Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella Andre ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Target audience: Adult/romance
Keywords: holidays, family legacies, romance, flashback
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley!
Summary: Before her family arrives for their annual holiday celebration, Mary relives the winter she met her husband and how their love story began.
The opening scene of Kissing Under the Mistletoe grabbed me right away. Mary is decorating her Christmas tree before her family arrives and is hit with the memories of each ornament she puts on the tree. It’s a great way for readers to get to know her kids (all featured in other books in this romance series) but also tells us pretty early just how much family and traditions means to her.
I totally get it. Tradition is one of the reasons I love Christmas so much too. My mom would always buy my sister and I new pairs of pajamas before Santa came (I now do this with my husband) or we’d watch the Disney parade on Christmas morning after opening presents. Small things like this make the holidays so special. And for Mary, the holidays also mark that special time, years and years ago, where she was about to end her modeling career and Jack, a handsome stranger, came into her life.
Theirs is a total whirlwind romance with Mary excited to move on from her career and Jack on the brink of success for a project he’s been working on forever: a Pocket Planner. It’s very fate-like when the two manage to be in the same place at once. Jack has one more chance to get his product off the ground, and Mary is exactly the personality he needs. Totally taken with Jack, she is anxious to help but also cautious of mixing business and pleasure. Since leaving her family in Italy to pursue a modeling career, she had done that one to many times and gotten burned.
I don’t blame her for protecting her heart, but it is so difficult when Jack is just a dreamboat.
Bella Andre’s latest wraps the miracle of the season into a fairy tale of sorts. Kissing Under the Mistletoe is more sweet than sexy (and that’s an okay thing), and I enjoyed watching these two get to know each other. (They share pie on their first date; how can anything go wrong?) I liked that Mary was so supportive of Jack’s dreams, and Jack so badly wanted Mary to reunite with her parents and heal those relationships. The story does tend to drag a bit (so much story and so much time is covered in these pages) but all the feel-good moments make this the perfect book for a season of miracles and romance.
Whether you are a fan of the Sullivan series already or just starting out like me, it’s nice to have the opportunity to get to know the matriarch of this family and learn how it all began.
P.S. I have to mention all the love for Singin’ in the Rain from this couple. One of my favorite movies!