This is the fourth book starring Peter Travis, but my first time encountering the character. Tragedy sure does seem to follow the poor guy.
Sixty-three year old Peter Travis finally seems to have the happy life he’s always wanted. He runs a successful bistro dedicated to his deceased former love, is married to the charming and beautiful Laura, and has twin young sons.
However, as Christmas approaches, tragedy strikes Peter once again in the form of a fire that destroys the bistro and seriously injures Laura.
How will Peter cope, and what will he do to the arsonist who has taken so much from him? It’ll take a miracle for Peter to have a happy Christmas.
While this isn’t my usual type of reading, I enjoyed the story and the characters. Even though I haven’t read the previous three books, I got a good idea of the torment Peter has been through. It’s always interesting when a character has suffered a lot, and I like to read about how that’s changed the character. Have they come through the fire stronger, or are they now fragile, brittle clay?
I also liked the character of Terry, a rather unhappy teenage from a dysfunctional home who Peter offers a hand of friendship. Terry’s story was all too tragic and realistic.
My only problem with this book is that, while Peter’s actions after Laura’s accident are entirely possible, Avon didn’t quite succeed on selling them to me as plausible. As a man in his sixties, with two young sons depending on him and a sick wife, I’d hoped that his previous tragedies had helped temper his metal, but unfortunately he devolved immediately into drunken, sulky smoking. When his wife returns home, he has no patience with her injuries and distances himself from her, going on a drinking binge. In the end, it is Laura who has to apologize to him for all he has been through rather than the other way around.
Again, I’m not saying that this behavior is unrealistic, and perhaps if I’d read the other Peter Travis books I would see that this is perfectly in line with his character, but I didn’t find enough on the page to convince me of why he behaved the way he did. His actions seemed at odds with the generous, thoughtful man who ran the bistro and tried to help out those in trouble and couldn’t keep his hands off his wife.
Terry’s resolution likewise stretched my suspension of disbelief. For a character who was portrayed as a victim of circumstance, I would have liked to see him do more to make reparation for his actions.
However, perhaps I’m misinterpreting this novel and the point is that Peter crumbled from yet another tragedy and was saved from disaster by a Christmas miracle.
I award The Christmas Miracle…
The Christmas Miracle is available for $3.04 ebook and $10.88 print book on Amazon.
I received a free copy from the author as a generous gift for being one of her newsletter subscribers.