Cover Image: Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy

Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy

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I am *that* girl.

I am the one who doesn’t allow any Christmas in her world until after I’ve eaten copious amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. I’m in the US and since our Thanksgiving falls at the end of November, I am a stickler for it being the magic door that leads into Christmas. I mean, otherwise, what is the point of ending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with good ole St. Nick if that isn’t the entire point???

However my exception to this is Hallmark Christmas movies. I am a sucker for them 12 months out of the year. Even so, I hadn’t yet actually read a Hallmark Publishing story. I’m not exactly sure why, but I just never picked one up. Until Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy. It pulled me in based on the blurb because one of my absolute most favorite Hallmark Christmas movies is not, in fact a romance, but a story about a soldier who was deployed to the Middle East and killed on Christmas Eve. And since his death his family stopped celebrating Christmas… even though they had another child at home who then internalized this as being a sign she wasn’t enough for her family to celebrate the season for her. Their son then makes a special, supernatural appearance at Christmas and teaches them some life lessons. It’s called A Christmas Visitor and if you have never seen it, please do.

But I digress.

So because of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movie, when reading the blurb this drew me in. And, let’s not forget your girl has a special affinity for broken boys and Oh Emm Gee is our Cole broken. And now our dude drew the short straw and is now gonna be Santa in the Christmas parade. Yup, there’s that.

But even more than just the well-loved Grinch turned Elf trope, is the depth of the story. While Cole was on his last deployment he kept a journal. A very, very detailed and explicit recount of the horrors of war and the traumatic events he lived through. It was a deeply personal and emotional memoir. One he… accidentally donated.

And one that Sophie, the town quilting queen, stumbles across. She finds it as she is sorting books that have been donated and, as the daughter of a veteran herself, connected immediately with the author of the journal and knows she needs to return it to him.

(Side note: gonna gush about another of my beloved Hallmark movies that this book reminded me of and that’s The Christmas Card. Just go watch and thank me later)

The problem is that the nightmare of war has scarred Cole so deeply that he doesn’t feel like he is deserving of the love Sophie tries to pour on him. And let me just say that Sophie is one of the single most caring and kindhearted characters I’ve ever met despite her being subjected to a hard family life.

Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy is an excellent story of redemption, the healing power of love, with a dusting of the author’s faith shared lightly, but clearly. This is a fabulous entrance to the holiday season for everyone who loves the wholesome Christmas romances the Hallmark Network has mastered.
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Just the perfect hallmark Christmas story. Like abs Ke cgaracters abd a military connection add up to a heartwarming festive treat x
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A charming Christmas story between a Veteran and a quilt maker. I enjoyed the story and the idea of making quilts for returning solider's to comfort them. I also liked that this was a return visit as I read and loved Wrapped Up In Christmas last year. Catching up with these characters again was fun. A sweet Christmas romance.
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#WrappedUpInChristmasJoy by #JaniceLynn is a sweet, small town, Christmas story that really resonated with me due to the male protagonist being a former Marine having PTSD, and my Dad being a single Father trying to raise two young girls, as well as being a former Marine with severe PTSD and no medical or financial help from the VA.  I grew up watching all sorts of strong, brave men (and women, though not nearly as many as the men) struggling to get by in their daily lives, too proud to ask for help, or just NOT KNOWING HOW to ask, and many times the community just saying what the Soldier went through wasn't as bad as the media made it out to be, when in fact it was a thousand times worse.  

Now I didn't fight over seas, but I spent 12yrs in the Navy, and I did spend time at the Pentagon on 9/11/2001, and the sight and smell still haunts me and all I did was transportation for the crew there.  It reminded me of stories my Dad told me of his time in Vietnam, and when I told him of what was going on he spoke some more of what took place there, and I I wanted to get sick once again, because what I took for stories growing up were no longer just stories after 9/11.  They were suddenly made horrifyingly real, and I just had a very small taste, whereas the men and women who were serving overseas in the thick of battle were getting first hand experience continuously, so of course what they went through would be much than what any one of could actually imagine, unless of course we actually experienced it for ourselves.

Ms. Lynn did a great job wrapping up the emotions, the heartbreak, the why me, feeling of unworthiness that goes with being a survivor, and the empowerment of healing and learning to love in Wrapped in Christmas Joy, and makes you feel like your right next to a group friends instead of reading about some characters in a book.  By the time the book ends, you don't want to put book down, and you feverishly hope this is one book Hallmark makes into their Countdown to Christmas movies.  And as a special treat, you get a delicious recipe at the end of the book which I actually made the night I received this book to review, and I can't wait to make the treat again!!
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This is an all-American, boy-meets-girl, sweet and clean romance. There' is a brooding, slightly damaged hero, an apple-pie heroine and a wonderful community spirit. Team this up with festivities in abundance and you have a feel-goo, heartwarming read which will really get you in the mood for Christmas.
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Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy is book two in the Wrapped Up In Christmas series by author Janice Lynn. Once again this author met and exceeded my expectations.

Readers visit Pine Hill, Kentucky afresh in the new novel. We first visited Pine Hill in Wrapped Up In Joy book one. How exciting it is to be back with another tale.

Cole Aaron chose the short straw which meant he would be the Fire Department’s Santa. He was not looking forward to it, as being the new guy on the squad. The Santa suit was a bit short and who better to help than Sophie Grace Davis.

Cole was a Marine who feels anything but a hero. Sophie is making it her task to encourage Cole. After reading his private journal she feels he is all of a hero. This is an emotional and sentimental story by a Hallmark Publishing author. Fans of this series will remember Bodie Lewis and Sarah Smith from book one. Animal lovers will also appreciate this novel.

I recommend this novel to fans of Hallmark, but be sure to keep tissues close by.

As an added bonus there is a recipe for Dilly Duchess Potatoes and a sneak peek of the Hallmark novel ‘Christmas Charms’ by author Teri Wilson.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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You know those special books you read where you feel like your actually living in the book itself? Well this is one of those books. As soon as I opened the first page I felt like I walked right into the middle of a snow dusted, festive, full of Christmas magic town and I loved every minute of it. This book is about a brooding army veteran named Cole who is trying to find his feet back on U.S. soil defending our country in another way, by being a fireman. He has a dark past and the one girl he may be falling for only gives him the time of day because she pities him and the darkness that follows him, at least that’s what he thinks. Sophie however has a heart of gold and sees anything but a veteran with a dark past, but a hero with a bright future ahead of him. With Sophie’s kindness, mad sewing skills and a bit of Christmas magic she may be able to convince him he’s more then his past.
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Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy by Janice Lynn is the second in a series by Hallmark Publishing.  In 2019 the first book Wrapped Up in Christmas was published. Both books deal with Veterans and Quilts of Valor. I come from a military family and I love the author’s message of respect, sacrifice, healing and growth.   I am all in for most Hallmark books and movies, especially the Christmas ones so needless to say this book was right in my wheelhouse. 

Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy brings some real world issues that many military families experience PTSD and survivor’s guilt. It is a nightmare for those who served and those that love them.  The story is well done and gentle as well as realistic.  It tells the story of one soldier’s experience and the lies he tells himself about not being worthy of love about the woman who falls in love with him.
 
This was a lovely story. I enjoyed the characters and felt that they were well developed right down to the secondary ones. The setting was artfully crafted so that you could see the small town where this story takes place. I am hoping that Hallmark makes this into one of it’s Christmas Movies! I highly recommend this book and guarantee it will not disappoint. I am hoping that there is another installment to this series!

I would like to thank Hallmark Publishing, Janice Lynn and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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Wrapped up in Christmas Joy is the second book in the Wrapped up in Christmas series by author Janice Lynn. These stories are set in Pine Hill, Kentucky and are the heartwarming stories of the affect of Christmas love on the souls of American soldiers who have seen and lived horrible things.

This story centers on Sophie Grace Davis, co-owner of The Threaded Needle quilting and needle craft shop and local director of the Quilts of Valor project, and former Marine, now fire fighter, Cole Aaron. 

Cole mistakenly includes the journal he wrote at the direction of his counselor when he returned from a tragic Middle East deployment in a box of donations for the church rummage sale. As the commander of the mission, Cole takes all blame for the ambush that lost some of his men. He feels he has no hope for a future and that the best he can do is to continue doing acts of good to try to make amends for such a black mark on his soul.

Sophie Grace Davis is the one who was helping to sort donations and came upon his journal. She was desperate to find its rightful owner feeling that the journal in this box was a gross mistake. She gave a donation to the church and took the box to try to find the owner. She finally discovers it is Cole Aaron’s, the newest firefighter in their small town. When she tries to return it she is taken aback by his response that he not only never wants to see the journal again, but he also never wants to see the woman that has read his journal, even if reading it started as an effort to discover his identity and ended a connection to her soul.

In a small town, two people who are consummate volunteers are bound to be brought together, which Sophie and Cole are with the annual toy drive to help children in need. When the others in their committee conspire to put Sophie and Cole together, a truce is called for the good of the children. As the story unfolds, as much as Sophie’s sister Isabelle is against her baby sister becoming involved with a veteran, the local group of matriarchs, the Butterflies, seem determined to bring them together.

In a delightful holiday story, the residents of Pine Hill will bring joy to the reader.  This is a lovely story that I very much enjoyed.  Perfect for a holiday read, I do recommend this book
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In 2019, Janice Lynn's book Wrapped Up in Christmas was published. This year, it is Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy. Both books deal with veterans and quilts of valor. I loved them both, with their message of respect, healing, remembrance, sacrifice and moving on. Sophie Davis finds a journal in a box of books donated to the church. She buys it and reads it, feeling the pain that had gone into the words. Imagine her surprise when she finds out that it belongs to the newest firefighter in her community and it was donated by mistake. She tries to return it to former Marine Cole Aaron, but he just wants her to destroy it. She can feel his pain and wants to help him. He does not want her pity, but they seem to get thrown together over and over. Gradually a friendship develops and then the feelings become deeper. Sophie wants to make a Quilt of Valor for Cole, but will he accept it?

This was a sweet and fun story. I enjoyed the characters, and felt that they were well developed, even several of the secondary ones. I enjoy small-town stories and the customs and events that go along with that. The toy drive and fun rivalry between the teams added some humour and fun to the story. There was some serious issues involving PTSD, new beginnings for military personnel, but it was all wrapped up in Christmas cheer and a caring community. I definitely recommend this one.
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Let the Christmas Joy Lighten Your Day
USA Today best-selling author Janice Lynn presents "Wrapped up in Christmas Joy", published by Hallmark Publishing. Cole Aaron, a former Marine, currently working as a firefighter at the Pine Hill Fire Department in Kentucky feels getting stuck in the role of Santa is a huge mistake. And there is even more Christmas-related things to do for him. Sophie Grace Davis found Cole's journal that he accidently donated to the church sale and starts to read it in order to find out who the owner is. The suffering of her own father and Cole merge together for her because the struggles and challenges he writes about are not unknown to her. She tries to give Cole his diary back, but he refuses. Can Sophie influence Cole's life? What will come out of their "accidental" meetings? And will Sophie be able to get a Quilt of Valor made for Cole?
This was the first book by Janice Lynn which I read. I really enjoyed it with it's realistic, believable, strong and charming characters. It is a heartwarming story, a clean romance and a relaxing and enjoyable read, but it also touches at the topic of PTSD and the horror of war. I highly recommend it to all readers who love Christmas romances novels. Once again, Hallmark Publishing included one of their special recipes, this time the one for Dilly Duchess Potatoes.
The complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley free of charge. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#WrappedUpInChristmasJoy	#NetGalley
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This was not your typical Hallmark story!

I truly enjoyed Sophie as a character and the cheer and light she brought with her. It paired well with the brooding former marine, Cole. 

While I felt the story was a bit repetitive and dragged on in parts, I still enjoyed the overall premise of the book! 

Thank you to Hallmark Publishing and NetGalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Very cute Christmas themed book. I liked Sophie and liked Cole. Just not sure about the quick HEA.  I liked the way the author described the town, it sounded really nice. I really liked the Butterflies
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What a WONDERFUL and delightful read!  I could have read it in one sitting, but I wanted to savor its goodness.  The author has develops the characters so well that you feel like you are right there in the midst of Pine Hill.  The depth in which she shows veterans struggles and their capacity to be wholly loved for exactly who they are is incredible.  Our heroine in the book is SO witty and hilarious on top of it all - loved every moment of this book.  This was my first holiday read in life and I am now officially hooked!

Thank you Hallmark Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced readers copy!
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Sophie Davis is helping to sort through some donated booked when she comes across a soldiers journal. As someone who has seen the struggle her dad went through to deal with the horror of active duty and the struggle to adapt to civilian life, she feels a deep connecting to the man who wrote the entries. Having read through the journal and realising the emotional trauma the writer is dealing with she sets out to return it to them. 

Cole Aaron wrote the journal as a way to try and find peace with his past and he is less than impressed when Sophie turns up at the fire house to return it to him. To him, he is damaged and not worthy of having someone care for him. For Sophie he is someone who doesn’t realise his worth and that he deserve to heal. 

Despite his hopes of avoiding Sophie they seem to be drawn to each other, and after volunteering for various community events he struggles to keep his guard up, as he doesn’t want anyone’s pity. But Sophie has a persistently caring nature and is determined for Cole to see the brave wonderful person she sees. 

On the whole I enjoyed the story and I think the development of Cole and Sophies relationship was well done. However, this is a bit of a slow read, with the most major event being Sophie getting stuck in a tree and it takes a long time for Cole’s walls to start coming down. There are additional characters that help the story along but if you are looking for a fast-paced, high drama read this is not it. 

This is a gentle sweet book, very much Hallmark movie-worthy. Sophie is a bit too much of a goody for me, but not in an irritating way, it is more that the genuine niceness of her character seems a bit unrealistic (maybe that says a lot about me more than anything). My heart went out to Cole and I was really hoping that he would find peace and really see he was worthy of someone living him.
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Sophie Davis owns a quilt shop, Threaded Needle in Pine Hill.
Her passion is Quilts of Valor, she along with others make quilts in this nonprofit organization for military and veterans.
This book came alive for me as I read about Sophie finding a journal written by a soldier who has returned from war. Being she lives in a small town she believes this journal was mistakenly donated and she sets out to find it's owner.
When she does find him he's convinced she feels sorry for him after she reads how he details the pain he went through during the war. This is not something people can turn off once they return to civilian life, it becomes part of who they are.
Still not convinced Sophie could actually find an attraction in him, Cole a former marine is grumpy towards her thinking it'll scare her off.
What Cole doesn't count on is the determination Sophie has to get through to this firefighter's heart and just maybe things can be set ablaze.
This heartwarming Christmas book shows determination through persistence,strength triumphing over weakness and understanding.
I recommend it.

Published October 27th 2020 by Hallmark Publishing
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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I love a Hallmark holiday themed novel so I couldn’t wait to read this. 

Reading this book I was transported to the snowy town of Pine Hill, Kentucky and into the lives of Sophie and Cole.

This book was written in a way that you see both the main characters perspectives which makes it an interesting read, although I didn’t find either character very likeable.

All in all this was an enjoyable holiday read filled with quirky side characters that I actually enjoyed more than the main two. 

CW - with Cole being an ex Marine this book does touch on some heavy topics like survivors guilt and PTSD
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What a delightful Hallmark Christmas romance book!  Set in a small town in Kentucky, main characters Sophie and Cole are thrown together in this enjoyable story.  As they work together to help Cole discover joy, romance begins to emerge.  Follow along as Sophie and Cole discover the joy of Christmas together.
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Sophie Davis owns Threaded Needle, a popular quilt shop in Pine Hill. She sells fabric, quilt kits and patterns, but her passion is Quilts of Valor, a non-profit organization that awards handmade quilts to active military and veterans. When she stumbles across the journal that Cole Aaron, fireman and former Marine, accidentally donated to the church sale, she realizes he needs a quilt and a friend and she plans on providing him with both, even though he has made it very clear he doesn’t want either. Particularly not the friendship with a tempting woman like Sophie – he’s not good enough for her.

This is the second book in the Wrapped up in Christmas series and can be read as a stand alone, but reading the first book provides a better understanding of some of the characters. The story is sweet, you know eventually Sophie will overcome Coles objections. The problem for me was Cole’s angst took what seemed an inordinate amount of time to resolve. I found paragraph after paragraph rehashing Cole’s doubts and concerns a bit much. And Sophie took a long time to explain to Cole why the quilt was so important to her. While I loved the idea of the Butterflies, the senior ladies who ran most of the charity activities in town and who adopted all the young people, I got tired of the constant razzing and arguing between the members. 

Having pointed out my issues with the story, I still enjoyed it and would recommend it and the previous book in the series as a good Christmas read. The Quilts of Valor Foundation (https://www.qovf.org/) is a worthwhile non-profit organization that the author supports . 

I received a copy of the book from NetGalley. This review reflects my honest opinion.
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A wonderful return to Pine Hill. I fell in love with the town in the first novel and was thankful for the opportunity to return. I love the honor given to the military and the representation of Quilts for Valor. Sophie is a warm hearted, small town girl who sees the good in former marine Cole and is determined to help him get past his demons and walls. The slow burn romance is drawn out perfectly. I was so happy for the return of the Butterflies and love the entertainment they bring to the story. Pine Hill is a wonderful community that captures the essence of honor, community, loving your neighbor, and Christmas. I highly recommend this sweet, romantic Christmas story. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.
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