Once Upon A Wish-Mas is a whimsical holiday romance that made me wonder what would have happened if Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins had been a younger single father when Mary Poppins entered his life as his children’s nanny. Ruby Campbell interviews for the position of nanny at the Rothchester house. She would be the live in nanny for the two daughter of a widower who is known for being difficult. Ruby loves a challenge so she accepts the position and upon meeting Jessica and Lottie, she is immediately charmed by them. She is not however charmed by their father, Barclay. The two character immediately go head to head over her care for the children and her attempt to bring joy back into their lives.
Ruby is such a feisty character. She isn’t afraid to back down from a challenge and she quickly becomes very protective of Jessica and Lottie. She recognizes the hurt in the girls and how they want more interaction with their father. Barclay is a business man working for the family company and this requires him to work alot of hours and usually long into the night. He uses work as a distraction from the pain of losing his wife and having to raise his daughter by himself. With Ruby in his life, there is now another distraction – one that was completely unexpected – the more the nanny does for the benefit of the children, the more attractive she appears.
I have to say Barclay was a very well written character. Even when I wanted to shake my head at him, I could also see where he was coming from. He had already deviated from his predetermined life plan by meeting and falling in love with his wife, and this only wound up in devastation. He’s scared to put himself in that position again and to allow anyone in for fear of losing them. This includes his daughters which is sad because they are absolutely adorable. Ruby entering his life forces him to actually process his grief and rethink everything he has been so focused on.
There is so much Christmas beauty in this story. From decorating the house, to finding and decorating a tree, to Christmas plays and Christmas carols, ice skating and the magic of snow. Once Upon A Wish-Mas is set in Notting Hill and does have a touch of English humor that I enjoyed. The characters are quick to grow on you, and the romance is sweet with a little bit of spice. I really enjoyed this heartwarming holiday tale.
Rating: 4 Stars