The Christmas Sisters

The Christmas Sisters

by Sarah Morgan

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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Overview

From award-winning USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan comes this heartwarming, emotionally rich new novel, brimming with her trademark Christmas sparkle!

The McBride sisters all have different reasons for finding the holiday season challenging, but their adoptive mother is determined this year will be different. As the countdown to Christmas Day begins, arguments, connections and secrets start bubbling. The McBride family was made, not born—but will they be able to make this the magical family Christmas their mother has always dreamed of?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335008961
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 367,967
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.58(h) x 1.26(d)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.

Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. Find out more at www.sararahmorgan.co

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Suzanne

There are good anniversaries, and bad anniversaries. This was a bad one and Suzanne chose to mark the moment with a nightmare.

As usual, she was buried, her body immobile and trapped under a weight as heavy as concrete. There was snow in her mouth, in her nose, in her ears. The force and pressure of it crushed her. How deep was she? Which way was up? Would anyone be looking for her?

She tried to scream, but there was nothing, nothing ... "Suzanne ..."

Someone was calling her name. She couldn't respond. Couldn't move. Couldn't breathe. Her chest was being squeezed.

"Suzanne!"

She heard the voice through darkness and panic.

"You're dreaming."

She felt something touch her shoulder, and the movement catapulted her out of her frozen tomb and back to reality. She sat up, her hand to her throat, gulping in air.

"It's all right," the voice said. "Everything is all right."

"I had ... a dream. The dream." And it was so real she expected to find herself surrounded by ice crystals, not crumpled bedding.

"I know." The voice belonged to Stewart, and his hand was on her back, rubbing gently. "You were screaming."

And now she noticed that his face was white and lines of anxiety bracketed his mouth.

They had a routine for this but hadn't had to use it in a while.

"It was so vivid. I was there."

Stewart flicked on the light. A soft glow spread across the bedroom, illuminating dark corners and pushing aside the last wisps of the nightmare. "You're safe. Look around you."

Suzanne looked, her imagination still trapped under the weight of snow.

But there was no snow. No avalanche. Just her warm, cozy bedroom in Glensay Lodge, where the remains of a fire danced in the hearth and the darkness of the endless winter night shone black through a gap in the curtains. She'd made the curtains herself from a sumptuous tartan fabric she'd found on her first visit to Scotland. Stewart's mother had claimed it was their clan tartan, but all Suzanne cared about was that those curtains kept the cold out on chilly nights and made the room cozy. She'd also made the quilt that was draped across the bottom of the bed.

On the table near the window was a bottle of single malt whiskey from the local distillery, and next to it sat Stewart's empty glass.

There was her favorite chair, the cushions plumped and soft. Her book, a novel that hadn't really caught her attention, lay open next to her knitting. A new order of wool had arrived the day before and she'd been thrilled by the colors. Deep purples and blues lay against softer hues of heather and rich cream, ready to brighten the palette of white and gray that lay beyond her windows. The wool reminded her of the wild Scottish heather that grew in the glen in early and late summer. Thinking of it cheered her. When the weather warmed, she liked to walk early in the morning and see the heather as the sun burned through the mist.

And there was Stewart. Stewart, with his kind eyes and infinite patience. Stewart, who had been by her side for more than three decades.

She was in the Scottish Highlands, tens of thousands of miles from the icy flanks of Mount Rainier. Still, the dream hung over her like a chilling fog, infecting her thoughts.

"I haven't had that dream in over a year." Her forehead was damp with sweat and her nightdress clung to her. She took the glass of water that Stewart offered.

Her throat was parched and the water soothed and cooled, but her hand was shaking so much she sloshed some of it over the duvet. "How can a person still have nightmares after twenty-five years?" She wanted to forget, but her body wouldn't let her.

Stewart took the glass from her and put it on the nightstand. Then he took her in his arms. "It's almost Christmas, and this is always a stressful time of year."

She leaned her head on his shoulder, comforted by human warmth. Not snow and ice, but flesh and blood.

Alive.

"I love this time of year because the girls are home." She slid her arm round his waist, wishing she could stop shaking. "Last year I didn't have the dream once."

"It was probably that call from Hannah that triggered it."

"It was a good phone call. She's coming home for the holidays. That's the best news. Not something to trigger a nightmare." But enough to trigger thoughts and memories.

She suspected poor Hannah would be having her own thoughts and memories.

Stewart was right that this time of year was never easy.

"It's been a couple of years since Hannah, Beth and Posy were here together."

"And I'm excited." Anticipation lifted her mood. "It will be all the more special because Hannah couldn't make it last year."

"Which increases the expectation." Stewart sounded tired. "Don't put pressure on her, Suzanne. It's tough on her, and you end up hurt."

"I won't be hurt." They both knew it was a lie. Every time Hannah distanced herself from her family, it hurt. "I want her to be happy, that's all."

"The only person who can make Hannah happy is Hannah."

"That doesn't stop me wanting to help. I'm her mother." She caught his eye. "I am her mother."

"I know. And if you want my opinion, she's damn lucky to have you."

Lucky? There had been nothing lucky about the girls' early life. At the beginning Suzanne had been terrified that Hannah's life would be ruined by the events of her childhood, but then she'd realized she had a responsibility not to let that happen.

She'd done everything she could to compensate and influence the future. She wanted nothing but good for her daughters and the burden of it was huge. It weighed her down, and there were days when it almost crushed her. And she'd made him carry the burden, too.

Survivor's guilt.

"I worry I haven't done enough. Or that I haven't done it right."

"I'm sure every parent thinks that from time to time."

Suzanne slid her legs out of bed, relieved to be able to stand up. Walk. Breathe. Watch the sun rise. She rolled her shoulders and discovered they ached. She'd turned fifty-eight the summer before and right now she felt every one of those years. Was the pain real or a memory? "The dream was bad. I was back there."

Suffocating in an airless, snowy tomb.

Stewart stood up, too. "It will fade." He reached for his robe. "I'm not going to ask if you want to talk about it, because you never do." And this time was no different.

She couldn't stop the nightmares, but she could prevent the darkness from creeping into her waking hours. It was her way of taking back control. "You should go back to sleep."

"We both know there's no going back to sleep after you have one of your dreams. And we have to be up in an hour anyway." His hair was standing on end and his eyes were rimmed with fatigue. "We have a group of twenty arriving at the Adventure Centre this morning. It's going to be busy. I might as well make an early start."

"Are they experienced?"

"No. School party on an outdoor adventure week."

Anxiety washed over her. Her instinct was to beg him not to go, but that would have meant giving in to fear. It also would have meant asking Stewart to give up doing something he loved and she wouldn't do that. "Be careful."

"I always am." Stewart kissed her and walked to the door. "Coffee?"

"Please." The thought of staying in bed held no appeal. "I'll take a quick shower and then start planning."

"Planning what?"

"Only a man would ask that. You think Christmas happens by itself?" She belted her robe, knowing from experience that activity was the best way to drive the shadows from her head. "It's only a few weeks away. I want to do all the preparation beforehand so I can spend as much time as possible with our grandchildren. I thought I'd buy a few extra games in case the weather is bad. I don't want them to be bored. They have so much to do in Manhattan."

"If they're bored, they can help with the animals. They can feed the chickens with Posy, or round up the sheep. They can ride Socks." Socks was Posy's pony. Now eighteen, he was enjoying a wellearned, hay-filled retirement in the fields that surrounded the lodge.

"Beth gets nervous when they ride."

Stewart shook his head. "A lot of things make Beth nervous. She is overprotective, we both know that. Kids don't break that easily." "As if you weren't the most protective father ever. Particularly with her."

He gave a sheepish grin. "Posy was like a little ball. She bounced. Beth was a delicate little thing."

"She's always been a daddy's girl. And if she is an overprotective mother, then we both know why."

"I didn't say I didn't understand, but you've got to let kids have some fun. Explore. Make mistakes. Live life."

"Easier said than done." Suzanne knew she was overprotective, too. "I'll talk to Beth. Try to persuade her to let the girls ride. And if the weather is bad, they can help in the kitchen. We can do some baking."

"Here's a radical idea ..." Stewart picked up his empty whiskey glass from the night before. "Instead of planning everything and driving yourself crazy with stress, why don't you keep it relaxed this year? Stop trying so hard."

Suzanne's mouth dropped open. "You think food magically appears? You think Santa really does deliver gifts already wrapped?"

But the comment was so typical of him, it made her laugh. To an outsider they probably seemed ridiculously traditional, but her life was exactly the way she wanted it to be.

"I'll have you know that the key to relaxation is planning. I want it to be special." The fact that it was the only time the three girls were together increased the pressure for it to be perfect. She walked to the window, pulled back the curtains and leaned her forehead against the cool glass. From the window of her bedroom she had a view right down the glen. The snow was luminous, reflecting the muted glow of the moon and sending flickers of light across the still surface of the loch. Framing the loch was snow-dusted forest and behind that the mountains rose, dominating everything with their deadly beauty.

Even knowing the danger waiting in those snowy peaks, she was still drawn to them. She could never live anywhere that didn't have mountains, but she no longer did any winter climbing. She and Stewart took low-level hikes in the winter, and longer, more ambitious hikes in the spring and summer when the weather warmed and the snow receded.

"Was it selfish of us to move here? Should we have lived in a city?"

"No. And you need to stop thinking like that." His voice was rough. "It's the dream. You know it's the dream."

She did know. She loved living here, in this land of mist and mountains, of lochs and legend.

"I worry about Hannah." She turned. "About what being here does to her."

"I'm more worried about what her being here does to you. Maybe I'm being haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past." He put the empty glass down and rubbed his fingers across his forehead. "You need to let her be, Suzy. You can't fix everything, although I know you'll never give up trying." The light softened the hard angles of his face, making him seem younger.

His job kept him fit and lean and there were days when he barely looked fifty let alone sixty. The only clue as to his age was the touch of silver in his hair, the same silver that would have shown in hers if she hadn't chosen to avail herself of a little artificial help.

They'd fallen in love when they'd worked together as mountain guides, when life had seemed like one big adventure. All they'd cared about back then was the next climb. The next summit. They'd been together ever since and, for the most part, their life had a comfortable rhythm. A rhythm that was rocked at this time of year.

The past never went away, she thought. It faded, and sometimes it was little more than a shadow, but it was always there.

"I'm going to make the lodge as welcoming as possible. Hannah works so hard."

"So do you. Your life isn't all about the kids, Suzanne. You run a successful business and this is one of your busiest times of the year in the café."

The source of her anxiety shifted. "And now you've reminded me that I still have forty stockings to knit to raise funds for the local mountain rescue team. Thank you for stressing me."

Stewart grinned and scooped up his clothes from the chair where he'd left them the night before. "Now, that's something I'd like to see. The rest of the guys wearing stockings. I'll be taking a photo of that and posting it on the team Facebook page."

Suzanne pulled a face. "They're not for wearing, you idiot, they're for stuffing with presents. We sell them for a good profit. And before you mock, I should point out that the profit from last year's Christmas stockings bought the team a new avalanche transceiver and contributed to that fancy stretcher you use."

"I know."

"Then why —"

"I like teasing you. I like the way you look when you're mad. Your mouth pouts and you have these cute little frown lines and — Ow!" He ducked as she crossed the room and flung a pillow at him. "Did you really just do that? How old are you?"

"Old enough to have developed perfect aim."

He threw the pillow back on the bed, tossed his clothes back on the chair and tumbled her underneath him.

She landed with a gasp on the mattress.

"Stewart!"

"What?"

"We have things to do."

"We do indeed." He lowered his head and the last thing she saw before he kissed her were his blue eyes laughing into hers.

By the time they got out of bed for the second time, the first fingers of weak sunlight were poking through the curtains.

"And now I'm late." Stewart dived into the bathroom. "I blame you."

"And it's my fault because ...?"

But he was already in the shower, humming tunelessly as the water splashed around him.

Suzanne lay for a moment, her brain fuzzy and contented, the dream all but forgotten.

She knew she ought to make a start on those stockings.

Knitting was the perfect form of relaxation, although it had taken her years to discover it.

She hadn't knitted a thing until she was in her thirties.

To begin with it had been her way of showing her love for the girls. She'd clothe them and wrap them in warmth. When she'd picked up her needles and yarn, she hadn't just been knitting a sweater; she'd been knitting together her fractured, damaged family, taking separate threads and turning them into something whole.

Stewart came out of the shower, rubbing his hair with a towel. "Did you want me to sort out a Christmas tree on the way home?"

"Posy said she'd do it. I thought we'd wait a few more days. I don't want the needles falling off before Christmas. How many trees should we have this year? I thought one for the living room, one for the entryway, one in the TV room. Maybe one for Hannah's room."

"Are you sure you don't want one for the boot room? How about the downstairs bathroom?"

She studied him. "There are still plenty more pillows on this bed that I can fling."

But he'd distracted her from her nightmare. She knew that had been his intention, and she loved him for it.

"All I'm saying is that maybe you should leave a few in the forest." He threw the wet towel over the back of the chair and then caught her eye and put the towel in the bathroom instead. "Every year you half kill yourself turning this place into a cross between a winter wonderland and Santa's workshop." He dressed quickly, pulling on the layers that were necessary for his job. "You have big expectations, Suzanne. Not easy to live up to that."

"It's true that things can be a little stressful when the girls are together —"

"They're women, not girls, and 'a little stressful' is an understatement."

"Maybe this year will be different." Suzanne stripped the sheets off the bed. "Beth and Jason are happy. I can't wait to have the grandchildren here. I'm going to hang stockings above the fire and bake plenty of treats. And Hannah won't need to do a thing, because I plan on getting everything done before she arrives so I can spend time with her. I want to catch up on her news." She held the sheets to her chest. "If only she would meet someone special, she'd —"

"She'd what? Eat him for breakfast?" Stewart shook his head. "I beg you do not mention that to her. Hannah's relationships are her business. And I don't think she's that interested."

"Don't say that." She refused to believe it might be true. Hannah needed a close relationship. She needed her own family. A protective circle. Everyone needed that.

Suzanne had craved it. At the age of six, she'd dreamed about it. Her early years had been spent with a mother too drunk to be aware of her existence. Later, when her mother's internal organs had given up fighting the relentless abuse, Suzanne had been placed in foster care. Every story she'd written at school involved her being part of a loving family. In her dreams she had parents and siblings. By the time she was ten, she was resigned to the fact that it was never going to happen for her.

Eventually she'd ended up in residential care, and that was where she'd met Cheryl. She'd become the sister Suzanne had longed for, and she'd poured all the surplus love she had into their friendship. They'd been so close people had assumed they were related.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Christmas Sisters"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Sarah Morgan.
Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Christmas Sisters 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
GraceJReviewerlady More than 1 year ago
I love a good Christmas read; especially those that leave me with that warm and cosy feeling and The Christmas Sisters ticks all the boxes! Suzanne McBride and her husband Stuart live in Scotland with their youngest daughter, Posy, nearby. Posy's two sisters, however, live in the US and each year Suzanne goes all out to create the perfect Christmas, hoping the whole family will head home and finally all the underlying currents will disappear and they will enjoy the family festivities as one. With everyone following their own path, is that even possible? This one has a bit of everything .. love, history, family pressures, danger, excitement and - as with every great Christmas tale - snow! A packed story from beginning to end, with lots of revelations and typical family feelings coming to the fore which all adds up to a wonderful winter read which has left me full of festive spirit and really looking forward to the Christmas season. One to add to your December reading list without a doubt! My thanks to publisher Harper Collins for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book, the story was great and the author wrote such great details about the characters and why each sister was so different and the reasons for their behaviors.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
The title really sums the book up - it's about 3 sisters and how they spend one Christmas. One Christmas coming to terms with a tragic accident 25 years ago and trying to regain their closeness as a family unit. Unfortunately, the characters of the sisters are, how to put this tactfully, rather stereotypical. We have Beth who is the stay at home mum to 2 daughters who is desperate to reclaim an adult life for herself outside the home; Hannah who is the career woman and pushes everyone away from her and Posy who is the tomboy following in her parents footsteps who wants to leave home for adventure but is afraid of upsetting the family. To be perfectly honest I never really felt any connection to the characters on the page at all. Even Suzannah, the family matriarch, is fairly flat as a person - her whole reason for living seems to be to provide for her girls and little is made of her entrepeneurship. The story itself is quite good - the tension between the various family members is well described and the mystery of the avalanche is drawn out over most of the book with the reader only finding out the real circumstances behind it roughly 3/4 of the way through. By that point though I was reading to finish rather than reading to find out what happened. Even worse Patrick is regularly mentioned and described as the rock of the family but he hardly makes an appearance in the book at all as an actual person - we hear far more from the lodger Luke, Beth's husband and Hannah's boyfriend than we do from him. I also struggled with how saintly Suzannah and Patrick were portrayed in the book, it really was cloying in places. The village set scenes were probably the best thing about the book. The claustrophobia of small communities was apparent throughout and yet it is a strangely welcome claustrophobia where everyone is supportive whilst sticking their noses in. Not too sure about the Craft Cafe though, it did have more than a touch of my bete noir in novels the strangely overly successful small business in an unlikely location. I'm not sure why I struggled to connect with this book so much - maybe it is because I am an Only Child so the family dynamics exposed here are beyond my ken. The writing itself is accomplished and I can understand the attraction for readers in the author's books, it just didn't do "it" for me. So much so I did wonder if I was reading the same book that others have reviewed so glowingly.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: If her sister had been a laptop, Posy would have run antivirus software because there were times when she was convinced Hannah had been taken over by malware. If parenting was a meal then Jason came straight in at dessert, bypassing all other courses including vegetables. She smiled. “I’m so glad I married you.” “Of course you are. I’m irresistible. You couldn’t resist my practiced seduction.” Stewart swaggered across the room, ruining the effect by tripping over one of her slippers. She rolled her eyes. “You have a terrible memory. I was the one who seduced you.” “Not true.” “You were moving too slowly for me, Stewart McBride.” “That’s not how I remember it. I was like a rampant stallion.” I have a trick I use whenever I’m scared…I pretend I’m in a movie… Whatever movie fits the scenario. It’s easier to pretend I’m playing a character, than it is to be me. My Review: I have sighed with contentment after reading every Sarah Morgan book I have ever picked up. While her cleverly complicated characters are not always easy to appreciate when initially introduced, over the course of their story they have all managed to magically tunnel their way into my cold heart. It is a specific type of Morgan magic as her word voodoo is strong. This fractious and captivating family has packed with complex personalities with deep-seated issues, and they fascinated me. The writing was engaging and well-paced with generous sprinklings of smirk-worthy wit and clever levity as well as a vibrancy that conjures sharp and vivid scenes in my head as I read. I adore Sarah Morgan in any season. Ms. Morgan is also a frequent contributor to my Brit Word List with the new entries of clag (which seems to have several meanings according to Mr. Google which includes sticky as in mud; a clog or clot; and a low cloud, fog, or smog) and snug (a small comfortable room).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable & heartwarming story! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good relationship story
PinkStar More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were all relatable. I had a hard time putting it down and wasn't ready for the story to end! Well written.
Thebooktrail-com More than 1 year ago
ah the small community of Glensay in the wintry Scottish Highlands. It seems like the perfect place to spend Christmas doesn't it? Well there's not much festive going on in this family as 25 years ago, a tragedy occurred which is never really talked about. But Christmas reunions have a way of bringing things out into the open... With people returning from New York and all over , this small Scottish town is about to be invaded! One snowball of a secret...and we all know what happens with snowballs! Each member of the family has something to share, they have all been deeply scared by past events and it's that unravelling of secrets which makes this book so interesting. A bit like a real family Christmas for some I would imagine! So, if you think your family Christmas is chaos, this book will make you feel better ;) Lots of Christmas feel to this, a gorgeous location and plenty of snow. Family dramas, past secrets and plenty of characters with opposing personalities. A Morgan Christmas treat!
onemused More than 1 year ago
"The Christmas Sisters" is an absolutely lovely Christmas read that follows the three McBride sisters over the holiday. The book is told from four points-of-view- that of each of the sisters and their adopted mother. Suzanne, their mother, is in a tizzy preparing for what she hopes will be the perfect Christmas. Although her husband Stewart is there to reassure her they don't need all the trappings, Suzanne believes otherwise, especially since Hannah didn't come home for the holidays the previous year. Hannah, the oldest, has adopted a persona that is all about work and efficiency. Her life may seem cold and lonely, but she loves her job, her assistant, and her at-work romance, Adam (even if she isn't ready to admit it to herself). She feels obligated to head home over the holidays, despite the time of year and the memories that dredges up. However, when her worries grow and she is scared about her future, home is the first place she wants to go, heading to Scottland early. Beth is a stay-at-home mother of two girls. However, she has been feeling like she wants more for herself and is thinking about going back to work. When an opportunity presents itself, she is unsure of how her husband will react. As he seems to believe being a stay-at-home parent is all relaxing and eating bon-bons, Beth decides at the last minute to let him try it out while she heads home for Christmas a little early. Posy is the one who has never left home and still works with Suzanne and Stewart at the cafe they own. Everyone assumes Posy will take over one day, but she has bigger dreams that their little town can contain. Considering the writer that is staying in their rental is tall, dark, and handsome, Posy may have a little romance of her own cooking. When all three sisters are home for Christmas, there is drama, joy, sorrow, and so much love. I adored getting this peek into their lives and the healing that comes from letting out a lifetime of things kept back. Added onto that, there's also some passionate romances (no more than kisses make it onto the page, other things implied), and this book made me feel all the feelings. I loved the whole thing! Considering the setting was heavily around Christmas (frequent mentions and events/activities), this was a wonderful holiday read. Grab your cocoa, a blanket, and get ready to enjoy this lovely romance with a heavy dose of family/sisterly love! Please note that I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
shobeteener More than 1 year ago
I love Christmas books and I consider Sarah Morgan's an absolute must! The story being told from the 3 sister's points of view and their adopted Mom, Suzanne (who was their mom's best friend) was an amazing way of telling their story. We get all their points of view, their thoughts, their feelings, their hopes, their struggles. I felt we really got to know each of the characters in depth. Due to twists and turns of life the sisters have drifted apart and now they are gathered again for the holiday and are struggling through their past to regain their future and reconnect. I really love the intrigue that is in this book. I just couldn't put it down.
Susan250 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure about this book at first as when the sisters were introduced they seemed almost stereotypical.... workaholic Hannah, stay at home mother Beth, and Posy, who really had stayed at home with their adoptive parents. However, as the narrative continued, my feelings changed. It became obvious that all three sisters (and their adoptive mother, Suzanne) were still influenced by the tragedy that had killed their parents 25 years earlier...and that all of them had secrets. The sisters came to life, truths were told, arguments erupted, memories swamped them, and they finally rediscovered their sisterly bond. The storyline kept me reading...it wasn't fast paced but it didn't need to be. It was emotional, heartbreaking at times, and yet there was humour, along with the anger. There are some moments that had me cheering for all three, but especially Beth...and no, I'm not going to say what they were...read the book and you'll recognise them! The male characters were also realistic, and were perfect foils for the sisters. And the Scottish Highlands deserve a special mention. They were almost magical in the author's descriptions. This is a wonderful Christmas read. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Claire140 More than 1 year ago
Sarah Morgan is one of my favourite authors and she has moved from the lighter chick-lit to more contemporary women's fiction in her last two books, with much more depth to the stories, and in my opinion is just going from strength to strength as this was another wonderful book about family dynamics. The three sisters are Hannah, Beth and Posy. Hannah is a high-flyer living in Manhattan, very clever, very controlled and seems quite cold, never letting emotions rule her. Beth is a stay at home mum to two young children, also living in Manhattan, who is feeling a bit overwhelmed with motherhood being her whole life. Posy is a mountain guide and lives near her parents in Scotland. All sisters end up in Scotland for Christmas with their parents, Suzanne and Stewart, who are actually their adoptive parents as the sisters parents died in an avalanche when they were young and as Suzanne & Stewart were friends of their parents they took in the girls to raise as their own, moving them from the US to Scotland to be nearer Stewart's family. There are various dramas going on with the sisters, all initially stemming from losing their parents at such a young age, and they all grew up with various hang-ups, well apart from Posy really, she seemed the most grounded of the lot of them and probably my favourite. But this Christmas things came to a head in a variety of ways and the sisters actually start talking properly to one another again about more emotional subjects that they'd been avoiding for years. Suzanne and Stewart were great parents too, such a stabilising influence, always there when needed. This was a really engrossing story set around Christmas in the Scottish Highlands. So whilst not a fluffy Christmas story there was plenty of snow and Christmas-feeling throughout, with deeper feelings finally getting sorted out for everyone - with a lovely ending - I do love a happy ending! Loved it!
SaraOxo More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan a four-star read you will want to open. This author gives us good heart-warming stories that make you want to snuggle in comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate and this book to while away a cold wintery afternoon. It gives you that feeling while reading it even when you can’t be in those circumstances. This was a tale of family and coming together and anyone with a family with even the slightest drama will know that Christmas is a hard time to be together and this author shows us that, but she also shows us hope and shows us how sisters pull together in the best way possible. These sisters are such compelling characters, they all have differences and are amazing in their own rights, the way they have been written make you adore them and need to read each page quicker than the last.
Lesley Walsh More than 1 year ago
Another Engaging Story by Sarah Morgan. Set in the snowy Scottish Highlands this Christmas story is told from the viewpoint of four women. Due to a tragedy twenty five years ago, Christmas has always been a holiday overshadowed by what happened and the need by their adoptive mother to make things perfect at this time of year often leads to stress and tension. The three sisters have vastly different personalities and have drifted apart emotionally, each think that the other’s have perfect, put-together lives. Crises in Beth and Hannah’s lives bring them home early for Christmas and gradually their insecurities are exposed and they open up to each other and find a way to be close again. The story flows well and the characters are interesting and I felt invested in their lives. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
A touching story about family and parenting, sisters, drama and tragedy in love and life during one special Christmas time that shakes up the relationships in the family and leads them all to a new path in life. I absolutely adore the way Sarah Morgan tells a story; there are deep emotions and angst but not so much that it overshadows the story hope and love. There are conflicts, passion, humor, warmth, sweetness, and everything else that are part of the relationships and life, yet when I get to the end, there is this balanced, wholesome, complete feeling of happiness and satisfaction towards the tale and its events, that it fills the heart with bliss, every single time. The Christmas Sisters is a story of a family that was formed by a tragedy but stayed together because of love, loyalty, and commitment. All the three sisters and their adoptive mother get their chance to tell their point of view into the events of this particular Christmas and the one 25 years ago, that changed their lives so drastically. Each of the four leading ladies have their points of weaknesses and issues they have to face, relationships their have to repair, and moments of learning and growing they have to embrace while spending the Christmas together with their loved ones. Each of those four leading ladies also has their romantic relationships to deal with, to grow in, and fall for, or to take the leap of faith to the next level of the bond in between them and their mates. I loved the sisters, how truly different they were, and yet so similar in their pursuit of life and love. They are strong women, each talented in their own way, the tragic accident shaping them up in different ways to be the women they are today. I loved the bond between them, how they might not agree upon much at first, yet still willing to stand for each other when the need arises. The Christmas Sisters is a profound story about love; maternal love, love between sisters, love in a family, and the romantic kind of love that swipe you off your feet. It is a heartfelt tale of the bond only sisters can feel between them, an ardent tale of romantic love between four different kinds of couples. And it is a story about a Christmas miracle that saves a little girls faith in the all that magic that only the season can bring into our lives. Another home run from Sarah Morgan, a story that I savored, felt part of while I was reading it, and will want to revisit again. An absolutely marvelous story that will stay in my mind and heart for a long time to come ~ Five Spoons
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Three sisters return to Scotland for the holidays and each is dealing with a bit of drama in each of their lives. Hannah, Beth and Posy were adopted by Suzanne and Stewart when a tragedy befell their parents. They have been raised by Suzanne and Stewart their whole lives, but each has dealt with the loss of their parents in a different way.
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
I know what you might be thinking, dear reader. It's far too early to be reading a Christmas book. And I would be inclined to agree with you-it's not even Halloween yet! However, the temptation to read another Sarah Morgan romance novel outweighed the holiday timing principles. Make no mistake: I will be reading this again during the holiday season. It was that charming and magical. This is a story mostly about three sisters: Posy, Hannah, and Beth. These three sisters each have very tricky relationships with each other, with their adopted parents, and with their respective significant others. Each one is also trying to overcome their own significant hurdle in their lives but all things come back to the one fateful night that their parents died in an avalanche years ago just a days before Christmas. That night has not only impacted their lives, but also the lives of those who would come to know and love them afterwards. How can they move forward 25 years later when that night comes back to haunt them every Christmas? Sarah Morgan is easily my favorite author. Every book she writes has characters that are authentic, complex, and hard-working. In this book, each sister handled the traumatic experience of their parents' death differently. Yet each sister needed to rely on the other in order to overcome it many years later. Each sister had their own mountain to climb but learning to work together rather than only relying on their own self made it easier to face. I seem to have a problem choosing my favorite character in each book Sarah Morgan writes. In this book, I choose Stewart. Stewart and Suzanne took in the three orphaned sisters and raised them as their own. Stewart is the calm yet adventurous, quiet yet funny, father figure that we honestly could all use. I found him to be incredibly endearing and entertaining. I would recommend this book for all adult readers, regardless of the time of year, as it pulls you into the Scottish Highlands and takes you to new heights. I would also note that there is a big surprise about 70% into the book that changes everything. On the other hand, I would not recommend this book for readers who do not enjoy or may be triggered by parental death, grief, mild foul language, or sexually suggestive scenarios. Please note: an Advanced Reader Copy of this book was generously provided for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
bookfan-mary More than 1 year ago
Three sisters, adopted at a young age when their parents perished in a climbing accident, reunite to celebrate Christmas in the Scottish Highlands – and no one is more excited than their parents, Suzanne and Stewart. Hannah hasn’t been around for a family Christmas in a few years. Her fast-paced job has kept her occupied. That’s still the case but she also has a secret. Beth is mother to two young children. She wants to return to work and try to recapture some of the person she’d been before kids. Her husband is less than thrilled with the idea. Posy, the sister who stayed in Scotland to work in the family business, has met someone who makes her yearn for a bigger life – one that would take her away from home. As the three sisters work through their challenges will their parents get the family Christmas they hoped for? I enjoyed finding out and recommend to fans of Sarah Morgan and women’s fiction. Who can resist a Scottish setting at Christmas time? Not this reader!
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I loved this one! Ms. Morgan has assembled one heck of a cast for this one--the three "Christmas" sisters: Hannah, Beth, and Posy; their three (actual and/or possible) significant others: Adam, Jason, and Luke; the sisters' parents, Suzanne and Stewart; Beth and Jason's girls, Melly and Ruby--together they all combined into a wonderful story that left me smiling and thinking cozy, Christmas-y thoughts about my own family :) Ms. Morgan skillfully weaved all of their stories together, bringing everything to a heartwarming conclusion. At times I was almost as despairing as Suzanne--would a lack of communication and understanding keep the girls at arm's length from each other forever? Even as I shook my head at them, seeing things from each woman's POV (Suzanne, Hannah, Beth, and Posy's) really helped make both their conflicts and the resolutions realistic and satisfying. Though Christmas is the vehicle that brings the three sisters home to Scotland, the focus is really on relationships and healing rather than the holiday itself. Even though it ends on Christmas day, it's definitely going to be the characters and the feelings they evoke that I'll remember, not the snowstorm and fairy lights. I dare you to not find something in this story to identify with--honestly, between the parent/child relationships, the sibling relationships, and the significant other relationships, this story has something for everyone. I can't wait to see what Ms. Morgan has in store for us next! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I loved this one! Ms. Morgan has assembled one heck of a cast for this one--the three "Christmas" sisters: Hannah, Beth, and Posy; their three (actual and/or possible) significant others: Adam, Jason, and Luke; the sisters' parents, Suzanne and Stewart; Beth and Jason's girls, Melly and Ruby--together they all combined into a wonderful story that left me smiling and thinking cozy, Christmas-y thoughts about my own family :) Ms. Morgan skillfully weaved all of their stories together, bringing everything to a heartwarming conclusion. At times I was almost as despairing as Suzanne--would a lack of communication and understanding keep the girls at arm's length from each other forever? Even as I shook my head at them, seeing things from each woman's POV (Suzanne, Hannah, Beth, and Posy's) really helped make both their conflicts and the resolutions realistic and satisfying. Though Christmas is the vehicle that brings the three sisters home to Scotland, the focus is really on relationships and healing rather than the holiday itself. Even though it ends on Christmas day, it's definitely going to be the characters and the feelings they evoke that I'll remember, not the snowstorm and fairy lights. I dare you to not find something in this story to identify with--honestly, between the parent/child relationships, the sibling relationships, and the significant other relationships, this story has something for everyone. I can't wait to see what Ms. Morgan has in store for us next! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a modern xmas story that l enjoy
Lynn53 More than 1 year ago
A Book You Can Read Any Time Of Year. Suzanne McBride is a true mother – she worries about her children. Bethany “Beth” seems to be a woman who is trying to find her purpose. You can almost feel the stress coming off the page. She’s also a little frustrated with one of her siblings. Hannah seems to be a very important part as to where this story is headed. She makes me think of someone who doesn’t know how to be anything but standoffish. It was interesting to see how she explained to the reader about her personality. When you see a holiday listed in the title, you start the book off with certain expectations. You can’t do that here. For me, this story starts off so sad. There are some people that just aren’t happy around the holidays. Posey had me thinking that maybe there’s hope. She seems to do something that she enjoys. I liked how all the McBride women are main characters. This way I don’t have to choose a favorite. I also got my sister fix so I grew up in a house of brothers. I had to take my assumptions and put them away. I didn’t want to go in looking for our family to fall apart – there has to be that part where family love wins out. It’s not a story where I wanted to listen to Christmas music as I was reading. And that’s a good thing because that just means that I could read Ms. Morgan’s book any time of year. On the other side, I don’t want to be thinking snow just yet. I would prefer to ease into it but I know that I don’t have any say in that. Although I must say that I had the urge to pack my bags, book included, and take a trip to Scotland. It would also be interesting to experience how they would celebrate the holidays. This was my first experience with this author and I look forward to more – especially if it has me wanting to go and experience some of what her characters did. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.
PrincessThuy1 More than 1 year ago
Ah these women. Wow. The issues they had to work through, the relationships they restored. What a journey. I love a good family relationship story, especially set during the holidays? Makes me believe in the miracle of the season. And of course there's some romance too. But oh the emotions. Definitely have your tissue ready. I totally needed it. This story just made my heart feel so good.
blonde_betty More than 1 year ago
I was hooked on The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgah from page one. While the chapter separations and each being told by a different woman threw me at first, Morgan’s distinct voice for each drew me in quickly; after about the forth chapter I didn’t even need the headings to know who was speaking. There was something I could relate to about each character and I loved the opportunity to be a part of this family, even for a little while. Morgan throws in a few curveballs to keep things interesting, but overall this delightful holiday read will warm your heart. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
I am ready to start decorating for Christmas now! Suzanne adopted three girls after their parents were killed in a tragic accident and we are get to hear from each of them, Beth, Hannah, and Posy, and learn how they have learned to cope through the years from their loss. This book was so good I couldn't put it down and found myself carrying it from room to room. I'm not going to tell you anything about it except that because this is just another great one from this author and brings family together and you cannot miss it. Definitely gets high marks from me and high recommendations! This is set in the Highlands of Scotland and the descriptions had me homesick for my ancestors! **Received this for review**