Book Review: Deck the Halls by Donna Alward

  Deck the Halls

by Donna Alward



Barnes & Noble




With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:


Don’t stare at me like you’re an idiot. You’re not, not really. Your thinking’s pretty warped, but you’re a smart guy.


As a foster kid he’d had more mothers than he’d had grade school teachers



My Review:


Deck the Halls was an unexpectedly melancholy and angsty read – but then, not everyone is chasing rainbows, baking cookies, or watching for Santa during the holiday season. The emotive storyline spotlighted the complications of unresolved grief, the niggling discomfort of unfinished business, and second chances; and occurred during a two-week interval leading up to Christmas.   I had been curious about the character of the homeless man known as George in the earlier books and was thrilled to see his emergence and marked improvements due to large part to being forcefully rescued and craftily manipulated into gainful employment and daily interaction by his new employer, who also assisted him in finding housing and VA services. However, his forward momentum was put in jeopardy when the twin sister of his fallen best friend suddenly made an appearance and needing closure for her family, Amy pursued George for information about her brother Ian’s death in Iraq, which being the antecedent of George’s downward spiral, opened a Costco super-sized can of worms. Forcing him to deal with the heaviest of issues and a return of his nightmares was distressing, although Amy was also having a positive influence and impressing on George the difference between existing and living. Old sparks re-ignited, but the holiday season was not full of delicious eggnog, caroling, or party games for this couple.


Author Bio: 

A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.



Twitter– @DonnaAlward

Author Website

Facebook– @DonnaAlwardAuthor

Author Blog


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