Monday, December 7, 2015
My Review: One Enchanted Christmas
How gorgeous is this cover?! Now, I may be just a teeny-tiny bit biased, because yes, I love the color blue, and lights. Lights look great and it's just so pretty! I love it! I want to visit and sit on the bench (which plays a pretty big part in the story) and just enjoy the peace. The setting looks peaceful, to me.
Last December, mystery author Maren Grant had the most perfect night of her life. On a glimmering winter evening, she got to watch the photo shoot for her very first book and ended up on a magical date with the cover model himself—Colin Renwycke.
Fast forward one year. This December, with a looming deadline, restless spirit and her creative spark long since gone, Maren is desperate to get unstuck. And she can’t get Colin out of her head…or his year-old open invitation to spend a couple weeks writing at his family’s farm.
Drew Renwycke never planned to come home and take over the Renwycke family farm. But he’s spent too many years watching his siblings unravel, including his brother, Colin, after one terrible family mistake. If moving to Maple Valley, Iowa, renovating an old farmhouse and switching careers is what it takes to put the Renwycke family back together, he’ll do it.
But his simple plan upends when a scrappy author lands on his doorstep. And she just might be the key to coaxing his brother home. But what if he wants her all to himself? Drew will have to choose between his Christmas wish and the enchantment of a holiday romance that just might be the happy ending they all long for.
About the Author:
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.
My Review: 5 stars
I have two confessions: I’m not a novella person. Or a Christmas person, actually. But, I absolutely adore Ms. Tagg’s writing, so I was super excited to read this book! I was also SO ready to revisit Maple Valley! I fell in love with the town in her first novella, Three Little Words, that gave me the first glimpse of this completely charming little town. Then From the Start completely sold me on it. So a chance to revisit such a delightful place while also getting to read more of Melissa’s stories? Sign me up!
What to say about this lovely story? Well, first off, I love the her writing style! The descriptions are so unique, but so completely appropriate and give life to words on a page. And the details she continues to include just add even more depth to the town and the characters therein. I also really liked the narrative style to the story. It was quirky and funny, but so completely Melissa. It allowed the book to span a decent amount of time without the story feeling rushed or forced. It also allowed her to fill in gaps quickly, keeping it at novella length.
Maren and Drew are such compelling characters and I really enjoyed their story. Both of them are trying to figure where they belong, while fighting insecurities and questions about if the path they’ve chosen is the right one. I can definitely relate to them and I had to love how audacious Maren was in finally stepping out and chasing the question of “what if?” She made me want to follow in her footsteps, especially if they led me to Maple Valley, too.
Drew is the serious one, who feels as though the whole world rests on his shoulders, or at least the responsibility of his family. I think he wants to fix everything that’s wrong and maybe the past, while he’s at it. But everything he’s trying just keeps coming back at him. He wants to help, but doesn’t know what to do next. I could also very much relate to this and I’m sure many others probably can, as well. I enjoyed watching Maren pull him out of his shell and really get to know him. He needed someone to help shoulder his burdens and she was the perfect person to do that.
Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about the story. Which, if you typically read my reviews, you’ll know that’s rather uncommon. I’m a nitpicker, but not this time. Melissa has done an excellent job with this book and I can’t wait for her next one! Though the word “novella” generally leads me to think a light story without much depth, Melissa delivers so much beyond that expectation. This story has depth, a seriousness behind the light moments that made me stop and think more than once. And despite my being a bit of a Scrooge, I adored this Christmas story!
I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
*I'm going to tack on to the end here that I loved the sweetly old fashioned feel of the story. I don't know if that's what Melissa was aiming for, but I loved it nonetheless.
And that's it! Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my review and will come again soon! This is definitely a Christmas novella that I recommend and right now, it's only $0.99* so if you need a treat and a break from all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas, this is a great way to spend a few hours. As always, if you're interested, purchase links are below.
In case I'm not back on here before then, I hope you have a very blessed and joy-filled Christmas!
*I think the sale ends December 12. You'll want to double check the price, in case I'm mistaken.
Barnes & Noble