Friday, October 10, 2014

Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles

Mistletoe on Main Street (Briar Creek, #1)* * * 1/2

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.


Grace Madison is heading back to Briar Creek for her longest visit since she left with a broken heart.  With a recently failed engagement and her latest book a flop, she is hoping a Christmas at home will lift her spirits.  But before she even makes it into town she crashes her car into a snow bank and the only other driver on the road is her ex, Luke Hastings, the one guy she has managed to avoid the past five years.  And to make matters worse, she finally arrives home to find her family lacking the Christmas cheer she had been looking forward to.

Luke is about as thrilled to see Grace as she is to see him.  He always thought they would be together forever.  But when he realized Grace would never be happy staying in Briar Creek and that he never wanted to leave, he walked away, quickly meeting someone that wanted all the same things he did while staying right there in Briar Creek.  But now Luke’s a widow and he’s not ready to deal with the emotional upheaval cause by having Grace back in town.

It’s a small town and there’s no avoiding each other.  Over the weeks before Christmas, Luke and Grace slowly become re-acquainted.  And when that they aren’t running into each other they are dealing with other issues that are putting a damper on everyone’s Christmas.  Luke is feeling guilt in regards to his late wife.  And Grace is trying to figure out a way to save her late father’s bookshop  while somehow bringing some of the old Christmas celebrate into her mother and sisters' lives.

I can’t believe I am saying this but there was just a little too much angst in this story.  There was so much push and pull between Grace and Luke that I found myself grumbling.  It took a long time for there to be any resolution.  And when we finally got some, it felt rushed.  The angst also hindered some of the Christmas cheer I was hoping to feel.  It was a sad Christmas for so many people in this book.   Grace and her family as well as Luke are celebrating one of their first Christmases after losing a loved one.   And although the Christmas cheer DOES build, you have to go through quite a bit of agony first.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I was just expecting a bit more happy while reading a Christmas romance.

That being said, this was still a very engaging story.   By the end I was trying to figure out how I could skip Halloween and Thanksgiving and move right on to Christmas.  I wanted to drink a giant glass of red wine while decorating my house; making sure it is dripping in twinkling lights while Christmas music plays 24/7.  And if I felt that way at the end of this story then I can honestly say that Mistletoe on Main Street is everything a Christmas romance should be.


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