Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Review: Mistletoe on Main Street

Mistletoe on Main Street (Briar Creek #1)
Published By: Forever
Publication Date: September 2014
Page Count: 400
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Contemporary

I love to break out the holiday themed novels as Christmas approaches. It helps me get more into the season and keeps my mind off the hectic nature of the holidays. Instead of thinking of all the presents still to be wrapped, the cookies to be baked, and the schedules to be coordinated, I can simply lose myself in holiday story and live vicariously through the characters for a bit. It's a Christmas tradition I look forward to each year.

Mistletoe on Main Street originally caught my eye because of its Vermont setting. I've always wanted to visit Vermont at Christmas time. This may stem from my need to watch White Christmas over and over each December. There is just something magical about Vermont and its snowy backdrop. One day I will get up there during the holidays, but for now, I am content with visiting it through the Madison sisters. Their hometown of Briar Creek, is postcard perfect and full of an intriguing cast of characters. The small-town charm and holiday setting made this a memorable read. I wouldn't mind buying a little real estate in Briar Creek and living within these pages from time to time.

This novel focuses on the oldest Madison sister, Grace, as she returns to town after five years of living in New York City. During that time, Grace rarely visited home and dropped off the family involvement radar. The death of her father left Grace reeling and wishing she could gain back the time she lost, but a broken heart kept her from Briar Creek until her youngest sister, Jane, begs her to come home for Christmas. It will be the first time the family is celebrating without their Dad. Grace grudgingly agrees, but hopes that she won't run into Luke, her former boyfriend who shattered her heart.

As fate would have it, a minor accident leaves Grace stranded on the side of the road. Her savior comes in the unfortunate form of none other than Luke Hastings. He is just as shocked to see Grace as she is him, but they both feel their old attraction rekindling, but neither is willing to push their stubbornness aside long enough to see where things could go between them. As the novel progresses, the unraveling of Grace and Luke becomes clear. While I understood where they were both coming from, I felt like this was a lot of angst for grown adults. I wanted to smack some sense into both of them.

The novel largely focuses on the relationship between Grace and Luke, but readers are also given a little insight into other characters such as Anna and Jane, Grace's sisters. In future novels in the series, Anna and Jane will take the lead. I'm sure Luke and Grace will make appearances in further novels as their story feels unfinished. I'm excited to continue this series to spend more time with the Madison sisters and the town of Briar Creek.

I loved the holiday tidbits and small-town life in this one. It was a warm, cozy novel with just the right amount of romance. In many ways, Mistletoe on Main Street reminded me of a holiday Hallmark movie. There is one scene around the 80% mark that would have to be removed if Hallmark did make this series into films, but for the most part it's a PG sort of book with memorable characters, a town I'd love to live in, and a festive atmosphere. This is certainly more of the sort of romance I prefer. For me, leaving more to the imagination is best.

One Last Gripe: There were a few typos.

Favorite Things About This Book: The characters and setting

First Sentence: Pretty as a postcard.

Favorite Character: Grace

Least Favorite Character: Adam

Sleigh bells, snow, and second chances . . .

Briar Creek's quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of--for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father's death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter's night.

Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life?

Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it's time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe. 

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