Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: "The Fruitcake Challenge" by Carrie Fancett Pagels

"The Fruitcake Challenge" is the 3rd in the Christmas Traditions Series, but each novella is a stand alone story and they are not connected through their plots.  This story interested me when I first heard about it because it is set in my home state.  I always find it fun when a book is set in a familiar place.

Tom Jeffries signs on as the new axman in the family lumber camp run by Mr. Christy to be able to support his mother.  He takes an interest in Jo Christy, the boss's daughter, and announces a challenge that he will propose marriage to any woman who can make a fruitcake as good as his mother's. Jo  takes him up on his challenge, but only to be able to take him down a notch or two.  Jo wants out of the lumber camp, so she isn't interested in any shanty boy, but as she bakes fruitcake after fruitcake, Jo begins to wonder what she wants from life.  Will they clear a path that brings them together?

I have seen the vast White Pine forests in Northern Michigan.  I've also been to a recreation of a lumber camp.  I could picture the setting as I read the book. I liked the progression the characters made in their personal lives.  They grew and improved.  I found myself nodding as I read about the pasties and other references to life in Michigan.  I did get a little confused, though, as at the beginning of the book, Tom's sister's name is Rebecca and at the end it is Emily. I enjoyed the characters in the book, both the main ones and the secondary ones as well. I could see story plots that would work as sequels.

"The Fruitcake Challenge" is a fun, quick read that I'm sure those who like books about lumberjacks, Michigan, and historical romance will enjoy. 

"The Fruitcake Challenge" is available for Kindle:
  • File Size: 4647 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Hearts Overcoming Press; 1 edition (September 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NG5II28

and in paperback:
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Hearts Overcoming Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692290036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692290033
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches

I won a copy of "The Fruitcake Challenge" on the Overcoming with God blog and was gifted a copy by the author. 

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