Donna Hatch, $2.99
Historical Romance, 2011
- Wear a fancy masquerade mask.
- Lure Michael Cavenleigh under the mistletoe at his mother’s masquerade ball.
- Kiss him.
- He will immediately realize that she is his soulmate and they will live happily ever after.
What can go wrong? Evelyn has everything planned.
Well, there’s her childhood friend Colin Stratford. After Evie fell through the ice during a skating accident, he realizes just how much she means to him. He cannot sit by and watch her marry another man, not when she is his entire world!
So he leads her to think that he’s Michael in the ball, kisses her, and she’s like oh scoundrel. Alas, that’s the power of a kiss – one taste and she knows that he, not Michael, is her soulmate, so it’s happily ever after for them. I guess these two have better not kiss other people much in the future, or there may be trouble in paradise some time later.
So yes, Mistletoe Christmas isn’t a particularly dramatic story. The kiss can be seen coming from the moment I begin reading, and let’s face it, the whole “the kiss is everything” plot only works in the context of a traditional regency story, of which this one certainly is, because anything beyond a kiss will send the traditional regency reader into a swoon.
The whole thing works, though, beautifully.
She let out a small cry of outrage, then dissolved into laughter. This was Colin. Her playmate, the one who’d taught her to swim, the one who’d comforted her when she’d been frightened of the dogs, the one who’d pulled her out of the ice at his own peril, the one who’d kissed her like a man in love.
The man she loved in return.
She’d just been too blind to realize it. He’d always been there, her friend, her confidant, her comforter.
He kissed her again, this time without a mask, without pretense, without guile. He was simply Colin. Her friend. Her love. She immersed herself into his kiss and the whole world faded away until there was nothing but Colin, his warm, masculine, woodsy scent; his soft, insistent lips; his gentle, strong hands.
The narrative is simply done, yet so lovely and heartfelt at so many places, that I find myself sighing softly at how adorable the whole thing is. The characters are so unabashedly open about their feelings, with Colin being so earnest and Evie so naïve and relatable at the same time. The conversations just make the characters here even more charming, and reading this story is akin to attending a nice tea party with good friends.
Hence, in a way, Mistletoe Christmas is a three-oogie story on paper, but it gets an extra oogie from me just for sweeping me off my feet with its feel-good romantic atmosphere. A hot guy, a sweet romance, and one happy reader—now that’s what I’d call a happy ending for everyone.