Sunday, January 3, 2016
Review: One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg
One Enchanted Christmas
By: Melissa Tagg
Despite being a mystery author, Maren Grant has an incorrigible romantic streak, and one magical December evening she met Colin Renwycke, the model gracing the cover of her debut...and her heart was lost. The character she'd imagined and sacrificed to bring to life on the page had a flesh-and-blood face and a charming manner, and after one snow-kissed date dreams of the possibility of romance with Colin took up permanent residence in Maren's heart. But one year later, with no follow-up date and a looming deadline, fearing her debut will prove she was a one hit wonder, Maren takes her craziest leap of faith yet. Remembering Colin's offer of the use of his family farm as a writing retreat, she shows up, hoping to spark story inspiration and reconnect with Colin. But she didn't expect no Colin, instead finding his brother Drew, determined to stake claim to the family's land and reunite his wayward siblings. Despite the unexpected family drama, Maren stays, and gradually her hope that Colin will return gives way to an unexpected contentment in Drew's company...will the last thing either of them wished for or expected be the greatest Christmas gift either has ever received?
This story has a charm that others of its ilk can only aspire to -- warmth, humor, swoon-worthy romance, and a dash of Christmas magic. I desperately need Hallmark to make this into a Christmas movie, because within these pages Tagg hits it out of the park on all fronts with a cinematic flair. Those who, like myself, love the Gilmore Girls, will find themselves comfortably at home within these pages as Maple Valley has all of the charm and quirkiness of Stars Hollow, and best of all, Drew bears a suspicious spiritual familiarity to one reticent, flannel-loving coffee shop owner/handyman. *wink*
Tagg's books have long been on my radar, but thanks to time and the ever-increasing height of my TBR pile, have yet to be read...but One Enchanted Christmas has left me more determined than ever to rectify that oversight. In less careful hands novellas can seem like afterthoughts, deleted scenes excerpted from a larger work without thought to how they are received as a whole. Happily that is far from the case here, as Tagg delivers one of the most well-rounded, wholly satisfying novellas I've yet to read. This is aided by her choice to use an unnamed narrator to fill in the missing scenes, adding an extra dash of humor, fleshing out the storyline, thus allowing it to remain within the length requirements of a novella. This is a story with warmth, wit, heart-rending family conflict, and a deliciously satisfying romance. Maren and Drew's enchanted holiday is an utter charmer, escapist fiction that captures the warmth and romantic possibilities of the season with a deft, irresistible touch. Hallmark, I hope you're listening, because I NEED this to be a movie next Christmas!
About the book:
Last December, mystery author Maren Grant had the most perfect night of her life. On a glimmering winter evening, she got to watch the photo shoot for her very first book and ended up on a magical date with the cover model himself—Colin Renwycke.
Fast forward one year. This December, with a looming deadline, restless spirit and her creative spark long since gone, Maren is desperate to get unstuck. And she can’t get Colin out of her head…or his year-old open invitation to spend a couple weeks writing at his family’s farm.
Drew Renwycke never planned to come home and take over the Renwycke family farm. But he’s spent too many years watching his siblings unravel, including his brother, Colin, after one terrible family mistake. If moving to Maple Valley, Iowa, renovating an old farmhouse and switching careers is what it takes to put the Renwycke family back together, he’ll do it.
But his simple plan upends when a scrappy author lands on his doorstep. And she just might be the key to coaxing his brother home. But what if he wants her all to himself? Drew will have to choose between his Christmas wish and the enchantment of a holiday romance that just might be the happy ending they all long for.