Series: Friday Harbor #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 26th 2010
FINAL DECISION: A good Christmas story if a bit simplistic and lacking the emotional depth and humor of other Kleypas books. I enjoyed this book but I’ll keep it in my holiday reads rather than my keepers.
THE STORY: The last thing Mark Nolan expects is to take on raising his niece Holly, but when his sister dies in an accident, Mark realizes that no one else will do it. Even as he and his brother take on caring for Holly, Mark realizes that Holly wants and needs a woman’s presence so he thinks about getting engaged to the woman he is dating, but he can’t stop thinking about Maggie Collins. Maggie has come to Friday Harbor after the death of her husband and she plans never to love so much again because it almost destroyed her before. But the sweet Holly and her uncle are something she can’t resist.
OPINION: I enjoyed this book, but it certainly reads more like a shorter holiday novel than the complex romance I expect from Kleypas. This story started out incredibly well but just at the time that Mark and Maggie recognize their feelings for one another, the remained of the story becomes simple and easily resolved. The truth is that there is not enough conflict between these characters or the situation in the beginning. So when the situation with Mark’s current girlfriend is resolved, there is really nothing keeping them apart and all that is required is the happy ending.
I thought the book was well written and enjoyable as a simple holiday read. The characters are well constructed and I enjoyed seeing Mark become a father to Holly. There was nothing that I didn’t like about this book, it just wasn’t a particularly deep or complex story.
WORTH MENTIONING: There was a television movie made of this book entitled CHRISTMAS WITH HOLLY.
CONNECTED BOOKS: CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR is the first book in the Friday Harbor series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.