Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
In 2010, I reviewed Lisa Kleypas' Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. This year, I've watched a movie on Hallmark called "Christmas with Holly". In fact, I've watched it twice, knowing I read the book. So, I finally looked it up on IMDB to see who wrote the book that the movie was based on. I tracked it down to Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. And, now that I know that, I think I'm going to have to track down the other books about the Nolan brothers in Friday Harbor. So, for all of us who love those Christmas movies and books, here's my earlier review of Lisa Kleypas' Christmas novel.
Somewhere there must be an unwritten law that Christmas stories (unless they're mysteries) must involve loss and bittersweet memories. Fortunately, in the case of Lisa Kleypas' Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, there's humor added to the mix.
And, there needs to be humor added to the story of a little girl who lost her mother in a car accident. Fortunately, Holly's Uncle Mark Nolan was designated as her guardian. He didn't realize he was fortunate. When he grew up, his parents were always fighting, his father thought nothing of backhanding the kids, and his mother even banned Christmas celebrations. Despite his lack of a warm family life, Mark was determined to make a home for his niece. So, he made his brother, Sam, agree to allow them to live with him in a rambling Victorian house in Friday Harbor, a small community on San Juan Island in Washington.
Maggie Conroy had moved to Friday Harbor to open a toy shop, changing her life following the death of her husband. Although she resolved never to love anyone again, it was hard not to fall for the silent little girl who came into the shop one day with her handsome uncle. Mark was shocked when Holly, who hadn't spoken after her mother's death, opened up to the tiny shop owner with the unruly red curls. He was already starting to love the little girl in his charge, something he hadn't ever experienced in his life.
And, Mark had plans. His girlfriend, Shelby, might make the perfect mother for Holly, and he was determined to bring together people who would love Holly. After all, this was the little girl who wrote a letter to Santa saying she just wanted one thing for Christmas, "A mom."
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor could have been just another holiday romance. But, Kleypas gave both of her lead characters a sense of humor, threw in a terrific relationship between Mark and his brother, Sam, and added a hilarious Thanksgiving scene. Romance, a touch of humor, and an attractive small town setting makes for an enjoyable holiday treat. And, since Kleypas' website indicates this is the first in her new contemporary series, there just might be romance on the way for Mark Nolan's brothers, Sam and Alex. Whatever she chooses to do with the setting or the family, the books are sure to be as charming as Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.