Christmas Comes to Main Street
Series: Briar Creek #5
By: Olivia Miles
ISBN: 1455567183 (ISBN13: 9781455567188)
Author’s Website: http://www.oliviamilesbooks.com
Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
The mistletoe is out, and the gloves are off . . .
‘Tis the worst season to be single, but Kara Hastings won’t let a little Christmas funk spoil the festive season. Sure, running her own bakery is a little harder than she expected, but she can handle it. And she’ll prove it to a certain infuriatingly handsome, bossy Big City guy. She may be sugar and spice, but she can kick his butt twice.
Nate Griffin is in Briar Creek only for the holidays, and he refuses to fall for the whole “small town, candy cane-scented Christmas Wonderland” thing. He’s more interested in the fresh-faced cookie chef who always knows exactly how to get under his skin. So when Nate challenges Kara in the town’s big holiday contest, it’s not just the competition that starts to heat up. If he’s not careful, Kara won’t just melt his icy resolve against a small-town Christmas . . . she’ll melt his heart too.
WOW! Really that is all I have to say. Okay…for a book review, I know I will need to say more. ☺
I knew right from the beginning that I would like the book. You ask why? Well, the cover of course. I am a sucker for Christmas romance novels, but this cover was just simple elegance. Sometimes the understated is all that is needed. And as I read the story, this became abundantly clear. The story was easy to read, with a good flow, superb characters and a resolution that made me smile.
We begin with Kara working in her bakery thinking the following thoughts…then scolding herself as this is her dream…she wanted this:
“Each morning, when Kara Hastings tied on her crisp cotton apron and started her first batch of cookies for the day, she felt energized and excited, but by the time dusk fell, she struggled to remember what she had been thinking, starting her own bakery right before the holiday rush.”
Nate come into town for the holidays, to visit with his Aunt Maggie. We quickly get a sense of what a good guy he truly is – through the scene where he first walks into Aunt Maggie’s home:
“Aunt Maggie. He smiled warmly, taking in the familiar lines of her face, which had grown deeper since the last time he’d seen her. He was suddenly aware of how much time he’d let pass, and seeing how much his visit meant to her, he felt a wave of shame he couldn’t put it in check.”
During his stay, Nate is tasked with helping his Aunt Maggie decorate her home / Bed and Breakfast for the annual Holiday House contest. The grand prize is a front-page picture in the newspaper, $10,000 dollars and a write-up in a travel magazine. So this could be big for the Main Street Bed and Breakfast! Of course, with prizes like this, Aunt Maggie isn’t the only one that wants to win!
Each day for afternoon tea, Kara would deliver special cookies to the Main Street Bed and Breakfast. Due to a run in (literally), Kara and Nate meet. Unfortunately, the cookies did not survive. But there were sparks and as we say, the rest is history.
As Nate and Kara get to know each other, Nate convinces Kara that she should also enter the Holiday House Contest (great marketing strategy – so Nate says). My question early on of course was, but Kara does not own a house to decorate? She could decorate her bakery, but this might interfere with the running of said bakery. How she came up with a solution was just brilliant.
The progression of their relationship was slow and steady (the way I like it). Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way, and I waited on pins and needles to see if these hiccups could be overcome. I especially liked it when the non celebrating Nate slowly comes around with respect to decorating for the holidays. The following passage really surprised me and made me swoon for Nate!
“It’s part of the entire Christmas experience,” Nate said. “You pick it out, you carry it home. You decorate it. If I’m going to do Christmas, I’m going to really do Christmas.”
“You don’t mess around,” Kara remarked,
“Nope,” Nate said, his dark eyes intensifying their hold on hers. “I don’t. Life’s too short. If you’re going to do something, go all in or don’t bother.”
I love how the whole series has flowed….it truly is like I was living in Briar Creek. You get to know each main character and supporting characters are introduced as the main characters in another book. This last installment has definitely gotten me in a holiday mood. If you like holiday romances, then this book is for you. I look forward to the future and reading more books by Olivia Miles.