Priceless
by Lena Matthews, contemporary (2011)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-576-0


This Christmas, Eric Athers is feeling a bit blue. You see, he is very busy with his residency, and while he is hitting the books and living out his ER dream, his wife Nia is working two jobs. While the wife seems to be content to be with him, he can't help feeling guilty about how Nia has to sacrifice so much time and energy for him. Since they hardly see each other, perhaps he is also a bit worried that she may find someone else that can give her a better kind of marriage. In other words, the honeymoon period is over. Will this Christmas cement their love or tear them apart... forever?

Oh, of course they will be so happy together forever. Priceless is a romance story, after all. But for a story of its length, this one manages to do a bang-up job in creating some realistic emotions here. Things are not always clear cut or neat and tidy during the rocky post-honeymoon period when Eric and Nia have to deal with real life issues, after all. Things can become tad too sentimental for my liking here, but I guess I should expect this from a Christmas story.

Still, I feel that things could have been more interesting if Nia was a bit less cheerful and upbeat. As it is, this story skews heavily towards Eric when it comes to character development. But considering the category length of this story, it has been a solid read that packs a decent emotional punch.

Rating: 80


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