Christmas Book reviews edition: Under the Mistletoe, The Mistletoe Pact & Dear Santa

Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Goodreads blurb: When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside. Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going. However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac… Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream? ( This in an ARC book review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It came out Oct 28th)

My take: 3.5 out of 5. If I’m going to keep comparing Christmas books to Movies, what I would say about this one is its definitely not a Hallmark Channel movie, its a Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie. IYKYK, but for those of you that need some further clarification and not spend the insane amounts of hours I do watching made for TV movies an reading books, This movie is not just a cute romance. There are tears, there is drama and there is Family drama with a capital F. There are a lot of issues of trauma and how that affects us which I found interesting and a twist from your traditional Christmas romance. There is romance, that’s not lacking but its a bit more nuanced and the obstacles are more of the personal demons, than physical ones. A really nice book to read for the holidays and a quick read at that.

Mistletoe Pact by Jo Lovett

Goodreads blurb: Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything… On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerised by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother. But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realise too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel. Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends. Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?

( This in an ARC book review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It came out Oct 1, 2021)

My take: 3.75 out of 5. This is a predictable but nice Christmas movie in book form. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, just it is not everyone’s taste. I happen to love me some Christmas movies and books so I was very entertained by this. It was a very quick one day read, and the story is very nice. I love the fact that you get the big event and then you get the 10 years of buildup as to how it happened, i appreciated the slow burn to get their whole background even if the story was 100% predictable.

Dear Santa

Goodreads blurb: A special holiday wish list brings about hope, love, and second chances in this nostalgic novel from the queen of Christmas stories, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up–but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits. Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic–especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate–Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays. In Dear Santa, Debbie Macomber celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, old and new.

( This in an ARC book review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It came out Oct 19, 2021)

My take: 2.75 out of 5. I was a bit disappointed in this one because I love Debbie Macomber Holiday movies, but i had never read one of her books. The good thing: its a very quick read, 2 hours and you are done. That’s also part of the problem, its simple and sweet, but maybe too simple and sweet. I’m all about the go back home and all your problems will be fixed holiday trope but this took it to a both work, friendship and love life got fixed in the span of 2 days. So as much as I really loved the sentiment of asking to Santa for what you wanted and the story of her childhood letters it just was a bit too perfectly wrapped up in a box even for me.

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