This guest review by Laura Lee of The Christmas Eve Secret is made possible by a review copy provided at no charge.
The Christmas Eve Secret
HUGE five stars!
I love this whole story, and I especially love Patrick and Eve's romance and all of the adventures that they go on together. Eve is exactly my kind of character. There were many parts throughout the novel where, if I’d been faced with the same adversity that Eve had, I think I would have just curled up in a ball and cried forever! I loved her voice, her strength, and her intelligence.
Eve was really on her own in a lot of ways in this one and she really managed to keep her chin up and come up with a viable plan to get her life back in order. I love Joni and her sarcastic personality. I love the dog, Georgy Boy and how much of an effect that he actually has on the story. I just love all of it!
I finished this book a couple of weeks ago now and I still can’t stop thinking about the feeling that it gave me and the arc that the characters went on. Everyone really developed a lot in this story and it was so rewarding as a long-time reader to watch that happen. It feels like every new book in this series just keeps getting better and better and I love these characters more and more. Every time a new one comes out I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
The Christmas Eve Secret is my favorite in the series so far, but if you have not read the first two books I would recommend doing that as soon as possible! If you enjoy romance, time travel, mystery and great writing, I promise that you won't regret dipping a toe into this series.
About the Book:
- Title: The Christmas Eve Secret
- Author: Elyse Douglas
- Print and ebook: 440 pages
- Publisher: Broadback
A mysterious man from the past steals the time travel lantern.
When Eve and Patrick find it, they destroy it.
Eve’s life is shattered.
She must return to the past, where secrets await.
In the third novel of THE CHRISTMAS EVE series, Eve and Patrick Gantly are living a normal life in 2019 New York, preparing to celebrate the Christmas season. Patrick is taking courses in forensic psychology and Eve continues to work as a nurse practitioner. To their delight, she is three months pregnant.
Despite their happiness, Eve is having premonitions that something dreadful is about to occur. Concerned about the future and the safety of their child, she insists that they destroy the time travel lantern. Patrick is more cautious.
One afternoon when Patrick is out, a sinister man breaks into the apartment and forces Eve to give him the lantern. In many ways, Eve is relieved the lantern is gone. She hopes they can now live a more normal life.
A day later, Patrick shadows a woman who has been staking out the Gantly’s brownstone apartment, and he confronts her. To his and Eve’s utter shock, they learn that Lucy Rose is from 1924 and that she time-traveled with the man who took the lantern. He returned to 1924, but she chose to stay behind. She offers to sell the lantern back to Eve and Patrick, and they reluctantly agree, hoping to keep it out of unscrupulous hands.
Convinced that the lantern is a threat to their future happiness, Eve and Patrick decide to destroy it.
But the lantern has more power than they could have ever imagined. Once the lantern is destroyed, Eve’s life is completely changed. She must set off on an adventure, in a struggle that will return her to the past, where she will learn the secret of the lantern’s origin and delve into the farthest reaches of her heart.
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The Christmas Eve Secret Excerpt:
Eve Gantly sat up with a start, searching the darkness.
“Patrick… Patrick are you there?”
Patrick stirred slowly, a ragged snore fading into the silence.
He rolled over, his eyes flickering open, and he saw Eve sitting up in silhouette. “What’s the
matter? Bad dream?”
Eve’s voice sounded strange and far away. “Yes.”
Patrick lifted on an elbow. “Need to talk?”
He reached, switched on the three-way bedside lamp to dim, and then sat up, looking at her, concerned. When their eyes met, Patrick saw a strangeness in Eve’s.
“What is it?”
Eve shivered. “I just feel weird, like I’m not quite in my body or something. It’s the way I feel after I’ve just time traveled and part of me is still swirling around out there.”
She touched her stomach.
“Is it the baby?” Patrick asked.
“Yeah, that’s some of it, I think.”
“No… Nothing like that. The baby’s fine. I just feel this kind of foreboding.”
“I don’t know… like a premonition or something. I feel like I’m half asleep and half awake. Part of me in one world, part in another.”
“Like a lucid dream?” Patrick asked.
Eve looked at him soberly and ran a hand through her hair.
“Patrick, ever since I got pregnant, I just haven’t felt right. I can’t quite explain it.”
“Women often feel different when they get pregnant, don’t they? Especially when it’s the
“Yes, but I just can’t shake this feeling… that something just isn’t right or that something, I don’t know what, but that something bizarre is going to happen. I try to push it away, but it always comes back, like now, in the middle of the night.”
Patrick reached and stroked her hair, listening to the squeal of the wind outside.
“I know you, Eve. You’re not telling me everything because you don’t want to upset me. So don’t worry about upsetting me and tell me everything.”
Her stare was honest and sharp. “Patrick, I want to get rid of the lantern. Once and for all. I just want to get rid of it. I don’t want it around anymore.”
They locked gazes. He nodded. “I had the feeling it was something like that.”
“Now that we’re going to have a baby, we don’t need it. We don’t need to keep it or hide it. I don’t want it in our apartment anymore. I don’t want it in my thoughts. I don’t want it in my closet, tucked away in that little safe, waiting, like some hibernating thing that’s waiting to be awakened. We don’t need it and there’s no reason to keep it.”
“All right. What do you want to do with it?”
“Take it down to the Hudson River, bash it to pieces with a hammer and toss it into the river.”
Patrick ran a thoughtful hand over his stubble of a beard.
“Can you think of any reason to keep it?” Eve asked.
“Reason? No, I guess not.”
“But…?” Eve said, lifting a curious eyebrow.
“Okay, I have two questions. First, I’ve always wanted to know where the lantern came from. I know we’ve talked about this, but how is it that an old lantern, when lighted, glows with a light that somehow transports us to another time? It just boggles my mind. It makes no logical or reasonable sense. That lantern had to have a beginning. Something or someone had to, I don’t know, program it or something.”
As he left the bed, wearing only dark blue pajama bottoms, he turned back to her with a question.
“So I’d like to know: where did that lantern come from?”
“We’re not going to know, Patrick. It’s a secret, and it’s always going to remain a secret.”
Eve studied her handsome husband: his thick curly hair, the steady blue eyes, prominent nose, and solid, determined jaw.
She never grew tired of looking at his body: the broad, hairy chest, muscular neck and good shoulders.
“Where are you going?” Eve asked.
“To the boy’s room and for some bottled water. Be right back.”
Eve rested her head into the pillow, still unable to shake that uneasy feeling of dread.
Patrick returned and handed the half-drunk bottle to Eve. She took a swallow.
“What time is it?” she asked.
“How much snow do you think we have?”
“Five or six inches.”
“It doesn’t usually snow this much in early November,” Eve said, handing the bottle back to
Patrick. He tipped it back and drained it.
“Okay, my second question. Why should we destroy the lantern?”
“It’s not like it’s a person or anything, Patrick. It’s a thing. It’s not really alive.”
“It certainly seems alive to me and, anyway, it’s not like it has ever harmed us. If anything, it’s helped us. It brought us together, and it helped save my daughter, Maggie, from a terrible fate. And we don’t know what might happen in the future. We might need it again.”
Eve stared at the ceiling, not meeting his gaze. “We’re never going to know where it came from, Patrick. That’s going to stay a mystery. And as for it being harmful, I feel like the longer we keep the thing, the more it has the potential to hurt us.”
About the Author: Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master’s degree in English Literature. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist.
Douglas has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and an equities trader. He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years.
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A complimentary copy of The Christmas Eve Secret was received in exchange for an honest review.