Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway
Publisher/Year: Christie Ridgway, 2011
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Bailey Sullivan can’t stand Christmas, even though her family’s business is a store specializing in the perfect holiday. But now her hometown’s chief supplier of rooftop Rudolphs and treetop angels is in danger of going under–and it’s up to Bailey to save the shop.
She has it all planned: She’ll arrive on December 1 and be gone by Christmas. Plus there’s always spiked eggnog to ease the pain. But “Humbug” Bailey’s not the only one home for the holidays. Finn Jacobson, legendary local bad boy turned Secret Service agent and Bailey’s long-lost high-school boyfriend, is once again the boy next door. Only this time he’s all grown up, and the sparks are flying faster and hotter than ever!
Bailey believes in true love about as much as she believes in Santa Claus. But as the holiday draws closer, she’s starting to think about one thing she’d like to find under the tree…
What I thought
This was one of those books that just wasn’t for me, unfortunately. Honestly, I wish I liked it more than I did. I loved the general idea of the story, but for me, the execution just fell through. I stress that this is just my own opinion because I really didn’t think this was a bad book. I just thought it was okay.
I think part of the problem was that I found myself unable to really connect to the characters. Objectively, I knew that it was the bad boy/good girl, both with trust issues, thing between Bailey & Finn, but I thought how it actually played out was lacking. Half the time, I got the impression that they didn’t even like each other, it was just about sex, so the “falling in love” wasn’t believable.
My biggest issue was Bailey’s lack of character development. She had a chip on her shoulder for the entire story & I get it–she has HUGE trust issues. But she doesn’t change throughout the whole novel & yet has this epiphany right at the end? I’m sorry, but I didn’t buy it. Also, minor annoyance–I really, really, really did not like the nickname GND. I don’t really know why that bothered me so much, but it did.
I hate to sound so negative. There were some things I did like. As I said before, I really did like the premise. It was cute & romantic enough to put you in the holiday mood with some naughty bits on the side. I adored The Perfect Christmas, and it made me nostalgic for the days I spent working in a a “‘Tis the Season Shoppe.” Plus, the occasional humor really helped to lighten up some of the more dramatic parts.
Overall, for me this turned out to be an “okay” read. A few issues, mostly lack of connection, kept me from loving this. But if you are looking for a simply entertaining story with some angst to put you in a Christmas mood, this might be the book for you.