The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson

The Christmas Room

The beloved author of the Mystic Creek series gifts readers with a novel of homespun holiday cheer, as two families discover the joy of hope and redemption.... Widow Maddie McLendon has uprooted her life to move to Rustlers Gulch with her son and grandson. But as a brutal Montana winter looms on the horizon, contractors have yet to break ground on their new house, leaving...

Title:The Christmas Room
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The Christmas Room Reviews

  • Kathryn

    Cam, his son Caleb and mother Maddie have arrived in a town in Montana and set up on a parcel of land where they intend to build. In the meantime home is a tent and caravan as they begin this stage of their journey.

    Not so far away is Sam and his daughter Kirstin, they have a huge ranch but not many workers. Sam has scared them all away with his grumpiness, think Scrooge and the Grinch rolled into one plus some. He has been really mean spirited since his wife Annie died about five years ago. He

    Cam, his son Caleb and mother Maddie have arrived in a town in Montana and set up on a parcel of land where they intend to build. In the meantime home is a tent and caravan as they begin this stage of their journey.

    Not so far away is Sam and his daughter Kirstin, they have a huge ranch but not many workers. Sam has scared them all away with his grumpiness, think Scrooge and the Grinch rolled into one plus some. He has been really mean spirited since his wife Annie died about five years ago. He is very protective of his daughter Kirstin and runs off any man who looks at her. So... when Cam shows some interest it is a real challenge to Sam. He is downright rude and before long there is a war going on between Sam and Maddie, who resents his attack on her son Cam. A wall is built, no trespassing notices are put up.

    Maddie though is hiding a secret that she is keeping from her son Cam and grandson Caleb. Caleb is having a difficult time settling into a new school and so far has no friends. Cam is finding it hard to sell land, all in all things are not going well. However there is romance blossoming between Cam and Kristin. And even though its war for Sam and Maddie, perhaps there is going to be a second chance romance there too.

    The story was a load of fun. It moved along at a good pace with something happening all the time. I loved Caleb, the young teen who had a heart of gold trying to fit in with his peers. He was thoughtful and so caring especially of his grandmother.

    While the story does come together at Christmas and is totally heart warming, most of the story takes place before Christmas, so don't feel you are getting too Christmasy to read this now. It's a perfect pre Christmas read, that will put you in the spirit for that season when it arrives.

  • Dorine

    - THE CHRISTMAS ROOM by Catherine Anderson drew me in with the vintage camper on the cover but the characters snagged my heart. I laughed and cried as they found their way to happy-ever-after.

    Cameron (Cam) McLendon moves to Montana with his son and mother. His mom and dad helped raise Caleb, so bringing his mom with them to his dream property after his father’s death makes sense. Madeline (Maddie) is a well-known mystery writer who can continue her craft anywhere. Whether she can keep

    - THE CHRISTMAS ROOM by Catherine Anderson drew me in with the vintage camper on the cover but the characters snagged my heart. I laughed and cried as they found their way to happy-ever-after.

    Cameron (Cam) McLendon moves to Montana with his son and mother. His mom and dad helped raise Caleb, so bringing his mom with them to his dream property after his father’s death makes sense. Madeline (Maddie) is a well-known mystery writer who can continue her craft anywhere. Whether she can keep her secret during this upheaval or not is another story.

    Sam Conacher built a reputation as mean-spirited and unreasonable after his wife’s death. So much so that only three people will work for him and one of them is his daughter, Kristin. Sam is especially protective of Kristin, often ruining any man’s reputation who shows an interest in her.

    When Kristin and Cam meet, they agree to date secretly to stay out of Sam’s crosshairs. It’s when Sam discovers their attraction that fireworks explode between him and Cam’s mother, Maddie. Can the lion overcome the lioness in a game of rude barbs while protecting their young?

    At over 400 pages, there are more characters to enjoy in this family drama that threatens to resemble the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Maddie and Sam are hilarious as they sling verbal threats at one another. I was happy their fiery friendship is as well developed as Cam and Kristin’s budding romance.

    Sam thinks the Clampetts have moved in when he looks at the vintage camper and various outbuildings scattered across the McLendon river property. Had he known it was up for sale, Sam would have bought it to keep the trash out. Unfortunately, the McLendon’s new home construction faces multiple delays so they’re improvising until it’s built. Teenager Caleb McLendon comes with his own set of problems as the new kid from California in a contemporary western small town.

    THE CHRISTMAS ROOM is a sweet story about blended families. The characters are well drawn and distinctive. More than the plot or technique which are both enjoyable, the characters are bold in my mind as if they’re real.

    This is a large book that could have been tightened to a few less pages and not lost impact. I found myself skimming toward the end as I was ready to experience their resolutions. Although it seemed overdone in some places, readers will appreciate the ability to experience everything with the characters. There were also a couple places that I felt could have been elaborated a bit more but none of my quibbles stopped me from eagerly consuming it.

    The dual love stories for two different generations of characters was especially appreciated. I really love reading about well-seasoned couples who find love for the second time. They’re not always easy to love, have a multitude of obstacles to overcome, and must find ways to mesh past and present that is emotionally stunning.

    Sam Conacher stole the show for me. He’s cranky and unbearable to those who love him. He has such deep-seated pain that expels in anger. His journey to forgiveness isn’t easy and often hurtful to everyone within an arm’s reach of him. The fact that they still love him proves he’s worth redemption and this reader was elated by the end of the novel.

    This is not a story centered on Christmas as the cover may imply, but it has all the blended family holiday feels. The novel’s title reasoning becomes apparent by the end the book and is enchanting. I cried several times in this novel. It’s beautifully rendered and makes the reader care deeply about the characters.

    I believe this is the first book I’ve read by Catherine Anderson in many years. I’m sure I read the Comanche series before I kept track or wrote reviews. Ms. Anderson’s talent pulled me right in like some of my favorite authors. Her easy-to-love style of laying out an emotionally wrought family tale that’s heartwarming and filled with laughter is addictive. THE CHRISTMAS ROOM will warm you with its keen spirit of love. Recommended!

  • Sherwood Smith

    After several very grim war biographies and memoirs, I was in the mood for a light, romantic seasonal romance.

    This is a seasonal romance, though its lightness is debatable, as famous mystery writer and widow Maddie McLendon and her handsome son and grandson relocate to the big sky land of Montana. Unfortunately, their property abuts on that of crabby widower Sam Conacher, who keeps a very tight rein on his 26-year-old daughter. So there is a bit of a Romeo and Juliet thing going on with son and

    After several very grim war biographies and memoirs, I was in the mood for a light, romantic seasonal romance.

    This is a seasonal romance, though its lightness is debatable, as famous mystery writer and widow Maddie McLendon and her handsome son and grandson relocate to the big sky land of Montana. Unfortunately, their property abuts on that of crabby widower Sam Conacher, who keeps a very tight rein on his 26-year-old daughter. So there is a bit of a Romeo and Juliet thing going on with son and daughter, who are instantly attracted, but the real spark is between middle-aged Sam and Maddie.

    Good things: the descriptions of Montana were vivid and appreciative of ranch life. Maddie was a crack-up, and Sam a fascinating old codger. The pacing, once it got going, was brisk, and as Christmas approached, there was a sense of the season's meaning that transcended the all-American Giftmas, though I wasn't convinced by the strength of the faith of these characters who suddenly go to church at the very end, after no sign of faith or Christian behavior for the first 75% of the book.

    Downside: the teenage grandson is so very good he's kind of like a TV kid, and the younger romance isn't nearly as interesting as that of the oldsters. Also, there was a whole lot of cancer for a light seasonal read. But that might be my prejudice; when I see cancer in fiction, especially romance, it's an instant turnoff. I probably wouldn't have finished this if it hadn't been a NetGalley read.

    And yet I found myself glad I did, as everybody redeemed themselves, the community came together, demonstrating the best of community spirit. Anderson's middle aged romance was a rarity and quite welcome after a slew of romances for the under thirty crowd.

    Copy provided by NetGalley

  • Deanne Patterson

    Could not get into this book at first but it ended up being a delightful seasonal romance that I know you'll enjoy too. Beautiful cover really adds to the charm of the story!

    Pub Date 26 Sep 2017

    Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

  • joyce g

    Charming and heartfelt. It is a lovely read, seasonal yes but covers a lot more territory. Thank you Penguin/Random for providing this advanced reader copy. Goodreads giveaway!

  • Dianne

    Three generations of the McLendon family pulled up roots to make a new life in a rural Montana town amidst the beauty of the wilderness, only to find their next door neighbor will do anything to make their life a living hell. Little did he know he would later eat those words when he meets his match in Maddie McLendon.

    Two generations will find love, but it is sixteen-year-old Caleb that shows the most maturity and unselfish love throughout this tale. Maddie has a terrible secret that she keeps “f

    Three generations of the McLendon family pulled up roots to make a new life in a rural Montana town amidst the beauty of the wilderness, only to find their next door neighbor will do anything to make their life a living hell. Little did he know he would later eat those words when he meets his match in Maddie McLendon.

    Two generations will find love, but it is sixteen-year-old Caleb that shows the most maturity and unselfish love throughout this tale. Maddie has a terrible secret that she keeps “for the good of her family.” Sam blames himself and punishes the world for his wife’s death. Twenty-six-Year-old Kirsten allows her father to run roughshod over her life, sneaking around to find “fun” and lose her virginity. Cameron has tried to raise his son the best he can, and has set an amazing example.

    What could have been a beautiful holiday romance got lost in vile name calling, physical violence, and worse, a total lack of understanding and compassion on Sam’s part when Maddie’s “secret” is revealed. While there are moments of humor to lighten the darkness, I just couldn’t relax into this tale and believe in the two romances I saw growing.

    by Catherine Anderson had so much to give being a holiday romance, I was disappointed that it just didn’t quite deliver for me. I would, however, love to read Caleb’s story when he becomes an adult.

    I received an ARC edition from Berkley.

    My Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Publisher: Berkley (September 26, 2017)

    Publication Date: September 26, 2017

    Genre: Holiday Romance

    Print Length: 432 pages

    Available from:

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  • Chris  Carroll

    This book has so many elements of a perfect woman’s read. A little bit country, a handsome cowboy, some wonderful family connections, marvelous character development, and budding sweet romances. What’s not to love?

    The author hit the mark with this great creation. She combined so many different aspects of life into this book that made it so very likable and difficult to put down.

    The author touches on the trials and tribulations of a single parent, finding a love connection, moving to a new state,

    This book has so many elements of a perfect woman’s read. A little bit country, a handsome cowboy, some wonderful family connections, marvelous character development, and budding sweet romances. What’s not to love?

    The author hit the mark with this great creation. She combined so many different aspects of life into this book that made it so very likable and difficult to put down.

    The author touches on the trials and tribulations of a single parent, finding a love connection, moving to a new state, learning the ropes’s of the new area, supporting and dealing with mama, and many more issues and factors of life. Not to mention the crotchety neighbor next-door and his lovely daughter!

    The author weaves a wonderful story that is humorous in parts, with touching and endearing characters that are so true to life, and she does it with a fluidity that grabs your attention until the very last word.

    Definitely a Christmas story that women’s fiction lovers will enjoy!

    * copy received for review consideration

  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson is a charming holiday romance story that touches on grief, healing and redemption. Two families find their lives intertwine when an accident causes them to move in together. Over the course of time two romances develop. One I could see happening but the second one was one no one would have predicted.

    Three generations of McClendon’s have come to Montana to fulfill a dream of making a life here in Rustlers Gulch. Their neighbor isn’t too happy that they ha

    The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson is a charming holiday romance story that touches on grief, healing and redemption. Two families find their lives intertwine when an accident causes them to move in together. Over the course of time two romances develop. One I could see happening but the second one was one no one would have predicted.

    Three generations of McClendon’s have come to Montana to fulfill a dream of making a life here in Rustlers Gulch. Their neighbor isn’t too happy that they have taken up resident in a temporary cabin, tent and an old RV trailer. Sam Conacher and his daughter Kirstin have a tough job on their hands trying to run a large ranch without much help. Sam became a hard and angry man after the death of his wife 6 years ago and his hands couldn’t work for him any longer. Now he keeps suitors away from his daughter Kirstin but she finds ways to live a little.

    Maggie McClendon is a widow mystery writer who is making the most of her time with her son and grandson building a home in Montana. She also had been keeping a secret from them and has just a few more treatments before she is clearly in remission. When Sam comes looking for Maggie’s son Cameron, to warn him off from his daughter, they totally get off on the wrong foot and turn adversaries. Forced to live together they slowly realize how much they have in common since they both lost their spouse. Maggie helps Sam see the error of his ways and a friendship is born. Love comes softly for these two and unfortunately hit a few bumps. Nothing can be worse than losing a spouse and blaming yourself for their death. Sam had a lot to overcome and Maggie led the way to his recovery.

    The romance that developed between Cameron and Kirstin was heartfelt with cautious baby steps. Cameron didn’t want to repeat an impulse marriage and wanted to really get to know her before getting intimate. Kirstin was ahead of the game and knew it was right with this man. Her past partners may have been limited but the connection she felt with Cam was real to her. After his accident he knew without fail that he loved Kirstin. I guess facing death will do that to you. Cameron and Kirstin’s relationship might have started with an attraction and then in secret, but it felt like they made a real connection and that it was going to be a long lasting one.

    Overall I enjoyed this story. Real emotions were expressed and the griefs that both Sam and Maggie felt were genuine and my heart ached for them. Her grandson Caleb was a bright spot throughout the story and had a good head on his shoulders for someone so young. The scenes of Montana she described were breathtaking and I can only imagine what it might be like to see those views every day. The Christmas Room was a charming story and captured the spirit of the holiday for me.

  • Sophia

    Just over the last few year's I've come to enjoy Catherine Anderson's writing. Her style and tone work so well with my ideal of a holiday romance. Adding in the easy-listen voice of Susan Bennett and I had a successful book listen on my hands.

    The Christmas Room is a standalone modern western romance story that gave me a whopping two romances and a very in depth story for the price of one. It was literally the blending of two families that started out hostile, but love and understanding and some

    Just over the last few year's I've come to enjoy Catherine Anderson's writing. Her style and tone work so well with my ideal of a holiday romance. Adding in the easy-listen voice of Susan Bennett and I had a successful book listen on my hands.

    The Christmas Room is a standalone modern western romance story that gave me a whopping two romances and a very in depth story for the price of one. It was literally the blending of two families that started out hostile, but love and understanding and some rather hilarious events brought them together. Both families had been broken and weakened by loss and their encounter through Cam and Kirsten's romance was just the catalyst they needed.

    Old growly bear, Sam Conacher lost his wife and then lost his mind, turning bitter and mean and holding tightly to his only child. Maddie McLendon lost her husband and now cautiously is optimistic for healing with her son and her grandson here on a new place in Montana. Cam and Kirsten just want to survive the fallout if her dad finds out they're together while Cam's son, Caleb, just wants to fit in and find a friend here in their new home.

    This was a gently-paced, but never boring story of family and not just a romance. I loved watching all these unique and sometimes quirky people help one another after lots of hostilities and fireworks that sometimes had me laughing. The incident with the portajohn has me snickering each time I imagine it. I loved seeing Cam and Kirsten's romance, but the one that grabbed me was the surprise December one percolating in the background until later in the book.

    Each situation, scene, and the overall hopeful holiday spirit in ranch country was so well done. And as I said, Susan Bennett was a fantastic fit for the story. Her adult male voices were gruff and froggy, but this worked because The Christmas Room is western in flavor and Sam was something of an irreverent Scrooge. She had a nice sense of comedic or dramatic timing depending on which was called for.

    All in all, my holiday reading was not complete without the addition of this gentle, touching story. I know I will come back to it and want more of the author's work and recommend it to others.

    My thanks to Recorded Books for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Peter Monn

    Much different than I thought it would be. A cute read. My full review will be on my booktube channel at

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