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Seriously Serendipity Paperback – December 25, 2010
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About the Author
Kelley Hunter is the author of several short stories and novels. Her writings, including the books Seriously Serendipity and Tipping the Scale of Suckocity, have also placed in Romance Writers of America chapter contests. A New England native, she’s a wife, mom, and lackey to four cats. She's also an unrepentant cheat at mini-golf. Proceeds from her writing are always donated to charity. Always.
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**Potential spoilers below**
Camille, the heroine, goes to see Santa on behalf of someone else and gets into a fight with an elf. In front of kids. Because goodness knows, that is what well-adjusted decent people do. Santa is unaffected by this, it being the season and all, and instead of sending her on her way with a security escort, he settles her on his lap and gives her some mystical advice. On her way out of the mall, our darling heroine collides with our hero, Alex, who Camille believes was sent just for her. By the mall Santa.
Camille and Alex end up in the emergency room where they have their first argument. He's a stranger, so of course it's alright for him to pass judgement on how Camille handles her life and her finances. But all is not lost because Alex oozes good guy pheromones that let all the other females in his vicinity know that they can relax and trust in him because he's a Good Guy. The ER nurse who is treating Camille even takes his side in their little argument. Why? I don't know, since he is way. out. of. line.
I'm going with the pheromone theory.
Except it turns out that Camille really can't manage her life and has the emotional maturity of a twelve year old. Even her own grandmother has drawn a line in the sand with her. Through serendipity Camille finds herself at a bakery owned by...wait for it...the mall Santa, who somehow, through, I don't know, elfin magic, is able to see through Camille's thick layers of blech! personality to know that she is really a good person. Except she isn't.
Alex is working for his grandfather, who...wait for it...is the mall Santa and the owner of the bakery where Camille has just popped up out of desperation. It's a Christmas Miracle! And it turns out that Alex is an accountant, which explains why he is qualified and justified for lecturing Camille during a medical crisis.
Add in a best friend who is decidely not friendly--she comes across as a babysitter with a bad and far superior attitude, a shifty cousin who I thought was going to be gay, a foul-tempered elf who works part-time at the bakery with Santa, an unexplained but much remarked falling out between Alex and said shifty cousin, a love connection between Camille's grandma and...oh, go ahead and guess...it's really just the magic of Christmas!
The pieces of a good story are here, but they somehow manage to avoid clicking into place. Camille is entirely unsympathetic. She manages to create most of her problems and fails to learn from them. Alex is vanilla pudding, which is unkind to vanilla pudding. He is out of line and a bit pompous, but he feels entirely within his right to be this way with a stranger/potential love interest. They have lots of "misunderstandings" that are supposed to be hot, but they aren't. It's annoying and we never get to the real problem which is both of these people are terrible people who have issues and bad communication skills!
I read the entire book and I still have no clue why secondary characters kept telling Camille that Alex was such a good guy. But I guess that's okay because I am still clueless as to what all of the male characters find so charming and endearing about Camille. She is rude and mean and utterly un-charming. I don't even know if that's a word, but that's how detestable the character is!
After all of that, I still didn't hate it. I really wish the author had spent more time editing and revising because I feel like a good story is in there somewhere.