Season of Joy by Virginia Carmichael (Review)

I’m sure I’ve told y’all before, I don’t read very many contemporaries. Scratch that. I don’t finish reading very many contemporaries, but I believe Virginia Carmichael is persuading me to broaden my horizons a little more.

Shelter For Everyone

As the holiday season approaches wealthy CEO Calista Sheffield wants to give instead of receive. So she volunteers at a downtown Denver shelter, never expecting that her own scarred heart will be filled with hope and healing. The mission’s director, handsome Grant Monohan, has devoted his life to helping those in need. But his harrowing pass–and what he sees every day–makes him wary of Calista. Unless she shares her painful history, he’ll never believe they can have a future. But a future with Grant at the shelter is the only Christmas gift Calista truly wants.

There are so many things to love about this story and I’m not even sure where to begin, so I think I’ll bullet point them.

  1. First, just look at this cover. It’s Christmasy and inviting. Kind of gives me that ‘home for the holidays’ feel.













2. I wasn’t two sentences in before recalling what it was like to walk into a shelter to volunteer, and then I wasn’t even a few pages in before guilt hit me, because I was, unintentionally, one of those ‘holiday’ people Grant Monohan talks about. Curious? You’ll have to read the book.

3. Awesome, awesome cast of characters and I’m not just talking about the hero and heroine. Virginia did her homework and created a well rounded group of supporting characters who are so realistic they jump off the page, even the ones who have very little dialogue.  Writers, listen up, if you want to see great examples of non-cardboard characters, study this book.

4. I didn’t think I’d like Calista. Let’s face it, she’s a CEO. A successful CEO, which means she probably stepped on a lot of people in her climb up the ladder. And she’s gorgeous. Okay, so I didn’t just think I wouldn’t like, I thought I’d hate her. But remember what I said about well-rounded characters? Virginia has given this very unlikable stereo-type a very likable personality. And flaws, realistic flaws.

5. Grant Monohan is perfect! I fell in love with him by page 20, maybe even before.

6. The conflict is right on. It’s enough, but not over dramatic.

7. This book inspired me to live out my faith, to be the only example of Christ some people may ever see. That’s huge in my book!

8. Season of Joy was nominated for Romantic Time’s 2012 Series Romance, and it’s well deserved. AND let me add that this book is the only inspirational book nominated. Does that say something or what? Oh, you can check out that nomination here.

All right, so, my review is a little late, but I think you can still purchase this book at the stores. If not, you can buy it from and of course Amazon.


*This book was purchased by me.

4 responses to “Season of Joy by Virginia Carmichael (Review)”

  1. Oh, Christina, thanks so much for that review! And I just love unlovable heroines. Not whiney ones, just the fragile ones, like ourselves. (Okay, and I’m whiney, too. But I’m not a heroine. but I ramble..)

    • Sherida, I just know you’ll love it. I like the description RT used for the category Season of Joy was nominated for, ‘heart pounding romance in a small package.’

      Let me know what you thought of it.

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