One Enchanted Christmas: A contemporary small-town inspirational romantic novella (Enchanted Christmas Collection Book 1) Kindle Edition
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What to say about this lovely story? Well, first off, I love the her writing style! The descriptions are so unique, but so completely appropriate and give life to words on a page. And the details she continues to include just add even more depth to the town and the characters therein. I also really liked the narrative style to the story. It was quirky and funny, but so completely Melissa. It allowed the book to span a decent amount of time without the story feeling rushed or forced. It also allowed her to fill in gaps quickly, keeping it at novella length.
Maren and Drew are such compelling characters and I really enjoyed their story. Both of them are trying to figure where they belong, while fighting insecurities and questions about if the path they’ve chosen is the right one. I can definitely relate to them and I had to love how audacious Maren was in finally stepping out and chasing the question of “what if?” She made me want to follow in her footsteps, especially if they led me to Maple Valley, too.
Drew is the serious one, who feels as though the whole world rests on his shoulders, or at least the responsibility of his family. I think he wants to fix everything that’s wrong and maybe the past, while he’s at it. But everything he’s trying just keeps coming back at him. He wants to help, but doesn’t know what to do next. I could also very much relate to this and I’m sure many others probably can, as well. I enjoyed watching Maren pull him out of his shell and really get to know him. He needed someone to help shoulder his burdens and she was the perfect person to do that.
Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about the story. Which, if you typically read my reviews, you’ll know that’s rather uncommon. I’m a nitpicker, but not this time. Melissa has done an excellent job with this book and I can’t wait for her next one! Though the word “novella” generally leads me to think a light story without much depth, Melissa delivers so much beyond that expectation. This story has depth, a seriousness behind the light moments that made me stop and think more than once. And despite my being a bit of a Scrooge, I adored this Christmas story!
I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
When Maren arrives in Maple Valley she's met by several surprises. Colin isn't there, and in fact his family hasn't seen or heard from him in quite some time. Not since he and his brother Drew fought over the future of the farm. Their niece is a huge fan of her work and insists that Maren stay and write anyway, so she settles in for a couple weeks to see what happens.
Drew Renwycke can't believe that this author showed up looking for Colin after one date a year ago, but then Colin has always been smooth with the ladies. Drew wants to get back to his family roots, to carry on the tradition of farming that has been in his family for generations. He'd love to see Colin home for Christmas, but that isn't likely with the way they parted. However, for his sake as well as Maren's, he decides to reach out and see what happens.
This is a very sweet novella that includes a fun narrator who likes to pop up and give her opinion every now and then. It gives the story a fun, informal feel even as it deals with big issues like regret, family problems, and dreams for the future. There's also a nice toe-curling romance and enough twists in the plot to keep you guessing. I really enjoyed this little story and it goes well with Melissa Tagg's other Maple Valley stories. If you haven't started reading Melissa Tagg yet you should - she's a delightful writer.
Having started in on Melissa's new series with From the Start I was able to relate to some of the familiar scenery. I loved her incorporation of some of the characters from From the Start but yet her ability to make One Enchanted Christmas its own story.
I easily fell in love with Maren - hello, fellow writer here! And Drew was just an awesome character. As tends to happen with novellas, I ended it wanting more, but yet feeling 100% satisfied with their story too. Oxymoron...maybe.
One thing I did notice was Melissa's use of a "narrator" to comment on a few things. Though I loved the story, I did find myself slightly taken out of the story when the narrator came to chime in. Personally, I would have liked to just let Maren and Drew show me what happened. Then again, I did like the style the narrator took - conspiratorial and conversational in the best way. It was a clever way to gain more information in a short amount of time so I "see what she did there" :)
All in all - a MUST read novella by the talented Melissa Tagg. You'll love it as well as her other books!
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