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Damien's Christmas (The Night Stalkers White…
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Damien's Christmas (The Night Stalkers White House) (Volume 6)

by M. L. Buchman

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Chocolate Magic

You know that first bite of Christmas chocolate--the one eaten in the twinkling glow of the tree lights-- tart, rich smoothness sweet on your tongue, the best you’ve ever tasted?

This book is just like that.

Damien and Cornelia are two misfit over-achievers who have worked themselves into their perfect jobs. He’s the 10 year veteran of the White House Situation Room, the senior duty watch officer for the National Security Council– a Marine who is a librarian, an information specialist with rumpled hair in a rumpled suit.

Cornelia is newly promoted to be President Peter Matthew’s Chief of Staff – whip smart, focused – and feeling in-over-her-head when she’s called to a secret meeting with Mr. Pejman, the assistant to the U.N. ambassador from Iran. Although she moves like a dancer, Cornelia is awkward with the opposite sex, understanding that her short term relationships are her own fault:

“Her lovers never stuck… they consistently departed fast enough that there was no question who was the problem in the relationship—six-week average with a two-week first standard deviation. The outliers were a one-night mistake and a four-month data point that never should have occurred. She’d have cast out the latter except she hadn’t had that many relationships and without him her averages slid downward badly.”

Gotta love a woman who uses statistical analysis to grade her romantic life!

Given these two highly unlikely lovers, where does the chocolate magic come from? Good chocolate has flavor accents: orange, pecans, truffles--and this book abounds in flavor accents:

Washington, DC--the geography, the history, the energy.

The White House, a setting and culture Buchman has used before, but this time we see into not only the White House residence, but the President’s Situation Room – the place for decisions, informed decisions.

Christmas with all its sentiments, history, music, lights, energy.

Star Trek references add new and different dimensions.

Helicopters: power, energy, instant flight capability and Night Stalker history.

Food: from Katz’s Deli in NYC to an Irish pub to Christmas chocolate in the White House - the best of the best food.

A mystery: And like all Buchman mysteries, this one is clever and impenetrable.

Suspense: Disaster looms in spite of Damien and Cornelia’s solution of the clever and impenetrable mystery. Can they avert the disaster in time?

And finally, of course, Romance.

A smooth, yummy masterful blend of holiday flavors and colors, sparkle and glow, Damien’s Christmas is a treat for all my senses. Highest recommendation.

Thanks to M.L. Buchman for this holiday confection.

NB: I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  dibs139 | Dec 3, 2016 |
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