Four Advent candles, two teens, a Yule Ball, a grief anniversary, and a quest for the perfect gift.

Christmastime is here and for Dani Deane, the season only brings memories of spending last December in the ICU, watching her dad die. But trying to hide her holiday phobia from her boyfriend is making life a lot more complicated. To truly heal, she will have to face the pain and lean into her faith. Can she learn to trust God — and Theo — to stick by her as she seeks to find joy again?

In the bleak midwinter, Theo Wescott is watching his girlfriend Dani slip away again. The anniversary of her dad’s death has turned the holidays into a minefield. The race is on to find the perfect present that will bring her comfort and joy. But getting her best friend’s help with his elaborate plan threatens to derail his relationship with Dani. Will patiently waiting to reveal his ultimate surprise bring the cheer he hopes, or will it be a triggering epic failure?

Karen Meyer’s Review: 5-Stars

I really like reading YA books because for the most part, they are “G” rated. I just have a problem reading the “F” word out loud. So Laurel, thank you for writing an adorable YA book. There was nothing I didn’t like about it. All the characters were well developed and relatable. I got very attached to Dani and Theo and totally sympathized with her in the tragic loss of her father.

I really liked the fact that even though they both liked each other before they started dating, neither one thought they were good enough for the other. I love that he cared so much for her that he worked so hard to find just the right gift for their first Christmas together. Then to decide on a dog because it would help her out of her depression. What a wonderful young man, and I was really glad Dani’s mom liked him in the end.

Thank you again for a very heart warming book that deserves 5 stars.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.5-Stars

Overall, I love this book. I like the cover. It speaks perfectly for the story, and it’s sweet. I really enjoyed the actual writing. The words and phrases flowed smoothly at a fast pace. I felt immediately drawn into caring about the two main characters, Theo and Dani. Laurel Garver knows what she is doing when her fingers fly over the keyboard. The prose are effortless, making the overall readability a wonderful ride.

Ever Near is an awesome, sweet romance. I fell in love with Theo and wanted him to be my boyfriend. He is a thoughtful soul many years advanced with his emotions and tactical way of thinking.

The story speaks to the young adult genre, and I did enjoy reading Ever Near by Laurel Garver. My only real complaint is the characters come across as a little older to me. I don’t remember putting this much effort into things when I was around the age of the characters, but then again, I’m pretty old. Because of my age, I could be very wrong about this.

This book reads fast and pulls out the emotions.

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