Blame It On The Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels
Published by St. Martin’s
Publish Date: October 14, 2014
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon
’Tis the season for small-town Missouri boutique owner Brooke Abbott to get crafty. Much as she adores making art for art’s sake—decorating windows, designing ornaments, crafting the perfect present for under the tree—this Christmas she needs the gift of good customers. Lots of them. Sweet Opal Studios will go under if she can’t do some serious business before the New Year…and she has no time to lose. What Brooke needs is an honest-to-goodness miracle. Instead, she finds a burglar lurking in the back room of her shop. And here she thought the holidays couldn’t get any worse!
Or maybe things just got a lot better. Turns out the burglar is none other than Alex Coleman—local bad boy slash legendary heartthrob, childhood best friend to Brooke’s older brother, and…future landlord? That is the question. He’s come home for the holidays to see his grandmother, make peace with his distant mother, and settle his grandfather’s estate, an estate that includes the building that houses Sweet Opal. What he never expected was to bump into a grown-up Brooke, whose spirit, charm, and irresistible good looks give him pause. Should he go back to Oregon as planned, or give small-town life a chance? The only thing Alex knows for sure is that before he walks out that door, he’s going to get Brooke beneath the mistletoe, where anything can happen… (Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I’ve been on a serious holiday-reading binge lately and I LOVE IT. I picked Blame It On The Mistletoe partly because it is a standalone by an author that is new to me and also because I fell in love with the cover.
Here is a list of what I enjoyed about this book:
- Brooke Abbott. Owner of Sweet Opal Studio at the 100 Main building in small-town Preston, Missouri. Brooke is single and not really looking to start a relationship – she is focused on her building her business. As the story begins, it is Thanksgiving Night and Brooke is working late at the store, making preparations for what she hopes will be a big sale weekend, when she hears noises in the apartment located over her store. Turns out the “intruder” is Alex Coleman – the guy of her high-school dreams! But why is he creeping around the building?
- Alex Coleman. Alex is in town for a few days at the request of his grandmother. He planned on staying in the apartment over Brooke’s store while he was in town, but he didn’t realize that Brooke already lives there! Alex’s grandmother owns the building, so he thought it would be better/easier/cheaper than trying to find a hotel room during the holiday season. OH WELL! Alex is awesome. He is ex-military, rugged, outdoorsy…but he thinks he is in town for a few days and then back home to his regular life. Alex never planned to be swept off of his feet by Brooke Abbott!
- Small-Town vs Downtown Big-City Charm. The main setting for this story is Preston, Missouri BUT there are pieces of the story that take place in nearby Kansas City. I loved the small-town storefront presence that flowed the story as Brooke and the other shopowners worked to promote business for one another. I also loved the way that the Downtown Area of Kansas City was so well-represented: There is a scene in which Alex takes Brooke on a dinner date to Kansas City – it reminds me of being from my own small town and traveling to nearby larger towns on date nights.
- Crafting/Supporting Local Business. I do not craft. I am not a crafter. I am also not a business owner. However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Brooke is and that she is so in love with the career path that she chose. She is self-taught, self-made, and she works her butt off. She is working hard to create a life doing something that she enjoys: making pretty things. She teaches crafting classes in her shop so other people can hopefully find joy in it too. This story takes place at a time when Brooke’s business really needs to start taking off so she can start to feel a little more solid in her decision to open her business. The author writes in several instances of ‘supporting local business’ and I think that is so awesome.
- Repurposing. Brooke not only creates new art, she loves repurposing and making old things look pretty again. She creates displays in her store so people can learn how to do the same thing. One of the best parts of this is that repurposing makes no sense to Alex. He understands Brooke’s love for creating, but he finds it harder to grasp that she sees beauty in what he considers junk. It’s very cute and makes for a few smile-inducing conversations.
- Family Relationships. I love great family relationships just like the next person but this book took a different approach to that: There are a couple of family relationships that are reconnected and rebuilt after being strained for many years. I LOVE THIS. Not only is there a budding and growing romantic relationship, but there are family relationships that are healed. WIN.