One little girl needs a familyOne rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
One single man needs a wifeThe last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister's will gives him the instructions: There's no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
Sometimes, it takes a little magic...Maggie Collins doesn't dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
...to make dreams come trueThree lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home….
©2010 Lisa Kleypas (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
First, I have to say that I bought this story based on Lisa Kleypas' past work, and while it was short, it did not disappoint. I wish it had been a little fuller-bodied, but it is what it is, and I enjoyed it. That being said, the description of this story is NOT AT ALL (or hardly) what this book is about. First of all, the main character's name is not Zachary Nolan, it's Mark Nolan. He's not a widower, and his "daughter" is not named Hallie, but Holly. Also, the "Dear Santa" letter is never read on the radio. As a matter of fact, I don't recall the radio ever even being mentioned in the story. As far as the listener knows, only Holly & her uncles Mark and Sam even know about the letter that she wrote as a school assignment.
Here is the Publisher's Weekly review of the hardcover - a much more accurate synopsis:
"Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon) finds a little romantic magic in this spritely charmer. Mark Nolan's happy-go-lucky bachelorhood is interrupted by the death of his sister and his subsequent guardianship of her six-year-old daughter, Holly, who is traumatized into muteness and desperately seeking a maternal figure. Enter Maggie Collins, a toy shop owner who lost her own husband to cancer. As the holiday season draws closer, Maggie, Mark, and Holly begin to spend more time together, and Maggie and Mark's attraction becomes too powerful to ignore. Kleypas's holiday offering is sweet, romantic, and genuine, and avoids, thankfully, all the cheesy holiday miracle clichés. A solid romance with strong leads, this is a refreshing holiday treat."
Waited for this modern book since I love all her books. But it is a short story. She does not build on the characters like usual. If you are expecting something like she normally does this will not be it. But if you want a simple, feel good, holiday book, then this is perfect. Reader does a good job.
After listening to some of LK's other contemporary novels (Sugar Daddy, Blue-Eyed Devil, etc.), I was enormously disappointed with this book. This is the kind of work you expect from a first-time author, not a seasoned professional like Lisa Kleypas. The story lacked the depth and feeling that LK is known for - I couldn't feel a connection with ANY of the characters which almost never happens, especially in stories that involve children. By the way, did the person who wrote the synopsis even READ the actual story? Someone really dropped the ball there...
This first installment does not bode well for the rest of the series.
I am a huge fan of romances and happy endings. I like books that take me away from everyday life and into the land of romance, some adventure and of course happy endings.
Not as detailed as I am used to from this author, Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors and I buy everything the writes. This is not one of my favorites but I did enjoy it.
I am so disappointed in Lisa Kleypas. I love her books and I love her contemporaries with their background stories behind the romance. This book has none of that. It seems like an outline of a book that maybe was written by a 15 year-old and was never fleshed out properly.
There are several tensions in the book that are unexplored, as if you're reading an abridged book: there is no complexity in the development of Holly, the 6-year-old who lost her mother at the beginning of the book; there is no explanation for the way Shelby/Mark's relationship develops; and the treatment of Maggie's late husband is too superficial for words!
Yes, it's a sweet story, but there is no proper development of the relationship to convince the reader how this has moved from attraction to love... no reason why Mark or Maggie's reservations suddenly evaporated for them to end up together... no tension... no story... no depth... nothing!
Kleypas should have made this a regular length novel and explored the depths of the characters, their backgrounds and their relationships to make this a more believable and worthwhile story. As it stands, it was a waste of time to listen to and ends abruptly.
To top it all off, I hated the narration. Tanya Eby has a nice voice, but she puts emphasis on every single sentence, even if it's something as simple as "she was wearing a red sweater" (seriously, if you've heard her before, you'll know what I mean).
Suddenly, it ended!!! I love Kleypas' way of building her character backgrounds making you fall for each and every one. However, I was hooked, then it just ENDED!!! Kinda like reading a 5th grader's first essay with lots of information but didn't include an adequate conclusion.
I did love that is WASN'T a historical.
I am a singer and Celtic harper specializing in the music of Scotland, where I go often to study and perform. I love romance books because I like a light hearted story with a happy ending!
A way too predictable plot and WAY too short (4 hours!) for the price. Wish I had saved my credit for something else.
I'm a book lover! I read, review, listen to, and hoard books :) I run a book blog, Book Savvy Babe, and am also a mom to 2 young boys.
Pretty good, not my favorite narrator, but the timing and delivery were very good.
Maggie was my favorite character, as performed by Tanya Eby. Tanya's voice sounded very close to how I thought Maggie would sound.
I loved this book, it pulled my heart-strings. I wasn't in tears, but it is an emotional read, in a good way.
Excellent read/listen. I highly recommend this book to romance readers, especially readers looking for a holiday romance.
A magical place.
Maggie was my favorite. Her relationship with her father was a great one. She wasn't selfish or afraid to reach out to a child and give her a little magic to help work through her grief. And it was amusing to watch her and Mark try to fight there attraction to one another.
I enjoyed the story more for the way she brought all the characters to life for me. I disagree with an earlier reviewer who doesn't like the narrator. Thank you Tanya I enjoy listening to you and have other books you have narrated.
Yes when Holly spoke for the first time to Mark and Sam since her mother's death.
This may help you decide to purchase the book I hope so for Lisa Kleypas dosen't disappoInt. This is a great start to what appears to be another wonderful series by Lisa. I can't wait to listen to Sam's story. Thanks to Lisa I have tried contemporary books for I only read her historicals, etc.
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