I will admit, I was terrified to read her contemporary novels just because I didn’t think they would live up to her beloved historicals. Contemporary romance isn’t a genre that I read often and so there isn’t much for me to compare this to, but nevertheless, this book charmed me to my toes!
Mark Nolan lost his sister in a car crash and was thrust into the world of parenting without warning. Handling six-year-old Holly was the last thing on his to-do list. As if cooking and cleaning wasn’t enough, little Holly chose not to say a single word to anyone, scaring Mark to the point where he questioned if she would ever speak again.
Kleypas has a way of making me love all her characters. Mark was SUCH a great guy! He was charming and funny. He was persistent, but never overbearing. And even as his other relationship crumbled, he was still optimistic about that failed relationship, never regretting any of the events. Mark Nolan was just an all-around good guy, the kind that made this book so easy to love.
Maggie is such a sweetheart. Being a widow for two years has stripped some of her hope from her life. But there was still a spark inside her that Mark saw and the two of them had unbelievable chemistry! And although there’s not a lot of steamy sex in this one, their conversations are just as passionate. I especially loved the conversation about coffee. So unbelievably cute!
Then there is Mark’s younger brothers, Sam and Alex who need to have their own books! Sam had the best sense of humour and Alex was already showing some growth as a character.
Holly, of course, was the light of this book, overcoming a personal barrier that had nothing to do with her selective mutism. In the beginning, she asked Santa for a mother, one that wouldn’t replace Victoria. But another one that could guide her through life and I thought Maggie fit that role from their very first encounter with one another.
Christmas Eve at Friday Habor was a book that warmed my heart. I loved it, and if you’re wondering if Kleypas’s contemps are worth the read...THEY ARE! Everything that I loved about her historicals was in this book. It was perfect!