Novellas usually have little character development due to lack of space, but I love them anyway - especially Christmas novellas. But "Restoring Christmas" is a nice surprise. Author Cynthia Ruchti gives readers that home-grown warmth and detailed character backgrounds. The romantic leads, Alexis and Gabe, both have dark pasts that enable them to connect as he films and she designs for a home restoration project. The landowner, Elsie, also grows on readers as we learn small bits of her family history. There were a few small details that bothered me about the book, however. At the start, Gabe is the one more sensitive to Elsie's feelings, but about half way through he trades places with Alexis in that regard. There were also a few moments when I had trouble connecting the dots or following what was happening. Still, "Restoring Christmas" is a lovely story about putting others first and moving past material desires during the holidays. Ruchti also includes subtle, but strong Christian themes.
*I received this book for free. All opinions are my own.