Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour (Friday Harbour, Book 1) Paperback – Nov 1 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoy Kleypas for her in depth character developement and willingness to address difficult yet common issues via her characters, both in her historical and modern books. In past books the reader is provided the opportunity to really engage with the characters and the detailed, emotional writing allows the reader to actually perceive and feel with the characters in the book.
This book provided shallow dull emotionless characters who seemed to come together in the end of the book only because it is expected in a romance book.
This felt like a re-release of a first novel attempt rather than a well written book by an experienced author.
Harsh, I acknowledge, but I don't appreciate the feeling of being taken advantage of, especialy given the premium kindle price, short length, and complete downgrade compared to the writing from other Kleypas novels. I just bought this one automatically based on previous books but won't do so again.
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is the first release in Lisa Kleypas's new Friday Harbor series. Although the storyline reads like a novella, there is just enough information imparted to the reader, to allow for the continuation of the series. As an introduction storyline, it was short, easy and followed the typical contemporary romance genre- reluctant attraction, a hidden secret and an untimely death or two. But overall, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor will warm your soul, any time of the year.
Mark Nolan is suddenly a father. When his sister is killed, leaving behind her 6 year old daughter Holly, Mark is named guardian and now has all the responsibilities of a parent. Along with his brother Sam, they jump into parenthood feet first- hoping they do not fail. But a bachelor's condo is no place to raise Holly, so he moves in with his brother Sam to Friday Harbor, in San Juan Island. But Holly has refused to speak since her mother's death, and her uncles are powerless to help.
Maggie Conroy is a young widow, who enjoys life and her family. To keep active and in touch, she opens a children's shop in Friday Harbor, hoping to forget about the past and move forward. A chance encounter with one of the Nolan brothers, has her heart beating faster and her mind whirling with erotic ideas of lust and relationship. But it is the sadness of 6 year-old Holly that tugs at Maggie's heart. Hoping to make a connection with the young girl, Maggie enters into a conversation about fairies, and without realizing, opens the floodgates that time has kept shut. Holly begins to speak, and makes a lasting impression with the beautiful woman with curly red-hair.
Mark is stunned to realize he is attracted to Maggie.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is a light romance about 3 brothers who live on an island. The Nolan men have had a troubled young life. Christmas for them is just another day. But tragedy strikes when their only sister dies in a car accident and she gives legal guardianship to her brother Mark. A single guy in his prime Mark doesn't know what to do. He persuades his brother Sam to share responsibility. But their niece Holly has been traumatized and can't or won't speak since the accident. That is until the owner of a new toy shop named Maggie Collins gives Holly a magical shell. Holly seems to bond with Maggie immediately. Maggie and Mark find an undeniable attraction but Mark already has a girlfriend named Shelby and Maggie is recovering from her husband's recent death from cancer. Their emotions are conflicted. Shelby would be the perfect mother for Holly. Maggie feels guilt over finding another man attractive. Both are in a transitional period but can't seem to stop thinking about each other. Will they overcome their obstacles?
This was a soft and sweet romance. There was once sex scene and it was very tame. Although short the 2 characters do have a real connection. I loved how they flirted and their conversations together were fun to read. Both are decent people who are unsure and don't want to cause the other person pain. I really liked how they respected each other and were good people from the beginning. However, I have enjoyed the author's other contemporary books a bit more probably because she has more time to develop the couple's relationship. So the only problem for me is that this book's price is rather high for one that is ~ 200 pages long.
This is a story fans of Christmas and those who like Debbie Macomber books will enjoy. Heartfelt and joyous, it definitely brings holiday magic!
To start with, it's way too expensive for how short it is. If I was paying $5 for a category romance from Harlequin, it would have been a 5 star read. At almost $16 for the full price hardcover, it's just simply not worth the price. It's barely over 200 pages of larger type. There's just not enough to it.
The story has merit, true, but it read way to rushed at the end. There's build up, but then suddenly it all wraps up and it's over. For the majority of the book (more than 1/2 the pages) the hero isn't even available! He's dating someone else. Then all of a sudden he's not and they're together. It felt rushed to me.
If this had another 100 pages to it, the story might have been more believably developed. As it is, I was disappointed to pay so much to get so little. Even for a holiday book, it's just not up to Lisa Kleypas's usual best.
It's the story of Mark Nolan who becomes guardian of his niece Holly after his sister dies in a car accident and Maggie, a widow, who has moved to the island after the death of her husband.
I must have teared up at least three or four times while reading this and I absolutely loved it. What I've always loved about Lisa's books are how real and alive her characters are, I was pulled right in to the story and couldn't put this down until I had finished it. My fingers are crossed that Mark's brothers get their own stories, I think this is going to be a series.
It's a sweet and wonderful story, full of joy, magic and happy tears. Highly recommended!
Many others reviewers have remarked on the low page count, large font, blank pages, and exorbitant price (in Puerto Rico this book can only be bought at Border's for the full price of $16.99 + tax). I think that the problem is due precisely to the length of the book. It is too short to satisfactorily develop the plot and characters.
The romance is very slow to start, which would not be a problem if the book was long enough to allow the relationship to grow and develop. As it is, once the romance is "established" it is rushed and the story seems unfinished and incomplete. The one intimate scene is very superficial and tame. There is nothing wrong with the setting, the characters, or the plot, the book just needed two hundred additional pages to be fully developed.
One minor detail: on Thanksgiving morning Maggie flatirons her hair and later that day Mark touches her riotous curls. I expect and deserve careful editing at this price point. For the next books in the series, I'll wait for the paperbacks.