THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE – Emily March
An Eternity Springs Novel
Eternity Springs, Colorado – Present Day
Devin Murphy left his small hometown of Eternity Springs for adventure and a career that he loves. However, he loves returning home to visit his family, and one Christmas, his phone is waterlogged, and resident “angel” Celeste Blessing gives him one of her burner phones. Later that day, the phone rings and on the other line is the voice of a small boy asking Devin if he is Santa Claus. Going along with the ruse, Devin soon realizes the boy, Reilly, is lonely and wants a daddy for Christmas. The boy keeps calling and Devin decides to contact the mother. He does, and learns that she is a single mother, and for a few days during the Christmas holiday, they are phone friends. Even though he doesn't know it yet, he's attracted.
Dr. Jenna Stockton has a stalker, though no one can find him (or her). She's trying to keep Reilly happy and as Christmas arrives, she begins to relax. That is a mistake as she is “swatted” and it ends up with Reilly breaking his arm during the ruckus. (Swatting is when someone anonymously calls the police to report a serious crime at your house in order to bring in the SWAT team) Jenna moves to another city, hoping her stalker will be deterred, but more than a year later it happens again. Jenna and Reilly hit the road in a camper exploring the country and keeping off the grid. She and her son had already visited Eternity Springs the Christmas before (Devin had mentioned it while talking to her) and during their sojourn across the country, they end up again in the tiny town. Jenna figures she won't run into Devin because he is now living in Australia. But then Devin returns home for an extended visit…
It's a return to the magical town of Eternity Springs in Emily March's latest, THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE. The title refers to a Christmas tradition of Celeste's where a special tree is displayed at which you can make a wish. Devin loves the sea and built a boat charter company first in the Caribbean, then in Australia. But he also loves his family and looks forward to coming back to Eternity Springs for visits. Of course, Devin being the nice guy that he is, doesn't hesitate to help out Celeste at her spa. However, it's during one of these visits that she accidentally ‘dunks” his cell phone, which leads to his getting a burner one from her. Little Reilly Stockton wants only one thing (well, maybe a puppy too) and that is to get a daddy. Jenna had adopted Reilly after his mother died (the father is in prison and signed away the rights). Life has been good for her—except for an unknown stalker making her life miserable. After too many attempts against her and Reilly, it's time to hit the road. Literally.
While visiting Eternity Springs this time, Jenna and Reilly try to disguise themselves but are soon outed, with Devin right there. It turns out telling the truth is the best answer as she opens up to Devin, which leads to him and others in town to devise a plan to draw the culprit out. Changes are soon in store for Jenna and Reilly…and Devin finds himself attracted to her. But his plans are still the same: he's returning to Australia. The ensuing days spent together are magical as their attraction grows. Will it end unhappily when he has to leave? Will Jenna's stalker make a fatal mistake that leads to their capture?
As always with an Eternity Springs book, there is hope and love, along with a spiritual warmth that leaves you happy and smiling. In THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE, everything is covered, along with a little dose of Christmas cheer. While part of an extensive series, this tale could be read as a standalone, though plenty of characters from past books make appearances. It's always nice to catch up with them and learn about the newest child. Readers looking for a feelgood read need to grab a copy of THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE.