Review can be found at my blog here: http://lifeaccording2nicole.blogspot.com/2011/01/publisher-st.html
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: Pima County Library
Kleypas is one of my favorite historical authors, and her only other contemporary series, The Travises was one I enjoyed. But for me, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor just wasn’t up to par with her normal stuff.
Mark Nolan is a certified bachelor, but when his sister dies in a car accident, he finds out that he is now the guardian of his six year old niece. He and Holly move in with his brother Sam, and the three of them struggle to move on.
Maggie moved to Friday Harbor to start over. When she and Holly click instantly, and Maggie helps her start talking again, Mark takes notice. Although the holidays are tough for all of them, someone the magic of the holidays brings them all together.
I really liked the premise of the story, but somehow the execution just fell short for me. This was definitely now what I’ve come to expect from Kleypas. First off, this short 200 page book was released in hardcover, and had I purchased it instead of checking it out from the library, I think I would be a little upset. I felt as if this was more of a Harlequin series book, missing the real substance we’ve come to expect from a Kleypas romance.
That being said, I did enjoy the story. Being able to watch Mark transition from this bona fide bachelor to loving father and want to be husband. I’ve always been a fan of romance stories where the man knows exactly what he wants, and isn’t afraid to go after it. Although it takes Mark most of the book to get there, he eventually does.
I also really enjoyed Maggie. Although she was a widow, she didn’t let that rule her whole life. She still believed in a little bit of magic, and loved showing it to other people. I really felt a connection with her, because she became such a real character to me in a very short time.
One of the things I struggled with while reading this is that although Mark had feelings for Maggie since the first moment he met her, he had another girlfriend throughout most of the book. Although he never acted like a jerk, it still just somewhat rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve never enjoyed books that have an element to cheating in them, and this started to toe that line a little too much for my comfort.
All in all, I give Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor 2.5 out of 5 Christmas miracles.