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Estelle: Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella Andre

Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella AndreKissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella Andre ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 384
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.

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P.S.  I have to mention all the love for Singin’ in the Rain from this couple. One of my favorite movies!

December 10, 2013 - 12:00 am

Kissing Under The Mistletoe | Bella Andre | Book Review - […] Blog – “just like a hot cocoa in the winter” Rather Be Reading – “wraps the miracle of the season into a fairy tale of sorts” Paulette’s Papers – “a lovely tale of how this interesting family […]

November 4, 2013 - 5:34 pm

Alexa Y. - This sounds like such a lovely little Christmas read! It’s always a wonderful idea to revisit the traditions you had during the holidays as a child, and that is what this book makes me think of too, based on your review. I also love that they love Singin’ in the Rain!

October 24, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - As a fan of the Sullivans and Mary, I’m happy to see her get some love! I am glad this one’s more sweet than sexy though. I can’t say I want to see a lot of action from Mary and Jack, haha. Is that ageist? Oops. hehe Great review, Estelle!

October 24, 2013 - 2:43 pm

Lauren - This sounds so sweet and charming! I love when romances are mixed with the excitement and traditions of Christmas. I’ll definitely check this one out as we get closer to the holidays. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

October 24, 2013 - 9:56 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - So . . . this couple loves Singing in the Rain? That’s my all time favorite movie. Seriously, I can’t imagine anything better than that. I love Jean Hagan as Lina Lamont. She’s hilarious. I read somewhere online that her accent was based on a Syracuse Accent. I think it must be true somewhat, because it’s very easy for me to imitate her, and I’m terrible with accents.

ANYWAY, I have been wanting to try out Bella Andre’s books. I’ve heard great things about them. I really want to get into the adult romance genre again. I used to read them ALL THE TIME a few years back, but then drifted into the YA category, and really haven’t come up for air.

I love holiday books, too. This is an oldy, but a goodie, but have you read the MacGregor Brides by Nora Roberts? It’s a collection of three short stories/novellas and they all take place around Christmas. I love the last one with Julia. It always puts me in a Christmas mood.

October 24, 2013 - 9:43 am

Meg - Sounds like the perfect cozy read for Christmas! It’s funny how much I crave gentle stories at that time of year . . . stories I might otherwise avoid or cast aside are eagerly picked up during the holidays. Sounds fun, and definitely agree about tradition: the best part of the season!

October 24, 2013 - 9:17 am

Ginger @ GReads! - So is this one told in flashbacks? If so, that might be interesting to read. I love Christmas traditions too. The pajama thing must be popular because my mom did the same thing with us. We’d get to open one gift on Christmas Eve and they were always a pair of new PJs. So my sisters and I would put them on & sleep in them that night. I do miss that tradition.

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