Varsity coach Mitch Holden thinks he’s seen everything until Scotswoman Emma McGregor steps out of her car, in a bridal dress and veil, and asks him where she can find a job. Mitch is stunned but directs her somewhere to stay… and finds himself unable to keep from checking up on her.
Emma McGregor has had the worst day of her life. Finding out her groom didn’t really want to marry her was a devastating blow, but Mitch and the town of Marietta reach out to her in a way she couldn’t have imagined. Nowhere seems to do Christmas like Marietta does.
But Mitch has secrets of his own. Everyone knows about the injury that tragically ended his promising football career, but there’s more to the story… Will the magic of Marietta sprinkle some Christmas dust on their broken hearts and help them find their happy ever after?
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
This book is another cute Christmas read from Marietta if – and it’s a fairly big if – you can get past the timing issue. See, Emma found out on her wedding day that her groom didn’t really want to marry her but was too spineless to back out. Unsurprisingly she wasn’t interested in a pity wedding, so she gets in her car and drives. After six hours she winds up in Marietta, where the first person she meets is Mitch, who she essentially starts dating within 24 hours.
In other words, everything in this book happens really quickly. Yes, it’s a novella and it’s Christmas, and if you can put all of that aside then great! Because Mitch and Emma are really cute together and I enjoyed reading about them falling in love. Or, rather, I would have loved it if Emma hadn’t just been rudely jolted out of a three year relationship with a man she was willing to cross an ocean to be with, who she was about to marry and spend her life with. Yes, there are extra mitigating factors in why her relationship broke down, but nowhere along the way does Emma say she didn’t love the guy. In fact, she basically just forgets him.
Which is all very convenient for the Mitch situation, but I personally didn’t buy it. Mostly I preferred to ignore the fact the wedding was even a thing, because everything happens pretty fast anyway, but when you add in that then Emma’s rebound is spectacular enough to cause whiplash. And no one worries about it! Not one person wonders if maybe things are moving too fast and that maybe what she feels for Mitch might not be real. Nope, instead there’s a whole other conflict over a different issue.
So, if you’re looking for something cute, with an insta-love storyline, and you don’t mind everything happening in a few short weeks, then you should love this. It has lots of Christmas cuteness and is all very sweet. I did enjoy it, but found the speed with which Emma moves on from her ex a little off-putting. Yes, he was definitely a spineless coward, but I would have expected her to have been a little more upset about everything – and Mitch to have been a tad more wary. Perhaps it’s best not to think about any of that too deeply and just enjoy the fluffy romance instead. If you think you can do that, then enjoy!
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