cover image Spirit of the Season

Spirit of the Season

Heather Graham. Delacorte Press, $15 (232pp) ISBN 978-0-385-31113-7

Veteran romancer Graham ( Lord of the Wolves , etc.) provides a warmhearted piece of fluff that will appeal to readers who appreciate familiarity more than substance in their holiday fare. Set during the Christmas season and reminiscent of 1950s women's-magazine formula fiction, the tale profiles dauntlessly cheerful widow Becky Wexham, who raises her three young children and her recently orphaned nephew Davey in a ramshackle Victorian home in Florida. Becky's marriage was blissful, and she has resolutely turned her back on romance, believing that no eligible man would take on the four children who are now her first priority. So she concentrates on a series of part-time jobs and on encouraging Davey to fulfill his dream of making the Little League team. When a special coach helps the grieving youngster gain confidence in his abilities, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that Davey isn't the only character whose dreams will come true by the end of this predictably sweet tale, which remains in the memory no longer than a Christmas candy cane lasts on the tongue. (Nov.)