Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"love at mistletoe inn" by cindy kirk

What if an impulsive decision you made as an eighteen-year-old came back to haunt you a decade later?

They've helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right?

Well . . .

Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.

I absolutely love the concept behind Love at Mistletoe Inn. The "secretly still married" trope is one I definitely enjoy. However, while I flew through this novella and think it would make a fantastic movie, the "in print" Hope seemed far too wishy-washy to me, and some of her actions didn't make sense at all. I think this is because the reader is privy to her secret thoughts and emotions, so when her actions contradict what the reader knows about her, she comes off as a bit flaky or indecisive, and that cuts down on her likability. (This problem likely wouldn't exist in film, as Hope's likability would depend on how the actress portrayed her.)

My qualms about Hope as a heroine aside, I did really like this story. I especially enjoyed Hope's aunt and her very obvious scheming to reunite Hope and John. Also, General Hospital viewers of old will appreciate the names of the couple whose wedding Hope has to plan.

Love at Mistletoe Inn has a compelling plot and makes for an enjoyable hour of reading. Though it's not my favorite of the Year of Weddings novellas, it's still pretty good. (And, thanks to the preview at the end, I now cannot wait to get my hands on December's installment!) 3 stars.

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Cindy Kirk sold her first book in 1999 as a result of a contest win which garnered a critique of the entire manuscript. She’s been writing—and selling—ever since. Cindy has been a Booksellers’ Best Award Winner, a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Awards and a Publishers Weekly best seller. Cindy has served on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 2007. In November 2014, she began serving as President of the 10,000+ member organization. She’s a frequent speaker at not only the national RWA conferences, but large regional writing conferences. She has also presented at smaller retreats and conferences across the country. She lives on an acreage in Nebraska with her high school sweetheart husband of too-many-years-to-count and their three “boys” (a shih tzu, a blue heeler and a dorkie). Their daughter lives close by with her wonderful husband and their two little girls.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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