Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Miracle Creek Christmas

Rate this book
When Riley Madigan moves to the sleepy mountain town of Miracle Creek, she hopes her new job as a high school art teacher will help her mend her recently broken heart. A little peace and quiet would be a gift this Christmas season. The last thing on her mind is love.

Former firefighter Mark Rivers has spent the last year recovering from burns sustained during a rescue operation. He’s been trying to piece his life back together but still struggles both emotionally and psychologically. When he meets Riley, he finally sees something that might bring some light back into his life.

When Mark asks Riley to work on a special nativity project, he finds himself falling for her quirky, unaffected ways. Riley doesn’t seem bothered by his scars, but is her affection for him real, or is this just another act of charity? One thing’s for certain, in a small town that views Mark as a fragile hero, it’s hard to pursue a relationship without everyone in his business. And although Riley has sincere feelings for Mark, is she ready to risk her heart?

Broken hearts and lives are mended as the town of Miracle Creek comes together to celebrate a Christmas to remember.

368 pages, Paperback

First published September 8, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Krista Lynne Jensen

14 books154 followers
Krista writes contemporary romance, historical romance, and fantasy. She is the author of OF GRACE AND CHOCOLATE (2012 Whitney Award Finalist), THE ORCHARD (2013 Whitney Award Finalist), FALLING FOR YOU (2014), and KISSES IN THE RAIN (2015 Whitney Award Finalist) through Covenant Communications, Inc.. She has novellas in Love Unexpected: With All My Heart (2014, Covenant), A Timeless Romance Anthology: Love Letters, and A Yuletide Regency (2014, 2018, Mirror Press), and Christmas Grace (2017, Covenant).

Krista has lived in lush Oregon and rugged Wyoming, but Washington is her beloved home state. She likes to choose familiar settings for her stories, and is grateful to have such inspirational places to choose from. She is a mother of six, gramma of three, a gardener and cook, loves to travel, laugh, and lives to make the best of what she's been given.
Krista is a member of LDStorymakers and ANWA.
Author blog: kristalynnejensen.blogspot.com
IG: @kljbooks

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
442 (35%)
4 stars
532 (43%)
3 stars
229 (18%)
2 stars
26 (2%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 322 reviews
Profile Image for maura delaney.
357 reviews65 followers
April 19, 2020
Update 4/19/20
I've decided to lower my rating to 2 stars. I just think back on this book and I feel no connection to it whatsoever, so 2 stars feels more truthful to my feelings.

This book reads like a hallmark movie. Take that as you will.

The main character, Riley comes to the very small town of Miracle Creek to escape a big life in California. There, she comes across the scarred town hero Mark who has been a recluse ever since he suffered third-degree burns in a wildfire. When he asks her to work on a project for Christmas, they become friends and maybe more.

I love a good scarred hero trope and this was no exception. It had all the characteristics I wanted out of this trope, such as hiding his face until the heroine can draw him out of his shell and so on. Also, I really enjoyed the main character, Riley. She was fun and spunky without being too out there, which made her pretty relatable.

However, my main problem with this book was that nothing really happens. There is a very slow start and while the author does build tension in the will they, won't they of a friends-to-lovers romance, there is zero conflict in this book until around 85% of the way through. This made it relatively boring, despite the cute moments.

Additionally, the dialogue didn't always feel authentic. It was a little clunky at times where I would be left wondering if people talked like that, specifically in the male characters. There would be these very awkward transitions to some very serious topics that made them feel less vulnerable.

Overall, I just really wish the stakes were a little higher throughout the book. I would consider reading other books by this author down the road, but this was just okay for me.

2.5/5 stars

ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Marilee .
747 reviews76 followers
September 12, 2020
Can Hallmark please make this into a Christmas movie? Yes, it was that good!

Mark and Riley have both put up emotional walls due to their traumatic pasts. One is hiding from life and one is running away from it, and when these two scarred souls meet, their emotional connection allows them both to find healing.

This book gave me all the feels! I laughed, I cried, I swooned. I loved their playful relationship, I loved how gentle Riley was with Mark's insecurities, I loved Mark's family. Loved the beautiful themes of healing and trust woven into the sweet love story. There is is just so much to love about this book!

Another win for Proper Romance. This one has earned a spot on my favorites shelf and I am going to enjoy re-reading it again and again!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher but it in no way affected my review.
2,811 reviews1,728 followers
September 14, 2021
Just as good the second time read...er...listened.


Call me bibliophile-addled into stunned silence...for a minute or two, anyway...'cause I can't let the opportunity to wax poetical over this novel pass me by. I am in serious Miracle Creek Christmas book love!!!!! What a stunning, moving, brilliantly funny, captivating -- and every other glorious adjective you can think of -- story!

And right off the top I have to tell you that I listened to the audible edition narrated by Christine Williams and I'm convinced her performance enhanced my 'reading' enjoyment even more. The way she delivers the 'banter' lines had me laughing out loud. Which was kinda embarrassing in the post office line up. FYI, snort laughing in public during a pandemic, even when wearing a mask, might be considered alarming. Though it did clear a way to the front of the line so that's something. :-)

What a richly layered story. In plot and characterization. In the way Riley and Mark come together, the way their stories entwine as they both reach their own personal epiphanies. Tears and laughter -- sometimes both at the same time! Jensen's words held me spellbound and I savored every blessed word. Pure Christmas magic!
Profile Image for  The Flipped Page (Susan K).
1,381 reviews31 followers
April 24, 2020
Romance, clean, contemporary; mild faith
Mark and Riley's story is so filled with moments. Hurting, aching, laughing, and yes, just tender loving moments, that while 'ordinary' are more than ordinary for them. Just a magical romance that has the depth and characters that will leave you wanting and waiting for more and wishing for more of them in some way to continue. This is one of the can't put down books. KLJ knows how to make you want for more. Riley and Mark are two giving, honest, hurting hearts, with a friendship, kindness, and caring for each other that will linger with you long after you have finished reading. The good people and family in Miracle Creek will leave you feeling like you have come home. Strong characters and side characters, lush well developed setting and plot, each moment unfolds so well. I love an introspective novel, and this is one where the characters while moving forward help each other to become their best selves along with their sweet, beautiful romantic moments. This is one that I will have on my re-read shelf.
More of a 4.5 for me as a reader, still well-deserved 5 as I rounded up.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. My opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,875 reviews210 followers
September 14, 2020
Perfect Hallmark-type romance

There's nothing sweeter than a Hallmark-y Christmas romance that embraces the lives of two scarred characters. While Mark's scars are both physical and emotional, Riley's are inner and they each have issues to overcome and work through. Their journey in helping each other finalize their individual healing is heartwarming.

Jensen does a great job of drawing the reader into this small town. It was easy to visualize the setting and the quirky residents, and I especially enjoyed the simplicity of life in Miracle Creek. Most of the characters are loyal, watching out for each other, which can make them seem nosy at times, but the camaraderie felt make me want to have something like this in my own life. For me, this place is reminiscent of times gone by, and while there are complex issues to deal with, Miracle Creek felt removed from modern concerns.

Mark and Riley are solid and likable characters and I adored how gradual even their friendship was. There are many journeys to be taken within these pages and I hope to see more of Miracle Creek in the future.

Content: mild romance; mild moments of danger (burns)

*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*
Profile Image for Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...).
1,465 reviews435 followers
October 20, 2020
This is a book that got me feeling all the feels! I love when I'm able to be emotionally connected to the characters with all their highs and lows and everything in between. Mark and Riley are genuine and sincere with each other from the beginning (which was oh-so-awkward!), and their slow but steady developing friendship and romance was all the more special. They both have some serious issues they are struggling with and I loved how they accepted that about each other and felt like they could just be themselves. The small town setting is great, and the author brought it to life with an interestingly quirky cast of family and community members. A perfect read for the holidays that brings depth and themes of healing and miracles.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
Profile Image for Adrienne.
1,995 reviews12 followers
September 12, 2020
While it might seem funny to be reading a Christmas book in the middle of summer, it's definitely worth snagging now even if you don't read it until closer to Christmas. And while it is the Christmas season in the book and Mark and Riley are working on a nativity project, the Christmas element wasn't overdone; there was a good balance between that and the other elements of the story. It fit with the story and didn't feel like it was just set at Christmastime for the sake of being a holiday book.
Besides the Christmas element, I really loved Mark and Riley. They've both been burned and have scars--him literally and her figuratively--and I found both to be realistic. Riley was sometimes exasperating but in a totally realistic way; I could definitely see people I know (cough *myself* cough) in the way she was drawn to Mark but also afraid to trust and not ready to commit to anything. I adored Mark and loved seeing him come out of his self-imposed shell and find himself again. While there wasn't necessarily a ton of conflict, there was a lot of emotional action, with both characters having to work through feelings and their pasts, and I totally connected to that.
I devoured this book, even with it being 93 degrees out as I read it. I definitely recommend adding this to both your to-read list for yourself and shopping list to gift to others this Christmas.
4.5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Julie Carpenter.
1,368 reviews153 followers
September 7, 2020
If you're looking for a light and fluffy Christmas read, especially after looking at the cover, I have to say that this book is much more than that. So much more!

Riley and Mark are two souls who have had struggles and loss and heartache. They've both had hard experiences. They've both taken different roads in their learning after their experiences. I really enjoyed the way the author portrayed both of these characters. I enjoyed diving into their thoughts and learning more about what they learned as they shared with each other. It was a good reminder that what we see on the surface doesn't truly tell us a person's story and struggles and triumphs and joys. Their initial meeting had some humor behind it. Some misunderstandings for sure.

The budding friendship was sweet to watch unfold. There were many factors standing in their way. Small town being one of the biggest. You know, everyone knows everyone and everyone's business. It's real. Not necessarily a bad thing in some instances but definitely not helpful in others. Riley has traveled the world with her parents since she was young. She's lived in many places. But Miracle Creek is quickly wrapping itself around her heart. The people and the sights.

There are some fun connections that you learn about the further that you read into the story. Reasons for why Riley chose Miracle Creek, WA. I loved finding out about those. They made a greater connection for me as a reader with Riley and Mark and his family.

I enjoy books that I find personal connections with as well. The setting of this book is one I know, well one of the places that the characters talk about and visit. Leavenworth. It truly is a charming place to visit. I want to go back and have been thinking about visiting there quite a bit over the last year. So to have it show up in the book and read about it, it definitely brought on a stronger desire to go there. Maybe soon for a vacation. I visited Leavenworth years ago on a family trip. I had just finished studying German for many years and had dreamed of visiting Germany. Well, it was a close alternative. Lol! If you get the chance to go visit there, do it! It's charming. I only had a short amount of time to explore but it was a fun time.

Another connection was Mike and his story. I have a family member who was also severely burned over most of his body. It was a miracle he lived. I am drawn into books who have characters who have experienced burns. I really was impressed by Mike's character. He was strong. And through his demons and pain he kept pushing ahead and reaching out to help others. I loved his character.

Riley and Mark were just a fun couple. Even through their struggles and uncertainties and pain, I loved seeing the healing slowly start. The moments of understanding and acceptance and love. It was just sweet. So as I said before. If you're looking for a fluffy and light read, this isn't that. But it has light and fun amid everything else.

Content: Clean. Some kisses. Some very mild innuendos.

I received a copy from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,950 reviews244 followers
September 8, 2020
It's my first Christmas book this year! Yeah, it's kinda early and I am definitely NOT ready to jump into winter and Christmas just yet but I really loved this book and I would read it any time of the year because it's that good.

You get a sense right from the very beginning that these characters, especially Mark, are dealing with some heavy things. Even though their struggles are apparent right from the start, I love how the details and emotions reveal themselves in layers throughout the book. It made this book feel meatier and less fluffy.

Mark and Riley are great characters. They are easy to like and easy to root for. I loved how their relationship developed naturally. It felt real and even though I don't have the same experiences, I have felt similar emotions which allowed me to connect with the characters. The author did an excellent job with the characters and emotions of this book. The overall feelings of healing and hope were present even when the characters hit emotional lows.

I was invested and interested in this story from start to finish. It was so hard to put it down and when I did, I was thinking about it and wanting to get back. I love when that happens. This book will be on my favorite list for the year for sure. I loved this book!

Content: kissing, mention of peril and death.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews.
2,321 reviews120 followers
September 5, 2020
I wasn't sure if I was ready to read a Christmas book in September, but this one kept me in stitches and had me dreaming of colder weather.

Riley and Mark have their own baggage to deal with and in a small town that isn't always easy because everyone knows everyone else's business. But it is also that small town vibe that helps Mark and Riley through their difficulties and towards each other.

Riley and Mark start off as friends on a secret project for Mark's dad, but what evolves is so much more. I liked how Riley saw past Mark's burn scars and saw the man within. I think it is what helps bring him back out of hiding. Mark helps Riley stop running from life and examine what she holds to be true in her life.

There are so many funny parts from their stumbling around each other and I liked how they brought up those moments even later to tease each other.

But their path towards a relationship is not smooth from a smarmy guy trying to make Riley another notch on his bedpost to misunderstandings between Mark and Riley. But each situation just helped to forge their bond in the end.

Love wins.
Profile Image for Lucinda.
Author 22 books1,307 followers
April 20, 2020
This is such a good one!

Mark and Riley both have deep issues that have left scars. In Mark's case, his scars are also visible and he's still recovering from a fire that killed his friend and burned his body.

Riley took the art teaching job in a small town hoping to get away from an embarrassing breakup. Her absent parents and the death of her grandmother have also left emotional scars she's still dealing with.

Poor Mark, the way he met Riley and she mistook him for someone with bad intentions. He's already so reluctant about everything to do with going out and meeting people, and this doesn't help.

I liked the way their friendship grows. Sometimes they have awkward moments but the more they do something for the other, the more connect, despite their hangups.

I liked the town and Mark's family. Everyone's so nosy but they also have good intentions.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Gretchen.
255 reviews36 followers
July 27, 2021
Very sweet story. Would make a perfect Hallmark Christmas movie! The first kiss was worth the wait!😍 This was my first read by this author & I would read her again. I listened to the audiobook & it was a nice, easy read- & the narrator was decent.
Profile Image for Jess (BookObsessedJess).
182 reviews28 followers
October 3, 2020

When Riley Madigan moves to the sleepy mountain town of Miracle Creek, she hopes her new job as a high school art teacher will help her mend her recently broken heart. A little peace and quiet would be a gift this Christmas season. The last thing on her mind is love.

Former firefighter Mark Rivers has spent the last year recovering from burns sustained during a rescue operation. He’s been trying to piece his life back together but still struggles both emotionally and psychologically. When he meets Riley, he finally sees something that might bring some light back into his life.

When Mark asks Riley to work on a special nativity project, he finds himself falling for her quirky, unaffected ways. Riley doesn’t seem bothered by his scars, but is her affection for him real, or is this just another act of charity? One thing’s for certain, in a small town that views Mark as a fragile hero, it’s hard to pursue a relationship without everyone in his business. And although Riley has sincere feelings for Mark, is she ready to risk her heart?

Broken hearts and lives are mended as the town of Miracle Creek comes together to celebrate a Christmas to remember.

This was a cute story. Kind of like watching a Hallmark or Lifetime (or now, Netflix) rom-com for the winter. Now, if any of you are new here, I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I don’t quite get the whole “magical Christmas” thing. TBH, people seem more upset than anything during the season cause of the high hopes and expectations that fall flat.

Buuuttt. This was cute. It was a beautiful friends to lovers romance. Riley and Mark help each other heal throughout the book. Mark with accepting himself and Riley in learning to trust someone else. It was very well written and an extremely quick read.

Thank you to the publishers over at Shadow Mountain for the ARC.

Definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a cute and swoony romance.
Profile Image for Maria.
1,672 reviews30 followers
April 9, 2020
Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review
3.5 stars.
Quotes (from ARC):
«"In this whole town, you’re the only one who looks at me like a person with burn scars, instead of burn scars walking around like a person.”» (Mark to Riley)
“In that moment, that brief glimpse of before and after, she wanted to tell him he was beautiful, either way. Before and after. Would he ever see that?”

“Miracle Creek Christmas”, by Krista Jensen (Shadow Mountain Publishing), is a clean, sweet romance novel, with a really wounded hero and a practical, down-to-earth and very gentle heroine.
I loved that the author, Krista Jensen, showed how Mark’s scars and burns were a transformation, a change of our once (conventionally) “beautiful boy”, and not ugliness or destruction.
I also liked the caring way the heroine, Riley, looks at Mark and at the pain and rehabilitation he’s been through, and the fact she’s aware of the psychological trauma and understands how he’s still trying to overcome his fears.
It’s great that the author didn’t downplay Mark’s injuries and its effects in his daily life and his mental pain.
I felt there were a lot of things going on in the story, with a very formulaic, annoying antagonist (Dalton) and a general small town atmosphere which was a bit suffocating sometimes.
I liked the secondary characters, but I was more interested in the romantic couple relationship and I found Mark and Riley worried too much with what others might think.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 29 books5,609 followers
December 10, 2022
Very charming story about a beautiful artist who has a "Christmas phobia" and a handsome former firefighter who is just coming out of his shell after a terrible accident. There's secret presents and delicious food, long drives, and making snow angels . . . plus all the things you need to make it interesting like a handsome cad, meddling families, and miscommunications!
Profile Image for Suey.
820 reviews189 followers
October 11, 2020
A fun cozy romance. Others have said it and I'll say it again, this would make a perfect Hallmark movie. :)
Profile Image for Mara.
1,069 reviews62 followers
September 22, 2020
This was my first Christmas read, but it was in the 90's when I read it. It was a nice to escape to the small town of Miracle Creek, WA and see the friendship form between Riley and Mark develop, then transform into more. Riley and Mark didn't have a great first meeting when she thought he was a stalker and a neighbor called the sheriff, and their second meeting wasn't much better. They're the kind of stories that get passed down for generations.

Riley and Mark are very likeable characters. Both of them have healing to do, although Riley's is internal where no one can see her wounds. While Mark helps her with the work on her house, and Riley works to make a surprise Christmas gift for Mark's father they form a friendship that helps them both heal. Mark forgets about his hiding the right side of his face and becomes more like the man he was before the fires that destroyed his family's orchard and killed his friend.

The author did a wonderful job bringing Miracle Creek to life.I don't like the cold but I think I could brave it and the snow to see the town of Leavenworth all decked out for Christmas and watch the Christmas Lighting Festival. If you're looking for a book to give you all the Christmas feelings of helping others, forgiveness, kindness, and love this book will do it.

I received a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain via NetGalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.
Profile Image for angelareadsbooks.
385 reviews68 followers
July 13, 2020
Christmas books in July? Yes!
I am getting a jump start on my 2020 Christmas books. And I began with Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Jensen. I could not put this book down! This was such a sweet and tender love story! Mark Rivers is the exact definition of a cinnamon roll character. I absolutely fell in love with Mark and his backstory. He is so sweet and so patient with Riley. And who doesn't love a hometown hero??? Riley and Mark's meet cute was hilarious and probably one of my favorites. If you are looking for a softer, tender love story I highly recommend this one. This is a no steam, hallmark type romance. It was the perfect blend of Christmas cheer and character development.


Riley Madigan escapes to the sleepy mountain town of Miracle Creek after her relationship with an A-list actor ends badly. At least for a time, she hopes her new job as a high school art teacher will bring her the peace and quiet she is looking for. The last thing on her mind is love.

Mark Rivers was a firefighter until he got trapped in a wildfire and suffered third-degree burns on his face and body. After a year of recovering, Mark is trying to piece his life back together but struggles both emotionally and psychologically. He’s been a recluse until he forces himself to attend his niece’s school play and sees Riley, the school’s art teacher. Immediately, Mark feels a connection to her. Maybe it’s the kind way she greets his niece or the way the art she created for the school play is reminiscent of his late mom’s artwork. Either way, Mark feels driven to get to know her, but first he’ll need to build up the courage to talk to her.

When Mark asks Riley to work on a special nativity, he finds himself falling for her, particularly because Riley doesn’t seem bothered by his scars. Is her affection for him real or is she simply overcompensating, pretending he’s not different. One thing’s for certain, in a small town that views Mark as a fragile hero, it’s hard to pursue a relationship without everyone in his business. And although Riley has sincere feelings for Mark, is she really ready to risk her heart?

Broken hearts and lives are mended as the town of Miracle Creek comes together to celebrate a Christmas to remember.
Profile Image for Cait | GoodeyReads.
1,557 reviews186 followers
September 2, 2020
Thank you to Shadow Mountain publishing for the ARC. All opinions are my own!



And boy did I really enjoy that fact.

This was such a sweet book. Oh so sweet. And I picked it up with that mindset which made me love it all the more. The atmosphere definitely screams holiday as this primarily takes place in the fall. It made me want nothing more than to curl up with hot chocolate and a sweater. Absolutely felt this setting.

I loved the way Riley and Mark’s relationship developed. It was wholesome and kind. I found myself smiling at their banter and interactions. This wasn’t something they just fell into, but had to work for, together. Riley struggling with commitment and finding a place to belong while Mark worked through PTSD and finding peace with who he is now. While communication wasn’t always entirely open, I thought everything felt real. The tender quiet moments versus the arguments was well balanced.

Riley’s character more often frustrated me because I just wanted her to see what was right in front of her. She had a good thing going, and still wanted to flirt with her old ways. These issues at least didn’t overshadow the story and I found everyone easy to love by the end.

There is a bit of Christian Christmas aspects, such as a main plot point circles around a nativity scene. I had no problems with this and didn’t feel like anything was in my face about religion. It was more subtle and fit in with the plot well. Miracle Creek Christmas was a beautifully written book that will definitely have me checking out more books by this author.

Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary romance (proper)
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: physical, see Trigger warnings
- Trigger warnings: PTSD from a near death experience involving a forest fire (and losing a loved one in said fire)
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,187 reviews170 followers
September 9, 2020
This is a sweet love story. Riley and Mark have both had experiences that have left them scarred somehow. Riley's scars are on an emotional level and Marks are more on the physical aspects. I believe that because they are both hurting that it helps them to see and understand each other better.

Mark was a firefighter who is now afraid of fire. The description of his accident reminds me of how dangerous and how much we take for granted the men and women who work to protect us. The setting is in a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. The townsfolk look after and protect their own. They also LOVE Christmas, a season that Riley would like to forget existed.

I loved Mark and Riley's story. I loved them as characters and I enjoyed watching them learn, grow, adjust, and find trust. The book reminds me that even when something is broken, that life can be rebuilt around the broken pieces. Sometimes it becomes something better.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
1,289 reviews25 followers
December 31, 2020
Heartwarming and sweet

I enjoyed this heartwarming story!

Riley had the uncanny ability to see past Mark's countenance into his heart - something no one outside of his family had been able to do since the heroic rescue he made that left him scarred. It was so sweet to see the way he opened up to her, sharing his pain and his hopes.

While dealing with heavy heart issues, the author added plenty of light-hearted, humorous moments as well. I loved the way she carried "moments" throughout the story, giving Mark and Riley delightful ways to tease each other. Their not-even-a-meal non-date was fun and I especially liked the whole thing with the glass doorknob. It was seriously super-swoony sweet!

If you enjoy Christmastime romances, this is a great choice for reading this holiday season!

Read my full review at Among the Reads

I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ashley Johnson.
492 reviews23 followers
September 13, 2020
This book was such a fantastic read! If you enjoy sarcastic flirty banter, then this book is for you! Riley and Mark are everything I want from main characters. Their friendship felt genuine and built naturally and their chemistry was off the charts. Mark is the kind of hero that is easy to love. I am always a fan of a wounded hero and Mark is flawed and yet somehow still perfect! This book had some depth without becoming heavy and was perfectly balanced to provide a story that kept me turning the pages! This is technically a Christmas book, and while there are holiday things that take place and it’s set during the Christmas season, it wasn’t strictly everything Holiday. I would absolutely recommend adding it your Holiday reading list!
Profile Image for Amy.
679 reviews38 followers
October 13, 2020
Absolutely adore this story! Christmas & contemporary romance, my two favourite things...

These two characters pull at your heart strings, no annoying personality traits to drive the reader crazy. Complex and perfectly constructed, I felt the tension and chemistry right down to my toes.

If anything, I would have liked to see some kisses a lot sooner than we did. It felt later along than we usually get, so that was my only gripe. Otherwise, I loved it and will be a new favourite for the season.

Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Sheila.
1,098 reviews33 followers
October 13, 2020
Have you ever read a book where you feel like the characters were real people you could meet next door? This is how I felt about the main characters in Miracle Creek Christmas. They had problems with heartaches but still seeking peace and healing.

Mark is dealing not only with the loss of his mom but also his best friend. Then he's dealing with his major injuries sustained in a fire where his friend died. His life has changed and he's spending it hiding away from those in his small hometown and family.

Riley has escaped to the small Washington town after having her heart broken in a very public break-up. Life has never been easy for Riley and she has steeled her heart against any attachments.

The beauty of this story is the slow burn of the friendship and eventual romance between Mark and Riley. It was like watching a slow dance where they took small steps becoming friends and helping each other see life from new perspectives. Usually, in novels, one character ends up saving another either mentally or physically. Mark and Riley end up saving each other in many ways including emotionally. They gave each other's lives a purpose and helped each other open up enough to heal and let love in. There are many funny and sweet moments that really touched me.

I'm being very vague about details in this story because I want you as a reader to experience this novel on your own. Personally, I had a terrible time putting it down because the characters were always on my mind. Don't get me wrong, Mark and Riley are not perfect, and there will be times that you will yell at them because they are being kind of stupid. I know that this reader was so invested in these characters and hoped for a great outcome for them. Let's just say, you will not be disappointed. This is a wonderful Christmas book that you won't be forgetting soon once you've "visited" Miracle Creek.

Profile Image for Robin Reynolds.
759 reviews37 followers
December 31, 2022
2022 has been a really good reading year for me. I’ve always been stingy with the five stars, but this year I’ve been handing them out left and right. I’ve read a lot of great books and discovered a lot of wonderful new to me authors. MIRACLE CREEK CHRISTMAS is my 37th five star read for 2022 (out of 78 books) and the latest new author discovery.

I’m partial to wounded heroes, and Mark Rivers is the epitome of a wounded hero. A firefighter, he and his best friend, Jay, rescued seven young boys trapped in a tree fort as a forest fire raged around them. Jay lost his life, and Mark was badly burned on one side of his body, spending months in the hospital and undergoing multiple skin grafts. On top of that, his girlfriend left him, because it was all too hard on her. (Bitch!) When we, the reader, meet Mark, he’s become a bit of a recluse, avoiding social situations, skulking around with as much of his scars hidden under clothing as possible, and keeping the burned side of his face turned away from others.

Riley is new in town, and teaching art at the local high school. She has a lot of baggage, such as not liking anything to do with Christmas because that’s when her grandmother died, and a famous ex who used her and then dumped her, publicly humiliating her and driving her to seek out a small town to live in, where she thought she wouldn’t have to worry about gossip. She’s obviously not read any small town romance books, or she would’ve known that in a small town everyone knows everyone’s business! While my heart went out to her, and I completely understand avoiding another relationship, cuz I’ve been doing that for years, I still struggled to connect with her and take her baggage as seriously as I did Mark’s. Especially when her baggage broke his heart and almost prevented them from having a happily ever after.

I loved the banter between Mark and Riley, as well as the banter between Mark and his dad, and Mark and his friends. There was a lot of dialogue that made me smile like an idiot. Mark’s dad was a pretty major character, as Mark lives with him, and I really enjoyed the scenes that included him. Mark’s burns are not glossed over, and the author included a lot of details about his treatment, and how his injury affected his day to day activities, not to mention his mental state. What I loved most about Riley was that from the beginning she never looked at him with pity or horror, and was immediately accepting of his appearance. Well, except when she thought he was stalking her and brought out a baseball bat. I won’t say anymore about that scene as it’s better to read it for yourself.

Several other reviewers have compared this book to a Hallmark movie, and I would certainly watch it if it were ever filmed. Despite some of the heavy subject matter, the book is still a fairly light read, and I breezed through it pretty quickly. Lots of feelings and emotion, both happy and sad, while also filled with hope.
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,081 reviews127 followers
September 2, 2020
3.5 star review of Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Jensen

It's the most magical time of the year and also happens to be my most favourite holiday. I love any story that is centred around Christmas; it’s a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate life.  Krista Jensen is a new author to me.   

Riley Madigan recently moved to Miracle Creek, hoping the new surroundings would help her heal her broken heart. Mark Rivers is a former firefighter who is recovering from burns he received and has had a hard time emotionally since the fire.

When these two come together on a special project for Christmas, friendship soon becomes more. Will they be able to make a go of their relationship or will life in a small town make it impossible to move forward?

I liked Riley, she was feisty and fun which made her easy to relate to and I liked Mark. This was a sweet, extremely slow burn story and at times it was a little too slow.
I received a copy of this book, through the publisher via NetGalley
Profile Image for Connie.
339 reviews15 followers
August 28, 2020
This is basically a story about two broken people trying to make it through the holidays in a small town, with all the gossip and things “small town” implies. If you like Hallmark Christmas movies, you will love this, though I would say it is a notch above. It has all the feels and very subtle Christian undertones. The characters are great, and the plot flows well if a little slowly at first. I love the messages of hope and courage. It is a cozy Christmas read that I think many would enjoy snuggling down with during the coming holiday season.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ashlee (bookswithnopictures).
846 reviews46 followers
August 18, 2020
What a perfect story to read in the winter... or for Christmas in July. It's like a cozy blanket with a cup of cocoa. There's a girl in one of my book clubs who hugs books she loves and this one needs a good squeeze and a re-read.
Mark loses his best friend and becomes a local hero in the same day. He's devastated and hurt almost two years later, trying to disguise his pain to make others comfortable. When he meets Riley, he almost forgets to hide.
Riley is running away from her parents and the drama of her Hollywood life when she applies for an art teaching job in Miracle Creek. She has few plans to stay and only wants to live for today, not tomorrow.
Mark and Riley have scars. Only his are also visible to the world. They're both lonely in a crowd of people who care for them. Both are completely relatable. My emotions felt tugged on nearly every page. I love how Riley looked past Mark's appearance to see the hurt soul and pushed to be there for him in a different way. I love how Mark was already working on challenging himself to heal before doing it for the girl.
This is my first read by Krista Jensen but it certainly will not be the last.
Thank you, Shadow Mountain and NetGalley, for the advanced copy! All thoughts in this review are my own.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 322 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.