CeeCee’s Countdown to Christmas! The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans

 

I’m not ashamed to admit that the Hallmark Channel movie inspired me to read this holiday-infused romance. The movie wasn’t half bad and I like a plot centered around aspiring romance novelists. Also, I love the idea of spending a week at a writer’s retreat nestled in a snowy, Christmassy village replete with roasting chestnuts, twinkling lights and snow-capped mountains. Oh how sweet would it be to pound away at my keyboard in a cozy little room amidst a winter wonderland backdrop….sigh.

But I digress..lets’ get back to the story, shall we? Do I need to tell you that the book is better than the movie? Didn’t think so. While reading the book, I really connected with Kimberly because she’s a total daddy’s girl and a struggling aspiring writer. We’re basically soul sisters.  Her only flaw is her taste in men. How could such a smart, big-hearted girl waste her time on so many cads with blatant personality disorders? I just don’t get it. Either way, she’s a girl after my own heart, but maybe that’s because I, too, am a hapless, aspiring novelist.

I also really loved the sweet father-daughter relationship. Without a mother, Kimberly’s world revolves around her dad, who would sacrifice just about anything to make sure she fulfills her lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. The movie sort of touched on this, but of course Hallmark has to keep a laser focus on the contrived romance. Plus there were a few pointless silly antics thrown in the works, like Zeke lugging around a ginormous antique typewriter. Why? Is this a ploy to make him look like an authentic writer? Don’t even get me started on their first romantic encounter. In true Hallmark Channel fashion, Kimberly and Zeke mindlessly tumbled over each other and started bickering like an old married couple. Thus begins the love-hate relationship antics…snore. Also, why did the movie have to paint Kimberly as a blundering idiot? Are women more lovable when they’re constantly tripping all over themselves? I don’t get why this is a thing.

Thankfully, Kimberly is much more poised in the book. My only gripe is that this grown-ass woman turns into a crybaby when someone has the gall to critique her writing. When Zeke, her writing group buddy—and love interest—told her in the kindest way possible that she needs to develop her characters, she just about lost it. Does she not know the definition of the word “critique?”

Aside from that little snafu, I still rooted for Kimberly all the way. Whether or not she ended up with Zeke, I could care less. But I was pulling for her writing career and hoping that her father was right when he kept saying “our best years are still ahead of us.” 

As for the “surprise twist,” I’m a little confused. Was this really meant to be a surprise bombshell? Eh, whatevs. I was mildly amused nonetheless. I highly recommend the audiobook to anyone who needs a light, brainless distraction while wrapping presents or battling that zany holiday traffic.