At Christmas time, I basically throw out all my “rules” for clever entertainment and settle in for a joyous string of television films. It’s not traditional for me to read Christmas fiction but this year I decided it was worth reading at least one novel set at Christmas. Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor is the gem of a novella that earns the nomination.
STORY: Telling a story that has been re-told many a time, Lisa Kleypas weaves a charming tale featuring characters from her “Friday Harbor” novels. This time about Mark Nolan and the responsibility he takes on following the death of his sister. Mute since the death of her only parent, Holly is finally drawn out of her shell when she and her guardian, Mark, meets the vibrant, red-headed toy shop owner, Maggie. Hiding from her own tragic past following the death of a loved one, Maggie and Mark learn that in the magic of Christmas, two people can find healing.‘CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR,’ by Lisa Kleypas. #FWarchives #ChristmasFiction #ChristmasBooks Click To Tweet
REVIEW: To be honest, I did start out loving this story. It’s easy-to-read and an all-around charmer. Maggie and Holly’s meeting is a little piece of magic and Mark’s impression of her isn’t so much physical as curiosity; something hard for a secular fiction to achieve successfully. The cute flirting between Mark and Maggie remains innocent enough in their serendipitous meetings and Holly will melt anyone’s heart. Then, things get a bit sticky halfway through and downright tacky in the final pages of the novel with a love scene.
This does two things. It cheapens the story and makes Mark seem less a gentleman. In many ways, it also diminishes the cute albeit “adult” romantics. Prior to this, these two did sweep us off our feet. Fortunately, it doesn’t take away from the “cute factor” of young Holly who was the center of the story even when she was scarce (and she’s absent too often for my tastes). Reading more like a novella even in its 200-something page capacity I still root for Maggie and Mark to wind up together. Were it not for the elements that makes the novel tacky I’d give this a perfect rating. It’s a poignant read even if it did take the entire book to end on the holiday its title speaks of.
IN CONCLUSION: Easy-reading, charming dialogue and loveable characters makes Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor a delight for any Christmas fiction reader!
About the Book:
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Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Friday Harbor
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: 4 out of 5
Content: There are minor uses of profanity (h*ll, sh*t, a**, da*n) and social drinking. Another character imagines making love to his companion as well as remarks about having intimate relations. There’s one semi-graphic love scene in the final pages of the next-to-last chapter.