The Christmas Hirelings was available for free from Audible over the Christmas holiday. (I dunno, maybe there's a theme here or something.) On a whim, I picked it up, and decided that since I hadn't reviewed a Christmas book for 2018, I might as well do this one.
Now, it's not 2018 anymore, and I apologize for that - I intended to post this the Wednesday after Christmas, but there were things that required my attention (including a certain deadline that was approaching very very quickly).
So here's the skinny. The Christmas Hirelings is very much a classic Christmas story, and since they only come in three flavors, let's go ahead and take a peek at them before we get started.
First is the Christmas Romance. These are all over Hallmark pretty much all the time, and are basically just Romance stories with a Christmas skin. This one is too serious, that one needs to relax, this one feels betrayed, that one is trying to apologize, this one was in a relationship and that one is trying to win them over. You know the basics. Throw in some Christmas trees and gift-giving, and you've got yourself a Christmas Romance.
Second is the Dickens classic. Grumpy old man is a bit of a humbug and doesn't care until his offspring reconcile or a helpless child tugs their heartstrings or something supernatural shows them that they're lonely and grouchy and nothing will make them happy unless they're willing to actually be happy.
Thirdly and finally we have the Christian Christmas story, which can have Romance elements but is more often focused on either (A) reuniting/reconciling with family or (B) finding the "true meaning of Christmas." I don't mean to sound skeptical, really, but these stories are often a little shallow and less than convincing, when they might be extremely powerful. Okay. Rant over.
The Christmas Hirelings is of Type #2, and while extremely predictable, was also enjoyable.
I'm giving this book 2 stars, not because it was badly done, but because it failed to hold my interest. In the second chapter, it gave me all the information I needed to predict the rest of the book, and after that I was just waiting for the characters to catch up with me.
That said, it was enjoyable, and I think it's a fun little thing to do over the holidays. I'll probably aim for something a little more engaging next time, but I don't regret reading this one.
Did you read any books over the holiday? If so, did you enjoy them? I look forward to hearing what you think in the comments below!