Title: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Year Published: 2010
Number of Pages: 190 pages
Date Read: 1/8/2011
Series: Friday Harbor #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Some Kissing)
Whenever I was reading some of Lisa Kleypas’ works, I was always reading her historical romance novels. Well, I just stumbled upon not only her most recent novel to date, but the first contemporary romance novel I have read from her and it is called “Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.” Be prepared to see Lisa Kleypas’ romantic world contemporary style!
One night, a six year old girl named Holly lost her mother, Victoria, in a car accident and ever since the accident, Holly has never spoken a word to anyone. Because Victoria is not around to take care of Holly anymore, Holly is sent to live with her handsome yet shy Uncle Mark Nolan, who has no idea how to take care of Holly. However, Mark soon starts to bond with Holly and tries his best to take good care of Holly. Later on however, Mark meets a beautiful and optimistic woman named Maggie Conroy, who had recently lost her husband to cancer a year ago and she and Holly seem to take a liking to each other. Is this the beginning of a new friendship between Mark and Maggie or will this relationship sprout into love?
This book was more like those cute little Christmas specials you see on television than an actual romance story since it is more focused on the characters’ background stories about their past lives rather than the romantic aspect of the story, which makes this one unique contemporary romance novel. This is not your typical romance novel as it focuses more on the trials of having an adopted family and trying to feel loved again, which I thought that Lisa Kleypas had pulled it off extremely well. What I really loved about Lisa Kleypas’ writing was that she was able to show the audience Holly’s reaction to her mother’s death as she did not speak to anyone and that part of the story was extremely powerful and moving to me since I cannot imagine what the death of a parent can do to a child. I found myself growing attach to Holly as a character since she is such a sweet little girl who went through so much after her mother died and I always sympathized with her situation since I would have felt the same way that Holly did when her mother died, but every time I see Holly’s happiness towards the middle of the book, my heart just melts for her! Now let us move onto the hot couple of the story! Oh my goodness, the best part of this story was Mark Nolan himself as not only does he have one muscular and hot body (which I love) but he has a very sweet and passionate personality that makes him one awesome character. Even though Mark had no experience with taking care of children, he truly cares for Holly and would do anything for her. Another character I really loved was Maggie as she was just as sweet as Mark is and because she also lost someone dear to her which was her husband, her loving relationship with Holly was heartwarming and believable that I just loved every minute that Maggie spent with Holly. From the beginning of the book, Mark and Maggie were meant to be together and what I really loved about their relationship was the fact that they just casually told each other their problems in their lives without feeling uncomfortable near each other.
The reason why I gave this book a four star rating instead of a five star rating is because while Mark and Maggie have great chemistry together, I wanted to see more intimate moments between those two so that this book would be more interesting in the romantic aspect of the story.
All in all, “Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor” is like a romance fan’s dream come true whenever they want to read romance novels during the holidays and I am definitely looking forward to reading Sam and Alex’s side of the story in the next books of the Friday Harbor series! Anyone looking for a good contemporary romance novel check this book out!