Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1) by Lisa Kleypas
ONE LITTLE GIRL NEEDS A FAMILYChristmas Eve at Friday Harbor is the first book in Lisa Kleypas' Friday Harbor contemporary romance series. The novella introduces the three Nolan brothers as well as the beautiful setting, the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest. This novella focuses on the eldest Nolan brother Mark, his newly orphaned niece Holly, and Maggie Collins. The summary of the story above is quite accurate and I'm not going to repeat it, instead here are my impressions of this holiday romance.
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
ONE SINGLE MAN NEEDS A WIFE
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
SOMETIMES, IT TAKES A LITTLE MAGIC…
Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
…TO MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…
Maggie, Holly and Mark are all in the process of recovering from grief and loss, and in each other they ultimately find love and hope for a bright and happy future. Mark comes from a dysfunctional family and doesn't believe in love until he falls deeply in love with his orphaned niece Holly and becomes a father. Slowly he recognizes that there is a big difference between what he feels for local toy store owner Maggie and what he feels for his girlfriend Shelby. And that is one of my problems with this romance, for most of the story Mark is committed to someone else while his attraction for Maggie evolves into a friendship and suddenly more. Maggie is immediately attracted to Mark, but she takes longer to come around and is not necessarily willing to love again after losing the love of her life.
As always Kleypas knows how to pull those heart strings, particularly when it comes to Holly. I found, however, that the story is too short and the characters and this romance not developed enough. There's baggage on both sides. Deep feelings of loss, grief and doubts to overcome on Maggie's side are addressed but I'm not sure that she's really ready to fully commit to Mark by the end of this novella. Mark's background is explored with a light touch. And although there are references to a dysfunctional family and a tough childhood that affected all three brothers to attempt to justify his cynicism when it comes to love, not enough details are given to really understand him.
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor begins a few months before the Christmas season and it includes a very funny Thanksgiving scene, as well as a Christmas family reunion between the three brothers, Holly, and Maggie. The hope for happiness at the end of the novella gives this story that holiday touch and Holly's circumstances and character provides sweetness. Unfortunately, there's just not enough in this story to make it a memorable holiday read for me.
|Theme: Holiday |
Category: Contemporary Romance/Holiday
Series: Friday Harbor #1
Publisher/Release Date: St. Martin's Press/ October 2010
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