Book Review: Merry and Bright

Merry and Bright
Published By: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Page Count: 224
Source: Library
Adult - Contemporary Holiday

This rounds out my week of Debbie Macomber Christmas novels. I wasn't originally planning to review this one today, but I finished it rather quickly and decided it was fitting to review it the same week as the other titles. Merry and Bright is my last Macomber story of the holidays (at least for this year) and it was the perfect note to savor as I move on to other authors and novels for the remainder of 2017. It has become tradition for Macomber to write a Christmas story each year and this is her offering for 2017. I can't wait to see what she has in store for readers in 2018.

Merry Knight is a twenty four year old who is living with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. Her mother suffers from MS and can't do all the things she once did which means that Merry has tried to do as much of the household chores as possible. Merry's younger brother, Patrick, has Downs Syndrome and is a big help to his family, but also has lots of events and school functions to attend.  To make matters more complicated, Merry's dad travels throughout the state for work, leaving her to keep everything running smoothly during the week. Merry has put her personal goals on hold so that she can work to help the family with finances. Her family is her whole world and she would do anything for them. Working long hours and caring for her family keep Merry's days full so she doesn't have time to date and spend time with people her own age. Throughout everything, Merry truly lives up to her name. She always has a smile ready and she is so patient with everyone. The one person who seems to get her dander up is boss, Jayson.

Jayson Bright hasn't had a warm and cozy family life. His parents have been through multiple marriages and traded him back and forth like a possession during his youth. He always felt like more of an inconvenience than a son, but summer camps and boarding schools taught him to be resilient and to let nothing stand in his way. Jayson has climbed the ranks of his uncle's consulting firm and has eyes on even higher steps in the future. He just needs to get a major project finished to impress upon his uncle that Jayson is the sort that can run the firm when he retires. As a result, Jayson has become a workaholic and put in place mandatory overtime until the project is completed. His seen as strict rule follower around the office which is just fine by him as long as the work gets done.

Merry and Jayson couldn't be more different. There run-ins at work have never gone well, leaving one or both of them frustrated. Can these two ever come to see the positives about one another or will they keep butting heads until Merry's temporary position ends on December 23?

If you've ever been so busy you didn't think you had time for a social life, then this is the holiday read for you. It involves a sweet romance, online dating, and Seattle at Christmas with a slight reminiscent feel of You've Got Mail. What more could you want as you prepare to get your own yuletide cheer rolling?

One Last Gripe: I wanted an epilogue with this one.

Favorite Thing About This Book: I adored Patrick and Merry's relationship. They are so loyal to one another.

First Sentence: "Mom, I need to work overtime, so I won't be home to help with dinner."

Favorite Character: Merry

Least Favorite Character: Sylvia

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She's taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry's well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her--minus her photo--and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects--or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.


  1. I haven't read this one. My sister in law loves Debbie Macomber, so I'll have to see if she has a copy!


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