RELEASE REVIEW: Love Me By Christmas by Jaci Burton

A sexy, standalone novel from the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Play-by-Play series and Hope series.

Ellie Washington lost her husband in a tragedy five years ago at Christmas. She wouldn’t have made it through her grief if not for her husband’s brother, Nick, who helped her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. And with every year, her feelings for Nick have grown. Now she realizes she might be in love with him, but that’s not fair, because Nick deserves a life that isn’t about his brother’s widow and son.

Sharing his life with Ellie and her son has been the balm that soothed Nick’s soul after losing his brother. Now that friendship has turned into something deeper. Nick doesn’t want to upset the status quo, but someone has to make the first move, and it’s time they figure out if their feelings are real. Nick believes in what they have. He also believes in Christmas miracles, and he thinks they’re both long overdue for one.



I love holiday stories because they tend to put into perspective what’s most important in life, offering insights into the wonders of love, faith, and devotion and illustrating the miracles that can happen as long as people are willing to task a risk and grab hold of what life is offering them.

In Love Me By Christmas, Jaci Burton gives readers Ellie and Nick’s story – one that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking due to the circumstances that brought them together. For the past five years, since losing her husband, Ellie hasn’t truly been living, partly because she doesn’t know how to move on after such a devastating loss and partly because the guilt she feels about perhaps finding love again, with her deceased husband’s brother, forces her to keep Nick at arm’s length regardless of how alive she feels with him by her side.

Burton truly captures Ellie’s conflicted feelings throughout the novella. Is it frustrating to witness her hot/cold demeanor when it comes to Nick and what she wants/needs from him? Absolutely, but it’s the reality of her situation. Grief and now guilt dictate Ellie’s words and actions and until she’s truly ready to let her husband go, she’ll never be able to move on with Nick because no matter how much her heart wants her to, illogically, in her mind, it seems wrong to feel what she does for Nick due to their forced connection and no one can change her mind but herself.

Nick has to be one of the most patient and loving heroes I’ve read about in quite some time. Opening his home and his heart to his brother’s widow when he was dealing with his own grief is above and beyond what any family member should do, but there was no other action to be taken from his perspective because Ellie is family and Nick is all about his family.

There were a number of times in the story where Nick could have given up on building a life with Ellie as a man and a woman in love, but no matter how frustrated or hurt Ellie’s actions made him, he still ONLY ever saw her by his side, so the payoff of his faith in her and them allowed Ellie to have the strength and the courage to follow her heart instead of her head.

Love Me By Christmas definitely got me in the holiday spirit and it also made me smile and swoon because Nick, Ellie, and Henry have been a perfect little family from the start, even if it took them a bit more time for John’s Christmas Miracle to play out.

4 Poison Apples

About Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Play-by-Play series and the Hope series. She has been a RITA finalist in the Romance Writers of America contest, and she was awarded the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. Jaci lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. Visit her at

Connect with Jaci Burton!




Instagram: @jaciburton


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