Just Read: “Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy” by Janice Lynn

Read October 13, 2020 – October 16,2020

This will be my last advance reader copy from NetGalley for the month and, as promised, it’s Christmas once again. Hallmark Publishing is releasing this one on the 27th so I’ll make sure you know what’s going on with it before you add it to your cart; October has been a mixed bag for new Christmas romances. Janice Lynn is an accomplished author but Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy is my first by her.

What is it about? 

Sophie is a young business owner in the small town of Pine Hill. She runs a craft shop, specializing in quilting and fabrics, with her older sister. One of Sophie’s passions… and she has many… is making quilts for military personnel, past and present. Quilts of Valor’s mission is to make and award these healing quilts with the aim to show love and support to military members who have endured so much while protecting our freedom. It’s an organization close to Sophie’s heart because her father was tormented by his time in the Army and she wishes that she could have saved him from the pain he felt regularly. 

Sophie finds a journal in a donation box at her church and reads the entire thing trying to figure out who it might belong to. She becomes fixated on finding and helping this person who wrote of their traumatic experiences as a Marine. When she finds the person, she sees how hurt he is… but he is also gorgeous. Everyone in town can tell that Sophie has feelings for him but her sister doesn’t support the attempts to befriend him. Sophie’s fixation persists throughout the story and it’s hard to tell her motives and what exactly causes her to fall for him beyond his looks. 

What does it have?

  • Charitable Christmas
  • Veterans
  • Sister Relationships
  • Subtle Christianity

I expected there to be some element of magic in this Christmas novel, mostly because it comes from Hallmark Publishing and their holiday movies make everything sparkle. I didn’t feel it here. I actually was annoyed with Sophie the entire story and I considered putting the book down but I had hopes there may be a turning point. Usually the point where a blah story gets better is around 50%… that did not happen here. I didn’t love how Sophie kept pursuing someone who had no interest in her and was very rude to her and it left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s Christmas… I don’t want this type of dysfunction. 

Is it worth reading?

No… and I don’t feel guilty saying no because I think it reinforces toxic relationships while cloaked as a romance. Skip this one… pick up the other Hallmark Publishing holiday novel from this month, Christmas Charms, and have yourself a merry little weekend.

I’m attending a virtual book club meeting on Zoom this Friday so I’ll either start that book, Untamed, now or pick up something else from my shelf and save that for later in the week. Hmm… what would you do?

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