Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber @debbiemacomber #BookReview #BlogTour

It’s Christmas, the season to be snowed under.

Merry Smith is overworked. Between family responsibilities, preparing for Christmas, and staying out of the crosshairs of her boss there’s room for little else. Her social life is the last thing on her mind, much less finding love.

Jayson Bright is feeling the pressure. Christmas is his most stressful time of year. Deadlines are looming, the holidays are coming, and employees are winding down. He’s the one left in the office pulling late and lonely nights.

Luckily for these two, their friends and family take matters into their own hands, and Merry and Bright are about to discover that love can be found where you least expect it . . .

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber today, many thanks to the author and publishers for inviting me, and for my advance copy of the book.
I have to admit that Merry and Bright isn't the sort of book I usually choose to read, my tastes are usually a bit darker. However, I do enjoy the feelgood warmth of a Christmas film and will often choose one on the Hallmark Channel to enjoy over the festive period. As several of Debbie Macomber's books have already been adapted for the small screen, I thought who better to introduce me to the pleasures of a Christmas novel?
Merry and Bright is exactly what I expected and just what I wanted from a book that is about the importance of family and the magic of love. Merry Smith is an overworked temp, what with having to work mandatory overtime and help with her family responsibilities - her mother has multiple sclerosis and her brother has Down's Syndrome -  she has no time to find love. Her family has other ideas though, particularly her brother, Patrick who has a girlfriend himself and is desperate for his sister to find that special somebody. So he and their mother register Merry with a dating agency - Mix and Mingle. They want Merry to be loved for her personality rather than her looks and so use a photo of their dog as her profile picture. The Smith family are a really lovely bunch, I couldn't help but warm to them. Merry herself is kind and considerate but no doormat, she has principles and is prepared to stick to them. I really loved Patrick too; there's sometimes a risk that characters with Down's Syndrome are included only to demonstrate the altruism of other protagonists. That is far from the case here, Patrick is a fully rounded person in his own right, he is bright, funny and opinionated and just happens to have Down's Syndrome, rather than being defined by it.
Meanwhile, Jayson Bright's career is in the ascendancy, already vice-president at Matterson Consulting, he is in line to take over the company reins when his uncle retires. His home life isn't as successful however, his family are fractured and he lives alone. When his cousin and best friend tells him he's getting married and that he spotted his future wife on a dating agency called Mix and Mingle, Jayson can't resist having a look. He is particularly intrigued by the woman who has used a photograph of a dog as her profile picture...
Jayson and Merry start communicating online and although there are a few stumbling blocks along the way, you can probably guess the eventual outcome. The inevitability  is part of the appeal of books like this however, and the story is told with such charm and a lovely light touch, I couldn't help but be swept away by this touching and cheerful read. Debbie Macomber has a wonderful eye for detail, creating a real sense of Christmas with all its sights and smells. This really is the ideal book to cosy up with, reminiscent of the film, You've Got Mail, this is a novel that will put on smile on your face and warm your heart over the Christmas period.

Merry and Bright is published in the UK by Arrow and can be purchased here. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Debbie Macomber is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers. In addition to fiction, Debbie has also published two bestselling cookbooks; numerous inspirational and nonfiction works; and two acclaimed children’s books. The beloved and bestselling Cedar Cove series became Hallmark Channel’s first dramatic scripted television series, Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, which was ranked as the top program on US cable TV when it debuted in summer 2013. Hallmark has also produced many successful films based on Debbie’s bestselling Christmas novels. Debbie Macomber owns her own tea room, and a yarn store, A Good Yarn, named after the shop featured in her popular Blossom Street novels. She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and her husband Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington (the town on which her Cedar Cove novels are based) and winter in Florida.

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Twitter - @debbiemacomber