Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★☆☆
Reading Time: 4 minutes
ONE LITTLE GIRL NEEDS A FAMILY
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
ONE SINGLE MAN NEEDS A WIFE
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
SOMETIMES, IT TAKES A LITTLE MAGIC…
Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
…TO MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…
I just want one thing this year
Please don’t forget I live in Friday Harbor now.
Christmas. Yesss. This is the first year that I binge-read holiday books! We all love Hallmark movies (Christmas with Holly is one of them) so in between movies I would indulge in some of Lisa Kleypas’ magic.
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is the first book of the Friday Harbor series. You don’t NEED to read this one first because the books do well standing on their own, but all the little things that happen to Holly in the succeeding books have far more meaning if you read this one first.
This story is about three people who find themselves together against all odds. Without knowing it, they all need each other.
Holly, after her mother passes away, is being raised by her Uncle Mark. But Holly won’t speak… she won’t say a word. N-A-D-A. Mark is told that after she gets over the stress and shock of her mother passing, she will slowly start communicating again. After months of trying, she still won’t say a word to anyone.
Throughout the book, Mark is very cautious and we slowly start to see his relationship develop with Holly. Mark is almost cautious to an EXTREEME… He doesn’t want the young girl to believe in magic and fairy tales. He wants the girl to live a realistic life and make reasonable expectations about herself and other people. Good man… but kind of cold, dontcha think?? Sounds more like a business venture than raising a child. 😛
Mark and Holly go into a toy store run by Maggie Collins. This is where the magic happens! Maggie has dollhouses, and fairy costumes, and Holly immediately connects with her. This part of the book is hilarious because Mark literally stalks around the store making sure Holly is having fun, but doesn’t let her imagination get TOO out of control. Yikes, talk about overbearing!!
The most touching part of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is when Holly and Mark are at the toy store for the first time and Maggie hands Holly a conch shell and tells her that it’s magic.
Holly then takes the shell and starts humming into it while she roams the store and Mark talks to Maggie. Mark and Maggie are engulfed in conversation about a mutual friend when it happens.
Maggie’s brows lifted in surprise. “You know them?”
“There aren’t many people on this island I don’t know.” His eyes narrowed speculatively. “They haven’t mentioned you. How long-”
A little whisper interrupted him.
“Just a minute, Holls, I’m-” Mark broke off and went very still. He did a near-comical double take, his stunned gaze falling to the child beside him. “Holly?” He sounded breathless.
And this is where Mark and Maggie’s story begins. Mark feels this unbelievable bond to Maggie because of her connection to Holly.
In terms of Characters, Holly is absolutely my favorite. I’ve said in previous reviews that I don’t typically like when there are children in my romance novels, but I’m totally getting over that (LOL). I love Holly and what she contributes here.
I also love Maggie’s bond with Holly, but I didn’t connect with Maggie like I do with other leads in Lisa Kleypas’ books.
Lisa Kleypas has an uncanny way of developing her characters. Mark was so fascinating throughout the entire novel. Debonaire, cautious, and so serious. He is very practical and goes back and forth between marrying someone so Holly has a mother… even though his heart isn’t in it. It is so beautiful to see him give anything and everything to Holls. His life changes overnight and he willingly uproots his entire life for her. Augh. What a MAN!
When Maggie and Mark finally end up together… STAAAAHP!