Christmas Cookies: Noel, No Way

Author: Mardi Ballou

Publisher: Changeling Press

Release Date: December 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: EBOOK

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Carlie Pierino wants absolutely nothing to do with the pomp and circumstance of the Christmas holiday.  Burying herself in work has been the easiest way to avoid dealing with her hurt over Vincenzo’s betrayal and death.  Now she’ll be forced to live an eternity without the man who turned her and the holidays will always hold memories of the time he made her his Christmas bride.

Carlie’s refused every invitation and resisted any attempts any of her friends made to try to get her to live the life she’s been gifted with to the fullest.  Instead she chooses to bury herself in research and writing a book about the history of vampires.  Since its Christmas Eve the research library is closed but Carlie got permission to spend the evening doing her research in relative peace and quiet.  Only she never gets the chance.  Once she sits down with her thermos of B positive and an ancient journal she gets sidetracked by the falling snow.  She soon realizes that she’s not alone.  Carlie’s being visited by otherworldly beings who ‘walk’ her through her past, present and future.  Is she prepared to learn the truth about herself and the hurt her self-destructive behavior is causing? 
Carlie’s love for Vincenzo has never wavered though she was hurt decades ago by his infidelity.  She never realized the significance of being made his Christmas bride but by being forced on this tour of her life it will become glaringly clear.  Is it too late to rectify the damage she’s caused or will she find herself alone with only her books for company as mold overcomes her?
Mardi Ballou twists the beloved Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL into a unique vampire story that certainly captured my interest.  Carlie’s love for Vincenzo is clearly felt in the way she refuses to have anything to do with the holidays – which were such a vital part of their life together.  There was something so heartfelt and intriguing about this story that I found myself devouring the pages and felt great empathy for all the characters involved.  I was fascinated by the twists in the plot and how Carlie is given a second chance.  I have to say, I’m even a little jealous of her.  Love like Carlie and Vincenzo share should never be tossed aside – even by death.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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