LitStack Review: Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

Catching Christmas
Terri Blackstock
Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 9, 2018
ISBN: 978-0310351726

The last thing Finn Parrish wants is involvement. Unhappy with life in general and disappointed with himself, in particular, Finn just wants to pay his rent and get through the crazy holiday season with as little fuss as possible. Sydney Batson is too stressed to take much notice of the holiday at all. As a first-year associate at a the prestigious law firm, her schedule is not her own, and the burden of proof is on her to convince the partners that she’s a valuable asset.

Finn can’t afford to be waylaid, and Sydney doesn’t have the time to get sidetracked, but neither of them counts on the plucky, determined Callie Beecher to derail their plans.
A loner by choice, Finn carries a secret he’d rather no one know. Regret rules his life, causing him to walk away from his career as a chef and any semblance of authentic relationship. With his skepticism and bah-humbug attitude, there is little room for anyone to pierce his taciturn shell.

Callie Beecher manages to do just that. Elderly and frail, her indomitable spirit and kindheartedness woos even the reluctant Finn, who swears Miss Callie is more trouble than she’s worth. But being hired daily to drive her around in his cab, Finn can’t help but feel compassion for the determined matron—a woman alone in the world, except for her seemingly negligent granddaughter, the illusive Sydney Batson.

Sydney is busy “living the dream” as a bottom-rung attorney, desperate to climb her way to the top. The trouble is that the dream seems more like a nightmare when she’s given an unwinnable case—one nobody else wanted. Her goal is to prove her worth—even if that means her ailing grandmother gets short shrift.

Carrying a heavy load of guilt, Sydney has no choice but to do as she’s told. She needs the job, and she wants the career. If she can just figure out a way to win this case and get through the holiday, life should get easier. But life doesn’t always wait for our availability—a lesson Sydney learns the hard way. When her grandma is rushed to the hospital, Sydney must face the harsh reality that a surly cabby knows more about her grandmother’s situation than she does.

The turning point of the story centers on the fact that this sweet old lady is very ill, and the two people who feel the least able to help Callie, are the two she needs the most. After a rocky start, Finn and Sydney team up to give Callie her Christmas wish, but the events of the holiday end up changing the two of them forever.

Callie’s unconditional love for her only granddaughter and her child-like trust of an unsuspecting cabby helps the two harried young people catch the Christmas spirit, find the joy of relationship, and reignite a hope for life.

A distinct departure for award-winning suspense author Terri Blackstock, this sweet story reminds us to value every moment we have with those we love and never to take for granted the simple gift of an ordinary day.

A quick, easy read, this story has just the right mix of quirky characters, holiday melee, and honest emotion to tug effectively on the heartstrings. Anyone looking for a way to spend a day cuddled by the fire should grab this book, a mug of your favorite hot beverage, and, yes, a few tissues, then curl up and enjoy!

Vickie Price Taylor

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