Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery ( web | tweet )
Part of the Fool’s Gold romance series.
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: romance, holidays, small town, family
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!)
Summary: Noelle is in the prime season of her new holiday store in Fool’s Gold, and army doctor Gabriel is “home” for the first time in forever to spend the holidays with his family. Thanks to a snowy road, the two become fast friends when Gabriel decides to take a part-time job at Noelle’s store during his time in town. After a rocky few years, Noelle feels ready to fall in love again and it would be easy to after experiencing Gabriel’s kindness and sense of humor. But with his time in FG ticking away, is it worth the chance?
Christmas shops, hunting for the perfect tree, window decorating contests… these are a few of my favorite things!
It’s a little too early to be writing letters to Santa or stringing the twinkly lights, but the joy and the happiness of the season? As far as I’m concerned, there is never a wrong time to be reading about it. Fool’s Gold is the quintessential place to spend the holidays: the warm people, the festive activities, and, of course, the brilliant white snow.
I’ve been so anxious to know Noelle’s story since meeting her in earlier books (opening a Christmas store is kind of a dream come true and I automatically felt like we could be friends) and she was more like me than I thought. She could not drive in the snow, she loved beer and pizza, and she was highly competitive when it came to decorating. Since leaving her job as a lawyer and practically picking FG out of a hat for her next destination, she has been lucky enough to find supportive and fun friends, and start a successful business. But with her friends falling in love all over the place, she can’t help but feel a little wistful. She would love to find someone.
Gabriel couldn’t be more opposite. As an army doctor, he’s seen terrifying things and has no choice but to take a break for the next few months before deciding to re-enlist. He never imagined he’s been in such a fairy tale town like Fool’s Gold, seeing his twin brother in love with a kid of his own, and hanging out with his parents once again. Though pressure from his dad to remain in the army and too much “togetherness” forces him to apply for work at Noelle’s store. He’s surprised when he genuinely likes it (even the old ladies who want to stare at his butt) and finds a friend in Noelle.
They tease each other, spend time at holiday events together, and at one point, find themselves stuck in a cabin in the middle of the woods together during a snowstorm. I absolutely could not wait to see what would unfold between the two, and I was not disappointed. (It was especially nice to see that Noelle was not someone who would sell herself short, no matter what, and she was adamant about living life to its fullest.)
Did I mention there were kittens? Lots of kittens.
Despite some scenes that felt too similar to those in previous Fool’s Good books, Christmas on 4th Street is a real treat whether you are looking for a little holiday pick-me-up or a story where two deserving people decide to take a chance on one another.