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.

Lisa Kleypas' website is http://www.lisakleypas.com/

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas.  St. Martin's, ©2010. ISBN 9780312605865 (hardcover), 224p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I requested a copy of the book from the publisher, in order to read and review it.






24 comments:

Mary said...

I listened to the audiobook this week and enjoyed it. Light and perfect for the season. My review is scheduled for Friday.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Mary. As much as I liked Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Macomber, I enjoyed this one even more. It's the best I've read so far this season, although I have another half dozen or so to go.

Sharon said...

This sounds perfect. Thanks for the intro, I'll look this one up. I really enjoy stories that incorporate humor.

Kay said...

I'm planning on reading this one in the next month. I've had my eye on it and a few more for a while. Right now, I'm deep in the heart of Kathryn Casey's first mystery. Definitely not a Christmas story, but it packs quite a punch.

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy it, Sharon.

Lesa said...

Kay! You're reading Kathryn Casey! I hope you like Sarah as much as I did. And, I think you'll enjoy this book when you read it in December.

Ingrid King said...

This sounds like another great addition to my Christmas reading list. Thanks, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Ingrid. I think you'll enjoy this one.

Kris said...

Oh..another Christmas book. This one looks really really good...armed with the 50% off coupon from Borders I'll be headed to the store and looking for this one tonight! Last night I bought An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller. Fingers crossed it's a good one.

Lesa said...

Oh, have fun, Kris! I saw that 50% off at Borders, but hadn't printed it out. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

Pamela Keener said...

Thank you for your review. I am going to add this to my buying wish list.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Bev Stephans said...

I have this book, but haven't read it yet. Your review tells me I'm in for a treat!

Lesa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Pam, and love & hugs back. I hope you get this book, and enjoy it!

Lesa said...

I think you'll enjoy it, Bev. And, I loved the Thanksgiving scene.

kathy d. said...

Hi Lesa,

Just wanted again to say to you and the Holstine cat family that I hope you all have a good holiday tomorrow, great food--and, for you, hopefully, a time to do some quality reading over the weekend.

And a thanks to you for hosting this blog, keeping us up-to-date on so many books and much book news.

And an fyi: am reading Barbara Fister's new book, "Through the Cracks." It's very good, lots of issues, wit and a terrific, strong woman detective.

Happy Holidays!

Kathy D.

Rob (Books Are Like Candy Corn) said...

I've been to Friday Harbor many times. Your review inspires me to read this book. I missed the 50% Borders coupon but found the book on Amazon for under $8.

Lesa said...

Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving, kathy! I have cats romping all over the place. I think it's a Happy Thanksgiving for them just because I'm home. And, poor Jinx, who just this week learned how to shut himself in the bathroom, should be very glad to have me home so someone can get him out of there.

I don't know what I'm reading. I finished a good book yesterday, and it's hard to pick the next one to start. We'll see. I enjoyed Through the Cracks. I hope you do, too!

Pamela Keener said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Gobble Gobble!!
Pam

Lesa said...

Rob,

I think that price on Amazon will beat the 50% off coupon. I hope you enjoy the book, particularly since you've been to Friday Harbor. Happy Thanksgiving!

Lesa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Pam! Have a beautiful day!

Karen B said...

I haven't read it but have enjoyed the Hallmark movie several times!

Lesa said...

The Hallmark movie is good, isn't it, Karen?

Karen C said...

I haven't seen the movie, but I have read the book - and loved it. So much so that I purchased all the other books in the series. And love them, too.

Lesa said...

That's good to know, Karen! I want to read the other books, too.