Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.
To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.
As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?
Review: Ms. Trissel captivates her reader from the moment you start reading the first page. She has written a compelling love story that spans some fifty plus years and keeps you entertained every step of the way with the story within a story.
The year is 1968 and we find that Christmas is almost upon us. Bailey Randall finds herself sent to recoup in Virginia at Maple Hill. All because she messed up in collage by experimenting with pot and was found with a young man in room. So after being chastised by the dean and her father off she goes to stay with Meg at Maple Hill.
There is a quirky but very loving bunch of people that you instantly fall in love with at Maple Hill. Meg, who just happens to be every ones dotty old aunt; along with Ella, the cook/housekeeper/keeper of secrets, reminds you of the old cooks in all those black and white movies. She knows more than she should but keeps secrets when needed.
Although they are deeply involved in the story it isn’t about them. Instead it is about Bailey and Eric.
Bailey while out walking the dog sees something in one of the rooms that hasn’t been used in a long time. Because she smoked pot everyone says it is just her imagination.
Meanwhile an old friend comes home from the Vietnam War. Eric notices how much Bailey has grown up; he finds he is very attracted to her.
Bailey decides to go investigate and finds herself face to face with the ghost of Edwards’s grandfather who tells her of never having been able to say good-bye to his beloved Claire at Christmas. She finds out about the present and how he comes back every year until the bells ring Christmas Eve.
Bailey decides it is her job to help Edward find the present so that he can then move on. She enlists the help of Eric and his hippie cousin Tucker.
Not wanting to spoil anything I will leave it there. You will have to read this wonderful story and find out what happens between Bailey and Eric.
I fell in love with Ms. Trissel’s characters and look forward to the next delightful story ready with Kleenex box in hand. A must read for every romance fan.