Gingerbread Mistletoe by Amy Aislin

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

The last thing Jeff wants is to spend time with the man who totaled his car—the one he spent years restoring with his late father. But if he wants to resurrect his childhood town’s annual outdoor hockey tournament, he’s got no choice.

The last thing Mika wants is to work with the guy who took off right after the accident, without ensuring he was okay. And working together on organizing Jeff’s proposed tournament sounds like a complete nightmare. He’s got enough on his plate after surviving cancer.

Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together, but is that enough for them to set their differences aside and pull off the tournament in only two weeks? Or will they prove to be immune to the magic of Christmas?

Review

Gingerbread Mistletoe is the second installment in Amy Aislin’s Lighthouse Bay Christmas series. Jeff’s is aimless over the holidays and finds himself back in his hometown of Lighthouse Bay. He didn’t think he’d run into the actor who he had gotten into a wreck with in Los Angeles, Mika. Mika is in Lighthouse Bay, recuperating from illness, but is fully immersed in the inner workings of the town. He’s the heartbeat behind the holiday market and Jeff needs his approval to start the hockey tournament he remembered from his childhood back up.  

            I’m a sucker for holiday themed romances. It was fun to revisit Lighthouse Bay and catch up with the characters from book one and to see Mika’s redemption story. I had such a dislike of him in the first book, I was surprised that he quickly became one of my favorites. He was charming, sweet, and kind to everyone he crossed paths with, even when he was beyond busy with making sure the market ran smoothly.

            Jeff, I felt his character in my bones. It’s hard to know what to do with yourself when you go from busy beyond belief to endless time on your hands. I liked seeing him give back to his community and the enjoyment he got out of it. He may have been a businessman, but he was giving. The way he wooed Mika, oh it was adorable. I knew what he was doing with the first inflatable Christmas yard decoration he sat out in Mika’s parents’ yard. He kept at it, even after he got his man.

            I had fun getting lost in Lighthouse Bay and in the joy that the holidays bring.

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Christmas Lane by Amy Aislin

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Five out of Five Stars

Summary: It’s recent college graduate Zach Greenfeld’s favorite time of the year and he’s just received a temporary gig planning Lighthouse Bay’s Christmas parade. Not only does it speak to his penchant for organization, it also puts him face to face on a daily basis with his unrequited crush–Holland Stone. But his new job starts off in disaster when the most important float–Santa’s sleigh–gets damaged.

Holland needs to win the Lighthouse Bay Christmas parade float competition in order to grow his new dollhouse-making business. The prize is an article in a major city newspaper, and nothing beats free advertising. Except, eager to help the adorable parade organizer, he volunteers to help fix Santa’s sleigh, leaving no time to work on his own float, and putting his prize at risk.

Damaged floats, snowstorms, and a last-minute parade emergency force Zach and Holland closer than ever. All they need is a little bit of Christmas magic to help them realize they belong together.

The Review

I would like to start this review by giving it heart eyes and happy snuggles. It’s exactly what I needed to get me into the holiday spirit.

Zach is a recent college graduate and he’s ready to find a job that doesn’t include working at his family’s restaurant with his sister as his boss. Holland is fifteen years older, has bounced from job to job trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and is attracted to man who he once taught in primary school. They are thrust together when Zach gets put in charge of the town Christmas parade and Holland is building a float and eventually more.

Holland was kind. In a way you wouldn’t expect people to be any more. As their relationship progressed, Holland talked to Zach about what he wanted and needed. Zach is portrayed as a possibly Ace, but more like demisexual (In my opinion). And Holland respects that. Eventually they progress to more. Their kisses were pretty swoon worthy. There isn’t any on-screen sex scenes, but it worked for their story. They didn’t need explicit scenes.

Zach was a cautious when it came to Holland. How could he, of all people, be what Holland is looking for in a partner? Especially, when Holland dated men like Mika and Clark in the past. Zach has his quirks and Holland lets him do his thing. I loved that. He didn’t tease Zach for having multiple calendars or having certain ways he did things. They supported each other. I found it adorable that Holland took care of Zach in the little ways he could.

Through all the issues that crop up like ex-boyfriends, roofs caving in, endless car trouble, and figuring Christmas out, Zach and Holland make it through it all.

Another plus, the secondary characters were just as engaging as Zach and Holland were. I have secret hopes that Dev and Clark might get their story told next. This is definitely a holiday read that I will be revisiting yearly.

 

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