for Christmas, but at least she can get Gabe that toy robot from Finley's, the one gift he desperately wants. If she can figure out how to afford it…
Fortunately, it's Mrs. Miracle to the rescue. Next to making children happy, she likes nothing better than helping others—and that includes doing a bit of matchmaking!
This Christmas will be different. For all of them.
The Story: Holly Larson is a single woman working as a personal assistant to a fashion designer. While her widowed brother is in the army and her parents abroad for charity work, Holly has to take care of her 8 years old nephew and is determined to give him a memorable Christmas. All Gabe wants for Christmas is a toy robot; unfortunate, Holly is on a tight budget, but she'll try.
Jake Finley is working up the ladder in his family department store. This holiday season, he's in charge of the toy department and has over-ordered this new toy robot, sure that it'd be the new hit. However, sales are slow and now, Jake has doubts over his decision. Luckily for him, his elderly employee, Mrs. Miracle is doing a great job.
As for Mrs. Miracle, she has plans of her own... bringing two nice people who deserve the best in life together on the best holiday...
My Opinion: Ms Macomber is a very prolific author, a bit a la Nora, with many new releases and re-prints coming out each year, multiple series going on and single titles here and there. However, where Nora Roberts is all about romance, I find that Ms Macomber style is more women fiction - her books usually contain the point of views of many women of all ages, dealing with different situations. There's nothing wrong with that style, but from experience, I've found out that I enjoy it more in small dose and as a result, I'm a bit more picky when it comes to those books... which is why I was hesitant to pick up Call Me Mrs. Miracle. And LOL, my worries were for naught as it turns out that Call Me Mrs. Miracle is more of a contemporary romance :P
Call Me Mrs. Miracle is the story of Holly and Jake. Holly is her nephew's guardian and is trying to give him a great Christmas, despite the fact that his father is away and he is stuck with her. She introduces him to the small joys of Christmas such as cookie baking, decorating, etc. I liked Holly and I thought she was very dedicated to her family, taking in her nephew... and she really did try to do her best by him - adjusting her life for him. It's very commendable.
Jake is a good guy and once he meets Holly, he's smitten with her. Years ago, his mother and sister died during the holiday season and as a result, his father and him have not celebrated Christmas since. Instead, they go to a warm place for a vacation... but meeting Holly has made Jake rediscover the magic of Christmas.
All in all, Call Me Mrs. Miracle is a Christmas book and as such, it is a sweet tale. The relationship between Holly and Gabe, the romance between Holly and Jake, Jake re-connecting with his father... add to it the magical element introduced via Mrs. Miracle, and you have a cute book. The goal is really to make you feel good... and I did. At the same time though, I thought that the book was a bit bland. The characters are not very memorable and the whole book felt a bit, hmmm, dated. I cannot pinpoint it exactly, whether it is the storyline, the characters or the writing style, but while it does mention some current events... I can't shake the feeling that it seems like a book from the 90s...
My Grade: C+. Call Me Mrs. Miracle is a cute book for the holiday season, but it's missing some omphf to make it memorable.