I wanted to love this book. Just look at the cover, it’s gorgeous! This was my first novel from Janna MacGregor, and as this is the fourth book in the series, I knew I ran the risk of it not standing alone well. For the most part, I wasn’t lost and I understood, basically, how everyone was related or knew each other. Unfortunately, I spent most of the book either annoyed by the characters or their actions.
Let’s start with the positives: I loved Janna’s use of language. Her descriptions were lovely and the prose was romantic. I can see why so many people enjoy her books and I will absolutely try another one in the future. I also liked how sweet the hero was when he wasn’t super depressed.
Now for the negatives: In general, I’m usually pretty good at suspending my disbelief with historical romance. It’s absolutely fiction, but this story stretched the bounds of my belief a little far. The heroine is left home alone by accident on Christmas (a nod to the iconic holiday movie) and basically uses that as an excuse to prance around by herself the majority of the book and make poor decisions. I like how self-assured the heroine was, but honestly, some of her choices made me want to shake my head, or maybe shake her.
Since I didn’t read the previous novels in the series, I didn’t get a chance to see how “bad” the hero was before he began his redemption arc. To be honest, nothing he did seemed that bad. To me, he was a weird mix of an Eeyore (he was super depressed and had no friends) and a lothario. He switched between these two personalities abruptly, and we spent a little too much time in his head. On top of that, I never really cared about his redemption.
Overall, because I couldn’t enjoy the characters in a character driven story, I didn’t like the book. Luckily, I am in the minority with my opinions about this story. It wasn’t for me, but many, many people enjoyed it.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**