by Olivia Miles
Series: Briar Creek #1
Published by: Hachette
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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.
Mistletoe on Main Street is the first novel in Olivia Miles new Briar Creek series. As a big fan of holiday romance and small-town settings selecting this title was a no brainer. Set in Briar Creek, Vermont this second chance romance was sweet and I look forward to visiting again.
Espresso Review: small-town charm, second chances, family and a low heat made this a charming holiday read
Caffeinated Breakdown of Mistletoe on Main Street
World: This is the first in the Briar Creek series set in the picturesque town of Briar Creek, Vermont. Complete with covered bridges, snowfall, and a charming main street where everyone knows everyone. Yearly house decorating contests, school plays and charming little pastry shops…I am packing my bags.
Characters: The tale centers on Grace Madison, an author whose last book was a flop. She is heading home after five years away. She traded the love of her life for her big city dreams and suddenly they do not seem so glamorous. Luke Hastings was her childhood sweetheart, and the one who let her go. Luke has always known exactly what he wanted to do with his life but maybe he made a mistake. The two have baggage, and it was interesting to see them reconnect. Grace’s siblings will be the characters in the next books and I liked them both.
Plot: Like most small-town stories, there are several different threads. Grace’s mom is newly widowed and not quite feeling Christmas this year. Her youngest sister Jane is carrying a secret regarding her marriage and Anna middle sister, a successful pastry shop owner is feeling bitter. It was fun learning about all of the different characters in Briar Creek and I look forward to their stories. Miles did a nice job of weaving these side stories around Grace and Luke’s growth and rekindling romance.
Romance: This was a slow-burning romance, where both were afraid to make the first move. It created some banter, snarkiness, and some angst. While at times I wanted to lock them in a dark closet until they reconciled and while I struggled with Luke’s issues I enjoyed them both. I am not entirely sure that Luke’s issues worked, and at times, it made him unappealing. However, the chemistry between them felt genuine and the bumps to my HEA were worth it in the end. This was very low-heat and will appeal to a large audience.
Caffeinated Conclusion: Are they a favorite couple? Not at all, but the town and siblings have me wanting to continue. Mistletoe on Main Street was a satisfying holiday read and I look forward to returning to Briar Creek with, A Match Made on Main Street. It will be Anna Madison’s story and releases in April 2015.
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