Scrooge and Marlee

Lee Ann
Stontheimer Murphy
Theo Scrooge doesn’t like Christmas.  Aside from his infamous last name, the holidays have always held sad and bittersweet memories that Theo would rather ignore.  So, he does his best to keep a smile on his face and his thoughts off the holidays as he runs his restaurant, “Bah Humbug.” That is until a beautiful woman named Marlee falls into the dangerous Missouri river and needs rescuing.  From that unfortunate event, Theo and Marlee soon grow close and love begins to bloom. But, so do the problems that put his livelihood in jeopardy. Theo is put to the test until Marlee finally makes him choose—his love of people or his obsession with his livelihood. Can one exist without the other, and how does one know what things really matter most?  
What a lovely story for the holidays! Ms. Murphy does a beautiful job of enveloping the reader in a sweet and easy, nostalgic look at life in a small Missouri town. The descriptions of food and family make one yearn for that cozy feeling amongst people they love as the weather turns cold and hearts turn warm! Unfortunately, all those small details leave the plot sparse, with marginal forward progression and the characters with little time or depth to make their relationship believable. In fact, it is only a couple of short phone conversations after their initial introduction that the idea of love is introduced. Still, the writing style is smooth and enjoyable, so for those who are in the mood for an easy nostalgic wander with lots of stops for food along the way, this truly is the perfect book!
Ruth Lynn Ritter