by Christie Ridgway

December 2006
ISBN: 0-06-114020-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Author Christie Ridgeway’s latest book Must Love Mistletoe will touch the sentimental part of many reader's hearts. In a story that is somewhat reminiscent of It’s A Wonderful Life, Bailey Sullivan must save the family business.

Here the similarities probably end. Bailey’s family doesn’t run a bank being threatened by the town ogre, but instead owns a store called The Perfect Christmas. It’s a business that is known as an institution in the town of Coronado, California. Bailey’s grandparents owned the business, and when the time came her mom took it over.

Bailey’s mom, Tracy is the reason Bailey has to be back in Coronado during the holiday season. A time of the year that Bailey definitely despises, and thinks all will be better off without. Instead of being full of the spirit of giving Bailey might be thought of as the Grinch who stole Christmas. She’s running the business because her mom is emotionally incapable of it due to issues in her marriage. Bailey is doing it reluctantly and instead of counting the days to Christmas, she is counting the days until she can run back to her life in Los Angeles, far away from The Perfect Christmas, and the memories of her childhood.

Instead of being able to run away from the memories Bailey ends up running smack dab into them, in the form of a now grown Finn. Finn and Bailey were at one time more than neighbors when Finn would be visiting his grandmother on those extended vacations.

Each now has had ten years of experiences behind them, and their emotions resemble icicles more than sunbeams. Will they be able to co-exist next door? Will those old emotions come rushing to the foreground and melt faster than ice cream in the summer?

It took me awhile to read Must Love Mistletoe, and I really wanted to hit a character or two over the head! I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish this book, and feel like I was going to get the happy ending I was so wanting. All in all there’s only one loose end that I wasn’t happy with, and look forward to revisiting Coronado in Ms. Ridgeway’s upcoming release.

Reviewed in December 2006 by Sandi.

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