Madison's Christmas, Madison Rand, Book One by Carol Ann Kauffman
Christmas is Madison’s favorite holiday, but this year is different. She has to face it alone, without her father and her best friend Bob, amid the problems of running her own high-stakes business and dealing with family issues. Will grieve overtake the holidays? Or can the spirit of Christmas lift a heavy heart?
Kauffman creates an interesting organization headed up by a protagonist with several layers--she's strong, successful, and almost Byronic in that she can help other women so easily yet has a hard time helping herself. I was curious what personal hardship caused Madison to found a woman's outreach program and how that factored into her difficulties with intimacy and supposed need for control, and I liked the idea that new love can heal old wounds without replacing the people for which we felt the hurt.
Telling the truth in fiction makes it believable. I felt like Kauffman presented a Christmas scenario that speaks to those millions who experience grief around the holiday season and gives them some hope that things can change for them--if they have a little faith.