From the back of A Mistletoe Miracle:
At the Everdene Hotel, snowflakes, romance and mayhem are in the air…
A cosy hotel in a sleepy, snow-covered village should be the perfect setting for a Christmas to remember… But for Beth, returning to her childhood home after a disastrous break-up looks more like a festive fiasco.
With her mum stranded in a blizzard and most of the hotel staff off sick, Beth is forced to take the reins, impress a mystery hotel reviewer, and somehow find a way to work with Nick, the very grumpy – and very gorgeous – pilot who is staying for the holidays.
Between mince pie emergencies, deadly decorations, and two dozen disgruntled guests, Beth might just find a miracle under the mistletoe this Christmas…
I used to love Christmas. Despite my parents not being much for decorations, despite not receiving presents at Christmas (it’s a Dutch thing, or at least, used to be), Christmas was always a very special time. I loved the candles, the dark evenings, the cosiness with family, especially if my grandparents came over. It was easily my favourite time of the year.
Then I grew up. Not that Christmas is only fun, exciting and wonderful for children. Loads of adults love Christmas, but after years of navigating the in-laws (when we still lived in Canada), cooking Christmas dinners, trying to find the perfect presents for my increasingly demanding children, the shine has rubbed off it somewhat. I still love the cosy dark afternoons, and as an adult I can of course enjoy mulled wine, although whoever invented minced pies should be ashamed of themselves. Christmas is still a special time, but I no longer love it as the best time of the year.
So, in general, Christmas romances don’t really hold much allure for me. I see them being advertised as early as November, flooding my timeline on Twitter and my inbox. I don’t actively avoid reading them, but I don’t go wild for them as some of my friends do. However, Emma is my friend and critique partner, so when she asked me to be part of her blog tour for A Mistletoe Miracle, I couldn’t say no. I also know Emma’s writing style and it’s absolutely lovely, so it couldn’t be that bad, could it?
Nope, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, A Mistletoe Miracle is a delightful book. I really, really loved it. The opening pages pull you into the story right away with much laughter. The meet-cute is extremely cute and I fell in love with Nick as much as Beth did. Everything about this book is lovely. The main and secondary characters are well-rounded, believable characters. The disasters that happen to Beth are cringe-inducing, but again, very believable.
Once I started reading A Mistletoe Miracle, I couldn’t stop. I had agreed to do the blog tour in the full knowledge that it fell at the end of November when I would be trying to finish NaNoWriMo. I thought – optimistically, delusionally – that I would reach the 50k well before the end of November as usual, but sadly that was not the case. On 27 November I still had more than 8k to go and I really couldn’t afford to take time out to read. However, a few trips on the train to London allowed me some reading time and as I said, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.
Emma has a wonderful writing style and her heroine Beth is very likeable. She’s not perfect (which is good!) but she makes her mistakes for the right reasons. Or, at least, for understandable reasons. I really felt for her in her struggle to keep the hotel up and running in the midst of disaster, even more so as that would be my worst nightmare. Trying to keep a bunch of strangers happy while maintaining the “Christmas cheer”. *shudder* I felt as much relief as she did when her mother returned.
I also loved the Beth-Stephen-Nick “triangle”, although I didn’t really understand Stephen’s motivation for sabotaging Nick and Beth in the end. I think of all the characters in the book Stephen felt the most confusing. Every time I thought I understood what drove him, he did something else that threw that understanding in the wind. Nevertheless, I love good sibling interaction. And, of course, I loved Nick and Beth together. Their blossoming romance was so delicious, and, of course, their happy ending (no spoiler there) was very satisfying.
I hate the term “roller coaster of emotion”, but this book was exactly that. I laughed, I cried, I cringed and I rejoiced. And at the end of it, I had recaptured some of the Christmas spirit that had left me so many years ago.
Don’t miss this amazing book. Especially since A Mistletoe Miracle is currently only £0.99 on Amazon. Go on, you won’t regret it!