I'm a very bad blogger. I should have had Marie Landry's book read last year before Christmas, instead of in January. Not only that but I should have written the review right away so it'd be ready to go for this holiday season because I should have known there would be issues and I'd have a broken laptop to contend with! Alas, here we are a few days before Christmas and I'm finally reviewing a few of the holiday themed books I've read this year. I may be delayed but I'm still going to tell you that you must read The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I loved it! It's a novella so you definitely have time to read it before the big day. Plus, it's just 99 cents so you really can't say no to that.
Here's the synopsis:
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right? At least that’s what twenty-year-old Ginny Bailey’s grandmother always told her, and Ginny believed it until Grama died. She even put on a brave face the following two Christmases, carrying on Grama’s traditions and decorating her house and café with Grama’s favorite decorations.Unlike some books that take place at Christmastime, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year really does centre around the holiday. The magic of Christmas, not just the day, is really present, which I adore. As hard as it is for Ginny to celebrate the holiday without her Grama, she still goes all out and celebrates the holiday as her Grama would have wanted. Plus, the whole town is full of Christmas cheer - a little bit like Stars Hallow, in fact. Yay, small towns!
But Ginny can’t pretend any longer. When she finds out she’s going to be alone for the holidays this year, her Christmas spirit goes out the window, along with her luck. Everything that can go wrong does, and Ginny just wants to spend the holidays hiding under the covers...until Dean Riley comes back into her life. With their shared past, old feelings begin to resurface almost immediately, and Ginny thinks Dean might just be the Christmas miracle she’s been waiting for to help her remember why Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
My heart hurt for Ginny. On top of having to spend yet another Christmas without her Grama, her parents (who were never really parents to her, having had her when they were just 18), decide to leave on a last minute vacation. That's what not to do when you've already abandoned your child once, fyi. I knew Ginny was strong but I worried that she'd struggle with the holiday even more. I really wanted to reach through the pages and give her a big hug!
I love Christmas books and I love second chance romances. Put the two together and you have one happy reader. I adored Ginny and Dean together and couldn't wait for them to figure out they needed to give a relationship another try. Their relationship is just so sweet and I loved reading as they figured out their rekindled feelings for each other.
I also love books where the heroine owns her own business. I'm not sure why (today's not the day for a psych analysis) but I do. Perhaps it's because she (usually) immediately comes across as a put together woman who is doing what she loves. That's not always the case but Ginny (who technically doesn't own the cafe yet) thrives in the cafe and has big dreams for it. When I first read about her plans to expand, I immediately wanted to hop into the pages of the book so I could help her reach her dreams.
Finally, can we just talk about this cover for a moment? I may have swooned the first time I saw it and I'm still in love with it today. The image is just so very pretty!
Like I said, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a novella so it won't take you very long to read. Go buy it for your ereader right now and you'll have it done before you open your stockings. Marie Landry is so talented! I really need to read more of her books, like, immediately!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*