Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TBR Challenge:The Nine Lives of Christmas

The Nine Lives of Christmas
Sheila Roberts
Contemporary Romance
St. Martin's Press/October 25, 2011

When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator…and Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea to the universe.  He’ll do anything—anything!—if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him—and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a firefighter named Zach, who’s in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it’s bound to earn him a healthy ninth life.  Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever thought.  Merriliee is way too shy to make the first move on a ladies man like Zach, and Zach thinks he’s all wrong for a nice girl like Merrilee.  Now it’s going to take all of Ambrose’s feline wiles—and maybe even a good old fashioned Christmas miracle—to make them both realize that what they’re looking for is right in front of their eyes.

Didn't think I was going to make it this month.  I actually read the book last week but then forgot to write the review.  Not sure how this made it's way into the TBR pile.  The most likely scenario is that I was trying to get in the holiday mood last year and picked this up at the Friends of the Library book sale.  They always have a display of holiday themed books right before Christmas.  My guess is people read them, then in the holiday spirit, pass them on by donating them.  Then the library sells them to someone like me who thinks she'll have plenty of time to read the dozens of holiday themed books she has because it's not busy at all right before Christmas. *rolls eyes*

The blurb gives a pretty good idea of the story.  And yes, we do get part of the story from the Point of View of Ambrose the cat.  He's actually quite amusing most of the time.  I thought it might become annoying, having Ambrose's thoughts on the page but he's a wise cat who's on his last life.  He's learned a thing or two from his past lives and past experiences with humans and is more than willing to share his opinions.

Zach is a hero who has sworn off serious relationships of any kind.  He doesn't even want to keep Ambrose, who he renames Tom, since having a cat is too much of a commitment.  And he definitely doesn't want to get involved with Merilee because she is most certainly the relationship type.  So this attitude of Zach's causes him some trouble when he can't seem to stop making up excuses for seeing Merilee.  Like so many heroes who have come before him, Zach is a goner and he doesn't even know it.  

Merilee has a strong affinity for animals.  She works at the local mega pet store as well as the animal shelter.  She is a walking encyclopedia of animal facts.  She's sweet, compassionate but not at all Zach's usual type.  Then she goes through a metamorphisis when her sister decided to take Merilee on a shopping spree.  It was a sweet bit of sister bonding but I do wish Zach and Merilee's relationship had been further along before she went from ho-hum to totally hot.  

The romance has a bit of a stop and go feel to it.  Just when you think these two are making progress, they backpedal a little.  It's a very sweet story, possibly a little sweet for some.  And although Zach is a firefighter, there isn't too much focus on his job other than a few scenes that show how much he enjoys and is dedicated to firefighting.   

The Nine Lives of Christmas was a funny, sweet romance.  I could easily see it as a made-for-TV holiday movie.  It's not a type of romance I would want to read too many of for fear of a sugar overdose.  But if it sounds like your kind of romance then give it a try.

Rating:  B-


  1. Leslie, I think this would definitely be too sweet for me too, and the cat's POV would be a bit much for me. LOL!

    But, you know... I can kind of understand Zach? There was a time in my life when I couldn't (wouldn't) even buy plants because they were too much of a commitment for me. A cat would have freaked me out!! LOL! Thank goodness that changed. :D

  2. My first thought was that the cat's POV might push me too far, but after reading your review? I could probably roll with it! LOL And if memory serves, this is a slim book - so as long as I didn't have 300 pages of cat POV I would probably do OK with it :)

    Need to see if we have this one at work. Sounds perfect to add to my impromptu holiday display.....

  3. I remember reading this last year. It was a fun, quick read. Your review is perfect! I love the idea of it made into a movie. Perfect for Hallmark.

  4. Hils ~ You might like it if you're in the just the right mood. :) I think we've all felt that way at some point. At times I feel like if I commit to one more thing/person, I'll go nuts. lol

    Wendy - The cat was funny and thanks to LOLCATS we all know how funny cats can be. There's still plenty of POV from both hero and heroine.

    Phyl - It's a quick, little escapists kind of read. I might even watch the movie if it was made. :)

  5. Sounds like a good read actually, Leslie! I actually enjoy Ms Roberts' writing :) Going to try to give it a try :)