Series: Briar Creek #1
Published by Forever on September 30, 2014
Source: the publisher
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Sleigh bells, snow, and second chances . . .
Briar Creek's quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of--for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father's death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter's night.
Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life?
Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it's time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles is a huge win for me because I love small-town settings, second-chance romances, holiday stories, and companion series. I love basically everything about this story. I’m excited that I caught this series as it is beginning (and at holiday season, FUN!) so I can keep up with each release in real time. You guys, this is pretty much EVERYTHING I love in a fun, flirty romance.
Writer Grace Madison is on her way home for the holidays when she finds herself stranded on the side of the road…in the snow. WOULDN’T YOU KNOW the first person to pass by would be the one guy she never wanted to see again – Luke Hastings! He pulls up, looking handsome, and Grace’s feelings of holiday cheer turn to dread instantly. She should’ve known she couldn’t have slipped into a town as small as Briar Creek without bumping into the ex-love-of-her-life! Grace knows she will be reminded of everything she gave away, everything she doesn’t have, and everything she wished was hers. Just like the Knight-In-Shining-Armor that he always was, Luke gives her a ride, and she joins her family for the festivities…except…everything in Briar Creek seems to be different.
When Grace arrives at her mother’s home, she notices right away that there are no decorations – SUPER ODD – and that there is some awkward tension oozing off of her sisters. What did she expect, really? She fled town five years ago, after she and Luke broke up, and vowed never to return to Briar Creek. And MAN OH MAN, she really hasn’t returned. Okay, well, she may have come back a time or two – but that’s it! She wasn’t there for big birthdays, to see her niece grow up, when she published her first book. Sadly, she also missed most of the end of her father’s life. She hasn’t been around to help pick up the pieces of that loss. And no one has forgotten it. And life has gone on without her. And it just isn’t the same.
And she has no clue what has happened with Luke.
I started reading Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles earlier this morning and read throughout the day. I walked around with my Kindle in my hand. I worked in my kitchen with my Kindle in my hand. I took more “breaks” than necessary because I was so invested in the story of Grace and Luke, separately, but also together. (And I was VERY invested in the relationships between the siblings in this one.)
Grace is one of those characters that left her small town life, probably speeding and never looking back. The thing about that is that now she is ready to settle down and…she wants to come back. (THIS IS ME. THIS IS ME. I JUST DID THIS after leaving my hometown 15+ years ago and it feels incredible.) Grace is fiesty and independent, but better than that: she is willing to admit that leaving wasn’t the best idea. She realizes that she missed out on SO MUCH while she was gone, and she is ready to throw herself back into small-town life with her family and her friends, and she wants to find herself a place again. I love Grace and her thinking process and the way she willingly admits that her plans need to change a bit. She is stubborn but not overly-plucky, and she has the perfect amount of “go-getter” in her to do some pretty big things that not only help her but her family too.
And Luke Hastings, the love interest. The ex-boyfriend that everyone thought she would marry! OH YES, I’ve read about this particular guy before, see, but the thing is: as long as this guy is written well and he is a good guy – I will NEVER get tired of reading about him. Luke has been dealt some blows since Grace left town. Interestingly, the whole town knows about his life – small town life! – but Grace doesn’t, see. SHE LEFT, so it kind of serves her right to not be privy to all of his past hurts, right? Well, Luke has to work through working out his issues, and he is vulnerable as a character because it is hard for him. You guys, it is HARD to move past hard things sometimes. It is hard to lay some things down and move on, and this is where Luke finds himself – can he move beyond guilt and pain in order to rekindle a new life with Grace, the girl he used to love and likely always did?
I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT.
I love the other things in this book: the Christmas-ness of everything, the small-town atmosphere, the family on both Grace’s side and Luke’s side, and the fact that the book isn’t necessarily centered completely on Grace and Luke. Author Olivia Miles has taken a little bit of time to set us up with characters that are probably, most likely, please-please-please going to be the objects of forthcoming books in this series, so by the time we get to read their stories and backstories, we are already connected to them. There is one couple in particular – hello there, tension! Not sure why these two have a history, but it is there. The things that these two DON’T SAY are quite loud, and I want to know what they are. I’m holding my breath for the next book in this series…
A holiday story is a fun way to start the Briar Creek series! I’m excited to have read this first installment – this is exactly the kind of holiday story that I like. Today, when I read this, it just happened to be a little chilly in my house and I found myself bundled up more than normal, and this reading was PERFECTION. This book calls for snow, hot chocolate, and blankets OR if you aren’t in a snowy area (like me), it is STILL great holiday reading and I highly recommend it for this year’s holiday list. Plus the cover is really cute, which is always a plus.
I recommend Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles to fans of holiday stories, second-chance romances, great family/sibling relationships, and companion series. This is what I consider a perfect holiday story and I will most-likely read it during holiday seasons to come. I will CERTAINLY be continuing with this series as the books are released.