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Christmas Candy

Narrated by: Vanessa Hensley-Mayes
Series: Sweet Christmas, Book 1
Length: 3 hrs and 1 min
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
3.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Life isn't always sweet, even for girls called Candy.

Candice Parker's life has never been easy. Plagued by losses and setbacks, each day is a struggle for the petite brunette and her young son. When fireman Gary enters her world, he is one mistake she refuses to make; but after tragedy strikes, she may not have a choice.

Gerald Ford has never been what anyone would call settled. Always keeping things simple, he lived a fast and furious lifestyle, with no intentions of slowing down. However, when he inherits his family's ancestral mansion on his thirtieth birthday, he considers the possibility that it's time for a change. Could this complicated young woman be his Christmas Candy?

©2015 Lavish Publishing, LLC (P)2016 Lavish Publishing, LLC

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cute Christmas romance

Any additional comments?

This is a stand alone book by author Samantha Jacobey It was narrated by Vanessa Hensley-Mayes. While the story had a great theme of love conquerors all, I thought the story was too short for everything the author tried to have occur.


Candy has not had an easy life, losing her dad when she was very young. Not soon after to move in with her mother and handicapped child. Her son is her life. She has no desire to want to date, even when fireman Gerald enters her life. Recently transferred from another fire station, Gerald sees something in Candy and doesn’t give up even when she tells him no over and over again.


There were so many times that Candy was on my nerves and I wish that I could of giving her a slap across the back of the head to tell her to wake up. She just needed to open her eyes and even with their age difference Candy and Gerald seemed made for each other. Now there were times that was very clear and with the issues from her dad passing she was reluctant to get involved with anyone working in public services. So Gerald had two strikes against him. Then add in her son and the issues she had to deal with his handicap made these two getting together seem impossible. When tragedy struck, Candy leaned on Gerald who shows just how great and persistent he is.


This is a sweet story, but listening to the story made me confused specifically in the beginning of the story. I was further confused by the narrations because there wasn’t much change in tone between the different characters and it confused me who was speaking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Christmas romance.

This is the first book of the Sweet Christmas series but it stands alone. Candy Parker is a single mom with a special needs son. She feels betrayed and lashes out. She is terrified to accept kindness and help when tragedy strikes her family. Gary is an acquaintance whom she pushed away when he showed a romantic interest in her. She mistrusts him even when he saved her family but she begins to open herself up to help. This is the beginning of a great series of which I look forward to reading. It is nicely read by the narrator. I was gifted a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review,

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Warming up for the holidays!

Christmas is coming, so what better way to start getting into holiday spirit than with a book? This short by Samantha Jacobey has such a wonderful message. Candace is a young mother of a special needs son. She has had a difficult childhood and now wants no help from anyone. Gary, a fireman, has taken an interest in Candace and won't let her aloofness discourage him. This push pull romance is sweet and full of happy, warm feelings. Candace is a difficult one, full of anguish and distrust. Her unconditional love of her son is beautiful and her relationship with her mom is one I really admire after all they have been through. Gary is a great character, and I think there is more depth to him than we get to see in this installment of the series. He is passionate with helping others and his persistence is welcomed as we get to know this couple. Narrated by Vanessa Hensley-Mayes, the story is well told and I have to see where the go next!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not Recommended

I listened to the 2nd story, Christmas Eve, in this series first. That one was okay but I wanted to know if by listening to this story it might clear up some of the issues in the 2nd. What it did was solidify for me the issues started with this story and carried over to the next. I couldn't even finish listening to this one.

I was very disappointed that Candy was depicted as a spoiled brat acting more like she was 13 than 24. How Gary could even think about dating someone that self centered and childish I can't understand. There is a lot of unnecessary narration which doesn't move the story forward and little enough actual interaction. The story is unrealistic from a fireman leaving the scene of a fire and not even informing anyone where he was going to saying to depicting the fire happened a few minutes ago. Fires of that nature with multiple people needing rescue and with injuries don't finish in minutes.

I felt the story to be stilted and choppy written by someone just starting out. The narrator did a good job with what there was but there was only so much she could do.


  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Romantic Christams story

I didn't enjoy the narrator so that put a damper on the story. There were times that I thought she got the inflection wrong for certain lines and she wasn't able to sound as manly as I thought Gary should have sounded. Overall it is your typical 'girl has written off men, man will pursue said woman regardless' story set at Christmas time. It is a short story (the audio is just over 3 hours).

A free audiobook was provided by the author. All opinions are my own.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

4 heartwarming stars

Christmas Candy is a sweet story about second chances and starting over. Candy is a single mom to a special needs son, Dakota. She is living with her mom who is a huge help but also a financial burden for Candy. They have a hard time making ends meet. Candy works at a gas station and that's where she met Gerald. He's a firefighter who comes in almost every night. He has begged Candy to give him a chance, even just as a friend for a while but Candy has no time for a relationship of any kind. Then things go from bad to worse for Candy and her family. And of course who is there to help her out, no questions asked? You guessed it... Gerald. Gerald was really a great guy. He was handsome, sweet, caring, and genuinely cared about Candy and her family. Would Candy learn to not be so cynical about life and give Gerald a chance?

This was a sweet story with many ups and downs and all the feelings that go with them. I felt so sorry for Candy and wondered how much one person could take. Her life was far from easy and that made her personality very tough. This was a very well written story and I loved the narration. The narrator really brought this story to life. It was a great quick listen. I look forward to listening to more novels by Ms. Jacobey.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lovely story lost in the narrative

I received and ARC of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.

I haven't listened to a significant amount of audio books, but this one was difficult for me.

I loved the story written by Samantha, but it got lost in the narrative. I wasn't crazy about the narrator at all. I loved a few of her voices, Candace's son for one, but the third party POV and all the characters this narrator acted out made me cringe on several moments. I am going to purchase the book via kindle now to read instead.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

3.5 Stars



Candy is a young single mother with a great deal of responsibilities. Her mother has health issues and her son Dakota has special needs.

Candy doesn't have the time or inclination for a relationship and pushes Gary away at every time he attempts to get her to give him a chance.

Gary is a firefighter, and a gentleman and is nothing if not persistent in trying to get Candy to go on a date with him. He's quite an endearing and like-able character.

Although I felt for Candy and her difficult situation, I found her character a tad abrasive at times and had difficulty connecting with her character. This possibly could have been because I wasn't a fan of the narrator for this book. I found Vanessa Hensley to be quite monotone and it took away from my enjoyment of this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Christmas Comes Early For The Listener/Reader

What made the experience of listening to Christmas Candy the most enjoyable?

I don't know if the author planned it but I fell in love with Candy's son Dax. He doesn't have much of an appearance but he is the one that helps to bring Candace and Gary together. The story had me wishing that Dax was sitting next to me the next time I listened to this story.

What did you like best about this story?

There were times that I got frustrated with Candace because she kept finding ways to put up barriers that made it hard for Gary. But I loved the fact that Gary didn't give up.

What about Vanessa Hensley-Mayes’s performance did you like?

She brought Candy's character to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I loved this author's story and definitely wanted to listen to this in one sitting. And once it was over I wanted to listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

The only issue I had with Ms. Hensley-Mayes's performance was when she did the character of Gary. She doesn't have the type of voice that lends well to a male character. Candace is a good example of someone who needs to stop making assumptions about people. If not for the author, I could see Gary giving up on Candy and finding someone who has no issue excepting him for who he is. This is one of those books where it would be great to have a copy of the book and the audio version.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Lovely Christmas Story

What made the experience of listening to Christmas Candy the most enjoyable?

I liked being able to listen to a book while doing something else at the same time. I was free to move about my home but still hear what was going on.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Christmas Candy?

That Candice is a mother who is focused on her son who is handicapped, her mother as well as her job. When a fireman tires to date her, she turns him down.

Have you listened to any of Vanessa Hensley-Mayes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't. She was hard to listen to for me...her voice was too monotone.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Candice needs Gary the most he is there for her at a drop of a hat so to speak.