Christmas Reading Challenge – 08 – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour – Lisa Kleypas

Delighted and excited to announce that @BookElfLeeds has a brand new reading challenge!

Jess had decided to seek out the Christmas Spirit in contemporary fiction. And like all good reading challenges; there’s a strict criteria to be followed. 

  1. The book must have Christmas in the title. 
  2. Some one has lost the Christmas Spirit.
  3. A Christmas Miracle will therefore have to occur.
  4. Some one will then regain the Christmas Spirit.

So please, make yourself comfy and enjoy the 8th review!

Who is in need of the Christmas Spirit?

The Nolan family of Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands, Washington State (which sounds like a beautiful place)

In what form does the Christmas Miracle occur?

Whimsical toy shop owner Maggie, who is in need of a teeny miracle of her own.

Ooff this one got me straight in the gut. I’ve clearly been reading far too many of these now, as I was completely invested in this short, easy to digest story.

When Victoria Nolan is killed in a car accident, her brother Mark is made guardian of her daughter, Holly. Mark is a confirmed bachelor, along with his brother Sam, living in their home town of Friday Harbor. This is a part of the world I’d never heard of before, but apparently there’s a load of islands off the coast of Washington state that are basically a mini-paradise of nature trails, vineries, whale watching, art and culture, all with that quintessential small-town-America appeal vital to a good Christmas yarn. I did find myself ideally looking up holidays there, it sounds just delightful.

Anyway, Mark and Sam try, bless them, but Holly, having lost her mum at the age of six, is a little bit lost and stops speaking. It is only when the wander into the new toy shop on the island and meet lovely shop keeper and magic-enthusiast Maggie that she begins to open up.

This for me was when the magic happened. I just LOVED Maggie. She’s got a super tragic back story and has lots of healing to do before she can fall for the handsome hero. I loved her toy shop, I loved her relationship with Holly, and I just fell for her.

Mark is a good guy thrown into a shitty situation of losing his sister and learning about love through adopting his niece, but, again, I just fell for it. I don’t know if it was the fact I’ve put my Christmas lights up and finished this book cuddled up on the sofa with them twinkling in the background but I found this short book utterly charming, and was delighted to discover through GoodReads it is part of a series, the first that I will definitely be exploring further. The best thing about this challenge so far has been discovering new authors I probably would have otherwise avoided, and turns out Lisa Kleypas has written a load of bodice rippers which I just love and will be requesting for my library shortly!

This book was made into the Hallmark movie Christmas With Holly (much cheesier title) in 2012, which also looks utterly charming, Sunday morning hangover whilst wrapping the presents viewing. Lovely stuff.


Listen to @BookElfLeeds and I introduce the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge – HERE 

Or just click here!

Review 01 – Nine Lives of Christmas

Review 02 – The Christmas Secret

Review 03 – Last Christmas

Review 04 – Lakeshore Christmas

Review 05 – Home for Christmas

Review 06 – Christmas Magic

Review 07 – Claude’s Christmas Adventure


4 thoughts on “Christmas Reading Challenge – 08 – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour – Lisa Kleypas

  1. Pingback: Christmas Reading Challenge – 09 – Christmas for One – Amanda Prowse | LeedsBookClub

  2. Pingback: Christmas Reading Challenge – 10 – A Redbird Christmas – Fannie Flagg | LeedsBookClub

  3. Pingback: Christmas Reading Challenge – 11 – Angels at Christmas – Debbie Macomber | LeedsBookClub

  4. Pingback: Christmas Reading Challenge – 12 – Maybe this Christmas – Sarah Morgan | LeedsBookClub

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