Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Xmas in October: Blame It on the Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels

Presenting: Christmas in October!

Each day this week, I will be reviewing a Christmas-themed book, reviewing how well the book embraces the holiday as well as giving my two cents on the book as a whole. Join me in celebrating the holiday a wee bit early and post your holiday book reviews to comments of any of this week's reviews!

The Book:


Blame It on the Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels
St Martin's
Contemporary Romance
Published October 14, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads


Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith for Christmas to work its own magic in BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE

’Tis the season for small-town Missouri boutique owner Brooke Abbott to get crafty. Much as she adores making art for art’s sake—decorating windows, designing ornaments, crafting the perfect present for under the tree—this Christmas she needs the gift of good customers. Lots of them. Sweet Opal Studios will go under if she can’t do some serious business before the New Year…and she has no time to lose. What Brooke needs is an honest-to-goodness miracle. Instead, she finds a burglar lurking in the back room of her shop. And here she thought the holidays couldn’t get any worse!

Or maybe things just got a lot better. Turns out the burglar is none other than Alex Coleman—local bad boy slash legendary heartthrob, childhood best friend to Brooke’s older brother, and…future landlord? That is the question. He’s come home for the holidays to see his grandmother, make peace with his distant mother, and settle his grandfather’s estate, an estate that includes the building that houses Sweet Opal. What he never expected was to bump into a grown-up Brooke, whose spirit, charm, and irresistible good looks give him pause. Should he go back to Oregon as planned, or give small-town life a chance? The only thing Alex knows for sure is that before he walks out that door, he’s going to get Brooke beneath the mistletoe, where anything can happen…
Christmas Component:

It on the Mistletoe has a lot of Christmas material in it, including the holiday itself. I loved the way that mistletoe was woven through the story. This book was particularly successful at getting me in the mood to go Christmas shopping, which is handy as it never hurts to get started early! Five trees for Christmas content!

My thoughts:

Blame It on the Mistletoe was a delightful, short contemporary romance. It leverages a pre-existing relationship between Brooke and Alex. Though they only knew each other indirectly - Alex was the best friend of Brooke's older brother - this gave them a solid base to build on when they run into each other later in life. Of course, by this point, both have changed, matured and experienced some ups and downs in life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading as the two got to know each other all over again.

I really liked the friendship that develops between Brooke and the other business owners in Preston. I love the idea of small town businesses banding together, and the way that the book draws on the popularity and reach of a blog... what can I say, the idea appeals to me!

On a slightly less positive note, Brooke's older brother Ryan was a... well... lot irritating. I never understand why family members in these books feel justified in telling anyone how to live, and he crossed that line for me. Also, I felt that the conflict between Brooke and Alex was a bit forced - I didn't understand his hesitation to be upfront. 

Regardless of these two things--because they're really quibbles in the grander scheme--I really enjoyed reading Blame It on the Mistletoe.

Bottom line:

Reading Blame It on the Mistletoe made me flashback to Christmas episodes of Gilmore Girls, which are my image of what small town holidays can be like. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick romantic fix with a holiday theme!

4.5 stars
For fans of Christmas-themed books, contemporary romance

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