Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: A Heart for the Holidays, by Dana Volney

A Heart for the Holidays
Dana Volney
Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Crimson Romance
November 21, 2016
Christmas Fiction, Christmas Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance,Novella,
Women's Fiction


Silver Morgenstern had a thriving, meaningful career as a surgeon working for charity organizations in war-torn countries. Then her life changed with one flick of the wrist. Now she's back in Wyoming, serving as an administrator at the local hospital. But shuffling paperwork is nothing compared to saving lives.

Five years ago, Fisher Tibbs founded the successful social program Combat Children's Hunger. Giving back to kids brings a sparkle to his eye, especially after the loss of his own young daughter, but it can't mend the very real fissure in his heart. Ready to see his child again, he's preparing and planning a future for CCH that he won't get to witness.

But when Fisher's application to be removed from the heart transplant list comes across Silver's desk, her next mission is clear: convince him life is worth the fight. But she never expects that the struggle to rescue his heart might just save her own.

What a wonderful, inspiring, romantic read, and so full of the Christmas spirit, too! I wanted to enjoy something quick, yet satisfying, so I could fit in several Christmas books this season. This short novel fit the bill perfectly!

The romantic leads were skillfully and realistically depicted, in spite of the short length involved here. Both were great people, both full of life, and charismatic. Most important of all, they shared one very important value: that of improving and saving people's lives.

Silver has been dealing with the loss of her surgical practice for some time now. Along with that loss has come a restlessness, a sense of emptiness, as she feels she's not making that much of a difference in the world as a hospital administrator. When she learns that a heart patient who is on a transplant waiting list wants his name taken off the list, she decides to investigate, as well as to attempt to convince him to change his mind. Suddenly, she has a purpose again. She is determined to personally make sure that this man stays on that list.

Fisher Tibbs has found meaning in his own life -- to some extent, as he's still mourning the loss of his young daughter. He finds it very rewarding to interact with the children and staff at his charitable organization, which is so needed in the town. He's a well-known and well-respected citizen, but no one is aware of the deep grief that burdens him. Finally, in spite of the rewarding feelings he gets from the CCH, he decides that what he really wants is to allow his life to come to an end.

How Silver goes about her self-imposed mission of saving Fisher's life, and in the process, falling in love with him, as he does with her, is a beautiful story. These are two of the most loving, giving people I've ever come across in romantic fiction! And I was so happy that the author focused on the bigger picture right along with the romance! The reader not only gets a window into the personalities of these two characters, but also into the workings of the organization founded by Fisher, and its positive effects on the children of the town.

In a way this story reminded me of the classic Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life". Not that there is any similarity in the plots of each. The theme, however, is the same: the importance of each human life, and the far-reaching effects of one life on the lives of others. Just as George, in the film, is deterred from committing suicide, and comes to understand how his life has positively impacted the lives of others, so Fisher is deterred from letting his heart fail, and comes to see how his own life has positively affected the lives of all the children who would not have had decent meals were it not for his social program.

I was happy to see that, although there was obviously strong physical attraction between Silver and Fisher, the author did not include any sex scenes -- graphic or otherwise -- in this short novel. Instead, she concentrated on personality dynamics, as well as on the emotional currents between the two leads, as well as on how each handled their own search for ultimate meaning. 

In short, this novel packs quite a bit of idealism, as well as philosophical weight, in only 121 pages, along with the holiday romance! I also like the double meaning in the title -- the physical heart, and the spiritual synonym of the word "compassion".

Short, sweet, clean, and highly inspirational (which is ironic, since Volney does not write Christian romance novels), this is a real Christmas treat! 


 Dana Volney lets her imagination roam free in Wyoming, where she writes romance and helps local businesses succeed with her marketing/consulting company. Splitting her time between telling sexy, fast-paced suspense stories and sweet holiday romances, she likes to try new adventures in real life whenever she can (which, let's face it, means tasting all sorts of delicious cuisines). Dana is bold, adventurous, and -- by her own admission -- good with plants, having kept a dwarf lemon tree alive for six months.


  1. How sweet is this! Lovely review, maria!

    1. Hi, Verushka!

      Yes, this is a really sweet novel. I greatly enjoyed it!!

      Thanks for the compliment and nice comment!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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