Review: Christmas on 4th Street


Christmas on 4th Street: A Fool’s Gold Romance

by Susan Mallery

Copyright 2013


This story is set in the fictional town of Fool’s Gold, California, where Christmas and other holidays are taken seriously with parades, festivals, and other activities. Noel has moved to the little town from Los Angeles, after surviving a serious illness and leaving her law practice, to open a Christmas store. Gabriel is an army doctor visiting his family for the holiday season. When he and Noel meet by accident, and he offers to help in her store, romantic sparks fly between them.

After Gabriel’s experiences with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s not ready to commit to a relationship. Although Noel has loved and lost, she wants to move on and tries, unsuccessfully at first, to convince Gabriel that love is worth taking a risk. Then the two of them are snowed in at a deserted mountain cabin while searching for the perfect Christmas tree. The rest isn’t exactly history.

I used to enjoy this type of book. Boy meets girl, and girl falls in love with boy. Boy leaves girl heartbroken. Boy apologizes, and there’s a Christmas Eve wedding.

This is not very realistic. Yes, there are men and women who have fought overseas and are dealing with their own demons, but unlike Gabriel, it may take them longer than six weeks to propose marriage. It took my late husband Bill six months to work up the courage to ask me to marry him, and he wasn’t a war veteran. I hoped this time it would somehow be different, that a couple of days snowbound in a cabin with Noel would be a turning point for Gabriel, that he wouldn’t run off and break her heart, only to return at the end of the book, ready to marry her, but as the story wound its way to a conclusion, the outcome became more predictable.

Also, who in their right mind opens a Christmas store, even in a town like Fool’s Gold? I suppose a venture like that might be profitable from Labor Day through December, but after that, then what? It would have worked better as a Hallmark store. Oh well, such is life. On a more positive note, click this link to hear me sing a familiar song about winter romance.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

2 thoughts on “Review: Christmas on 4th Street”

  1. I agree that this style of writing is sophmoric and silly.
    While I would not be interested in reading a Romantic novel, this review did bring back a memory for me in a good way.

    In Western Pennsylvania we had a “Christmas House,” which of course, sold Christmas year round. It was in the middle of Amish Country and was an old farm house that was filled on both floors with Christmas items and Christmas music played throughout the house. It was there for many years. When people came to visit me from out of town or out of state, we always went to the Christmas House and they always made purchases and enjoyed walking into Christmas in the middle of July or any time at all. My friend from California came to stay for a month-long visit on year and she bought a special gift for me. It was a Santa dressed in turquoise/agua blue suit. That figurine became the first Santa in my 20-year collection of Santa’s dressed in Green or blue. I miss the Christmas House for there was some kind of magic when you walked across the threshold into a Christmas World year-found. It’s a nice day-dream.


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