by Fern Michaels
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Beloved New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels crafts an unforgettable story of lives connected and friendship kindled in an action-packed and gripping novel. It s the most wonderful time of the year and for Heather Andrews, security manager at Timberwoods Mall, undoubtedly the busiest. But this Christmas, Heather has more to contend with than frazzled parents and disgruntled Santas. Angela Steinhart, a young woman who designed the mall s spectacular holiday displays, has had a premonition that tragedy will strike on Christmas Eve. And Angela s visions have a habit of coming true. Heather would love to dismiss the warning as holiday stress. But the more she gets to know the quiet, lonely Angela, the more she trusts her. In Lex, her boss, Heather finds an ally and the glimmer of something more profound. And as the days count down, it will take all of her wits, hope, and unflagging courage to stop someone from destroying the season in one split second.
I purchased Christmas at Timberwoods by Fern Michaels, as it was the December, book of the month selection for a Goodreads group. It is a romantic suspense novel, with events that take place in the days before Christmas. The central story involves a young woman who suffers from visions and her attempts to stop a horrific event from occurring. The tale unfolds as Michaels changes points of views between key characters.
Heather Andrews, security manager at Timberwoods Mall, is approached by Angela Steinhart, a young woman who has visions and some major baggage. Angela attempts to share her visions with Heather. She sees blood, red, fire, screaming children, wounded patrons, and explosions. Angela is a wreck because she knows her visions always come true. She is lonely, scared, depressed, and needs someone to listen to her. Heather unsure of what to do turns to her boss Lex. Together they take steps to determine the credibility of Angela’s story. The two develop a romance, but it is secondary to the other plots. Fans looking for a detailed romance will be disappointed.
Charlie Roman, works for the mall and has recently been downgraded due to health issues. He has a crush on Heather, but is too shy to make a move. He sees her relationship with Lex as the last straw in a series of perceived slights. Michaels takes us into his fragile psyche, as she changes points of view. He is a lonely, awkward man and clearly disturbed, but you will end up feeling sorry for him. When a relationship develops between Charlie and Angela, it appears his plans to blow up the mall, killing everyone may be averted. Their relationship is strange and appears to give each the emotional connection they desire. Unfortunately, when Charlie feels Angela has abandoned him, he sets his plans into motion.
There are several mini-plots in the novel. Two in particular that I found touching were the stories of a little girl with cancer and a couple expecting their first child. Michaels, has tightly entwined all of these sub-plots into the story. While it makes the action face-paced, some readers may feel slighted by the lack of depth in them. Some characters surrounding the key players are worth mentioning, as they will evoke many different feeling from the reader. You will hate Angel’s mother, want to slap her father and perhaps run over the obnoxious mall manager and shop owners.
Overall, I enjoyed Christmas at Timberwoods and would recommend it to fans of suspenseful tales with a splash of romance.