Valerie and Ryan have been living the American dream in Boston for more than ten years. Best friends since adolescence, their feelings changed when Ryan nearly lost his life. Now they're engaged and can't wait to break the news to their families and get married. Valerie has been dreaming of getting married on Christmas eve since she was a child, and a Christmas wedding back home in Dublin seems like a very romantic way of celebrating the most important day of their lives. Back on home soil Valerie and Ryan are surrounded by the love of their families and things start to change as homesickness creeps into their hearts. Can seven days erase a decade of hard work and life-long dreams? Or is it only a little nostalgia caused by the festive season. Doubts fill their minds as they start questioning their choices, until an unexpected complication, only days before the wedding, makes Valerie and Ryan realize it's time they decided where they really belong. A sweet Christmas romance that will warm your heart this yuletide season and all year long, A Christmas Melody is a novella and a short sequel to The Melody In Our Hearts, but can also be read as a standalone.
Valerie had been nervous since the moment she’d woken that morning. She’d blamed it on the hangover and on the stress of the last week, but she knew it was because this was the day she’d dreamed of all her life, and she was afraid she’d screw it up. It wasn’t until the moment she’d walked down the aisle and her eyes had locked with Ryan’s that she’d finally known everything would be fine. When he’d taken her hand and kissed it, she’d felt her heart fill with pure joy, and every doubt and fear had melted away like snow in spring. He was her safe haven, he’d always been, and she knew she’d never have to worry because he’d always be there to love and care for her. And, God help her, he looked so amazing in that white suit that she had to keep reminding herself she was in a church, and should concentrate on strictly pure thoughts. The ceremony passed by in a blur; she didn’t pay much attention to anything else but the warmth of Ryan’s hand in hers. When it was time for them to say their vows, her heart rate picked up just like it did every time she had to speak in public. Luckily, it was Ryan’s turn first, so she let him take her hands in his and looked at him with a smile. Ryan cleared his throat a little, and smiled, as he looked her straight in the eye. “I’ve loved you as a sister, and as a best friend, ever since the day we met; every time I’ve imagined my future since that day, you’ve always been one of the main characters in it. I knew, long before I realized you were my soul mate, that we would always be together, no matter where life would take us or whom we would end up marrying. Which sounds a little ironic now, as we stand here together at this altar.” Valerie smiled and he rubbed the back of her hands with his thumbs; as usual, the gesture gave her goosebumps. “It wasn’t until you held my heart in your hands that I realized you were the love of my life; now, I can’t even try to imagine living without you. You’re the missing piece in my heart that I’ve been looking for and now that you’re here, standing before me, looking like an angel, I finally understand the meaning of true bliss. With our families and God as our witnesses, I promise you eternal and unconditional love; I promise to be there for you, whenever you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen to your rants. I promise to lift you up whenever you fall, and to carry you in my arms whenever the road gets too bumpy; I promise to look after you and our children, and make sure you have everything you need. Most of all, I promise to love you until my very last breath and, even after I’m gone, I know my love will remain with you always, until the day we meet again to spend eternity together.” Valerie’s eyes filled with tears. She tried to swallow a sob that had crawled up her throat. Ryan smiled. “So, you see, it seems you’re stuck with me for a very long time, my love. You’d better not try to get rid of me ‘cause I’ll come back and haunt you even after I’m dead. Just so you know.” He winked and Valerie chuckled, along with most of the guests. Once again, just like every single time she’d been sad, nervous or on the verge of tears, Ryan had managed to bring the smile back to her face and she loved him for it. She would always love him for caring so much about her.
An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day. It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then. What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world. Roberta lives in Italy, but her dream is to move out of her country and live either in a thatched cottage in the Irish countryside or in a country house with a swing on the back porch, somewhere in the United States, where she would love to spend her days writing novels as a full-time job, and maybe one day even get as far as writing a screenplay for a movie.
Roberta is a special author for me, as she is a very good friend of mine, and I have had the pleasure of accompanying her on her journey this last year with her books. While I enjoyed reading The Melody in our Hearts, Roberta's love for Ireland and Christmas make this her best book yet! Her love of both really show through in her writing in this story making it a sweet, magical, Christmas read. Pretty in Pink gives 5 stars to A Christmas Melody.