Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

October 27, 2016

Restoring Christmas {Cynthia Ruchti}

restoring christmas cynthia ruchti
Ariana Blake has one chance to land her own show on the Home Project Network and nothing—not an uncooperative client, a job site without indoor plumbing, or a challenging videographer—is going to stand in her way. Elsie, at seventy-plus, is far from the ideal client, but she knows exactly what she wants her fieldstone house to look like, and no designer can tell her otherwise. Gabe Langley, the man with the camera, is caught in the middle and it is his wisdom and warmth that just may be the bridge that will bring these two women together. Can they restore more than just a house and bring about special, almost lost forever Christmas memories? 

My Thoughts:
This is my first Christmas book of the year, and it has set the stage for some very exciting holiday reading!

We meet Ariana and immediately believe she is very unsure of herself. She is a talented designer, but her confidence seems to be wavering and she comes across as such a timid character. We quickly learn, however, her timidness and lack of confidence comes from a broken childhood and a grief that seems to consume her heart.

Gabe comes across as very cocky and annoying, but his personality very quickly changes and I found myself liking him more with each chapter. He also has a background that could consume his life, but he has found healing in his faith and he is not afraid to show it off.

As Ariana and Gabe begin to work together on Elsie’s home, we also see them begin working on a relationship they don’t even realize is forming. Their relationship becomes the pillar that holds each of them together through some trying times during the few weeks together.

Gabe loves Christmas and he is determined to bring Ariana into the Christmas spirit with him. But before she can fully get on board, she must get her heart right with God. It is through her restoration through God that she fully lets go of her past and allows herself to be the person I was hoping she would become.

I enjoyed watching Ariana and Gabe build their relationship, but even more I enjoyed watching God build Ariana’s heart back to a place full of life. God is truly our restorer, and this sweet story brings that home in the most wonderful Christmas setting.

Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women's and writers' events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers' Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.