Every year this happens. I block out the entire month of October for strictly Halloween reading (mysteries, horror, thrillers etc), but then all the holiday romances start coming out and next thing I know it’s like Christmas in October on my blog!
I am one of those closet holiday movie fans. There is something so fulfilling about a feel good romance set around the holidays, and I can’t say no to a holiday romance novel to save my life!
I have read all of Anita Hughes’s holiday romances and I adore them! She’s written a number of other novels that aren’t Christmas-y and are set in various exotic locations (which swoon!) but I haven’t read them yet simply because she does such a great job with holiday romances and I’m afraid to rock the boat—because what if I don’t like them as well as the holiday ones?!
Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades for the watch and wonders at the timing.
Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.
When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fiancée.
Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind. (summary from Goodreads)
Vermont isn’t really the first place I think of when I think of Christmas romance, though now that I am typing that, it actually IS the perfect place for romance! Her other Christmas books that I’ve read have been set in London and Paris and frankly I was expecting some place like Austria or Switzerland or something like that—not Vermont.
When I think of Vermont, I think of maple syrup and snow—that’s it. But now thanks to think book I will think of heart warming romances! This book read just like one of those predictable but yet oh so lovable Hallmark Channel holiday films and it was just what I needed!
Yes it was predictable and yes at times cliche but when I pick up a holiday romance, I want that! I want to be reminded of love and warmth and happiness around the holidays. Cliche or predictability be damned! Give me all the classic troupes! I have eleven months out of the year to read unpredictable books but in the months leading up to Christmas, I want to read cliche! Hughes is one of the best in the genre hands down!
Emma and Fletcher’s story is full of charm and second chance romance. Hughes writes with wonderful detail and I felt like I was right there with the characters in this charming little town. Emma is likable and I really enjoyed following their romance evolve and come together. This was just what I needed after coming off of a lengthy horror novel—a happy ending that was a fast read full of romance, happy details, and Christmas!