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on July 1, 2004
It's the holiday season once again, and Kate Drake, a well-known author has returned home permanently. She has bought the old mill, and wants to renovate the building to convert it into a bookstore/coffee stand. It is while out horseback riding that she encounters Matt Granite, who she has had a crush on since a teenager.
Matt Granite has had a crush on Kate since she was a teenager and he was in college. He has been waiting for her to visit home, so he is ecstatic when he finds out she has returned to Sea Haven permanently. Then, while encountering her on the roadside, there is a violent earthquake. Because he works in construction, Matt quickly agrees to help Kate remodel her mill and even volunteers to make sure there wasn't any structural damage.
What the couple finds is an unknown evil force that has been buried beneath the mill, sealed in a tomb by a Drake ancestor. With little time to spare as the evil is attacking everything to do with holiday cheer the seven Drake sisters and Matt join together. But will their combined strength be enough to stop it from growing?
Like other reviewers, I am a big fan of Ms Feehan and her Carpathians. With THE TWLIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, she has another hit series in the making. What I didn't know (and after reading this story now makes sense) is that this is the second story in the series. This story is SO different from her Carpathian series. I would classify this story as a romantic suspense, because I was scared witless! I had creepy horror music playing through my head during half of the story. So I suppose this is a good thing if you like that sort of thing.
I really appreciate the fact that when the sisters weren't fighting the mist they had a light and playful humor. But I think there were too many characters all at one time for me. It wasn't until the end of the story when I finally felt like I knew who was who. Because of all the characters vying for time in the story, I felt cheated of getting to know Kate and Matt. I feel that more time could have been involved with them discussing renovation plans or what they had been doing with their own lives (and made the book longer) rather than some of the snippets of time spent with the family. I like both of the characters from what I know of them, but I didn't feel like I've gotten to KNOW Kate and Matt. I really felt this was a let down, because in other novels Ms Feehan has written, I felt like I knew the characters as people rather than just being a reader; so I felt a little cheated in this aspect.
However, I am proud of myself for finishing the story because the mist really freaked me out. I have to say that this was a really well written story and I really like the idea and concept of a family of witches. I would be very interested in reading Jacksons' story, but I think I'm gonna stick with the Carpathian series because I don't ever remember ever being so scared over a book! So I have to say I'm neither for, nor against THE TWILIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
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on November 14, 2003
I became a fan of Christine Feehan through her Dark series, which I love and of course brought this new book, which continued the story she started in the anthology "Lover Beware", about seven witch sisters.
I found her second book in the series "The Twilight Before Christmas" truly enjoyable. Both the heroine and hero were believable and fun to read about it. Most women could relate to Kate, who everyone believes to be untouchable, but underneath as unsure and scared of herself as the rest of us. She believes she is not interesting nor exciting enough for the hero. Matt was your typical Feehan-style male: handsome, humourous and stubborn, and like the heroine he hid more than originally let on. Both characters worked well together and were a good match.
The storyline was a good one too; the suspense and supernatural elements were well played out and the history of Christmas was interesting in the context of the story. Feehan does a good job in this respect, playing on themes such as redemption, love, goodwill and sacrifice. All important and appropriate themes for a Christmas story. The added backlines about the secondary characters and the rest of the Drake sisters added to the whole story.
All in all, a great story by Ms. Feehan. I think she has a really good series in the making with the magical Drake sisters and I look forward to the next one.
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on November 7, 2003
After seeing the world, Kate Drake returns to her hometown of Sea Haven, which makes resident Matthew Granite elated as he has loved her forever. However, one thing that has not changed is Matthew's inability to speak a phrase in her presence as whenever he sees her he is tongue twisted. Though a former Army Ranger who faced danger with confidence, he has never been able to tell Kate that he loves her. He prays for a Yuletide miracle
On the other hand Kate shares the same feelings as Matt. Though she can actually say an entire sentence in his presence, she believes an adventurer like he is will never stay with a couch potato. She hopes for a Christmas miracle.
An earthquake releases a malevolent essence from its underground interment. This evil threatens the town with a debilitating fog and nightmares making day and night frightening beyond reason. Kate and her sisters must use the magic they possess to battle this wickedness if the people of Sea Haven are to survive. Matt shows his love for Kate by joining her in the fray.
Christine Feehan shows why she is one of the best at creating suspenseful paranormal romances with this powerful supernatural romantic thriller. The couple lead couple provides quite a contrast between their uncertainties about love vs. their bravery in war. The rest of the Drakes are as charming, weaving a spell on readers that will echo at a best seller rate back to Ms. Feehan with one reiterative word: sequel.
Harriet Klausner
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on October 29, 2003
Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town's annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn't mind working in the undeniably eerie house-not if it means getting closer to Kate. There's something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.
When an earthquake cracks the mill's foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashed�and that it's coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters' powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever�.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 28, 2013
What a complete rush. Feehan combines reality with the supernatural so seamlessly that you cannot help but picture this happening right next door to you. Feehan’s storytelling shines through and kept me captivated, even if the narrator’s voice seemed a bit disjointed from the story at times. Feehan’s remarkable descriptions and fantastic storyline kept me captivated and coming back for more.

Feehan’s character development was phenomenal. I appreciate the unique ways that she goes about providing details about the characters and their personalities. I also enjoyed the fact that multiple characters were developed into strong individuals, rather than simply the main characters.

Overall, I loved how this story could stand alone yet be part of a series. Feehan sets herself apart in a world dominated by the supernatural. I cannot wait to read more by this talented author.
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on February 21, 2004
This is awesome!
Christine Feehan is just awesome at what she does.
You have a new series in which the Drake sisters will each have their own story.
In this 2nd addition to the series you have Kate whom is the sister that writes wonderful books.
She goes to exotic places to research for her book that she is working on at that time.
She has come back home to start a new chapter in her life.
Which is opening a bookstore.
Will the man whom she secretly adore as a young girl and he in her overcome their shyness to start a new chapter together or will a evil spirit return to finish a deed.
By the way I so want to read Hannah's (another sister) story.
FYI, the books in this series will go by the oldest sister to the next younger one.
If you ever have any question then please visit Chritine Feehan's official website.
It has a wealth of information.
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on December 19, 2003
I am a BIG fan of Christine Feehan's Dark series. This series is quite different from her Dark series, but it can stand on it's own. This is the second book in her Drake Sister series. The first explains more on why the books are written in the order of oldest to the youngest. Each sister has her own power, but they work together even from great distances.
This book made me laugh out loud in the first chapter. It is hard to get through one chapter of any book with an 18 month old running around the house. I just could not put this book down.
Some authors can not pull of humor in a romance paranormal novel, but Ms. Feehan does quite well once again.
Read this book. It is well worth it. It just might put you in the holiday spirit.
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on November 22, 2003
I agree with the reviewer who said this is an obvious set up for a new series. I really enjoyed most of her other Dark series books. Though there was one or two that I found a bit slow. This one is no way compares to her other books. Non of the caracters are developed, even the main couple. I felt like her publishing date was coming fast and she had to get it done. I had to force myself to keep reading. There was none of the dark mystery or thrill of the caparthian men. I gave this book 2 stars just because there is real potential for the series. But do not bother with this one unless you are one of those people who has to read them all. Otherwise skip it and see if the next in the series is any better.
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on November 29, 2003
I threw this away after reading less than half of the book. I don't mind a few love scenes, a few bedroom scenes in any book but this should have been listed as a soft porn novel. BORING! No thank you
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on November 20, 2003
I absolutely love this book and feel that Ms. Feehan's writing is at her best. I purchased it at the airport for a business trip and found that I couldn't put it down. I think the Drake sisters are wonderful and cannot wait to see how each of the other sisters meet their "one and only". The delight of this book is that not only do you meet Kate but also see sides of each of the sisters. I look forward to the others of this series!
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