Blame the Mitletoe
by Dani Collins
Published on October 13th, 2014
by Tule Publising
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads
Liz Flowers has never enjoyed Christmas, but this one is shaping up to be the worst by far. She let her ex take her daughter to Mexico while she stays behind in a strange town, sitting her former mother-in-law’s high strung little dog. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, but this California girl doesn’t have much in common with the ranchers in small town Marietta.
Blake Canon perks up with male interest when he sees a new face at his friend’s Christmas cocktail party. His son is away and a light affair would take his mind off his financial troubles. Then he realizes he knows Liz. She was once married to the brother of his ex-wife.
Their children might be cousins, but Blake and Liz do the kissing—under the mistletoe. It’s the beginning of a new view of Christmas for Liz, but when their children arrive home unexpectedly, and family secrets are revealed, Liz isn’t sure she’ll stay in Marietta for Christmas after all.
Blame the Mistletoe is a short novel (novella?) only 100 pages long and my review will be just as short. Even though it is short it does pack a punch and it was very enjoyable.
As I said, the story was short, but it didn’t felt rushed because the main characters knew each other, or more accurately, they knew about each other. When they happen to be in the same party in Marietta, they recognize each other and a quick kiss under the mistletoe turns into something else rather quickly. Now, bear with me while I explain this family relationship: Liz’s ex and Blake’s ex are brother and sister; this makes both their children Petra and Ethan, cousins (and later, stepsiblings.)
Liz lives in California and she came to drop her daughter Petra in Marietta so she could go with her dad to his destination wedding. Somehow Liz gets cornered into taking care of her ex-mother-in-law’s dog. Liz is a bit shy and afraid after a bitter divorce, but she is resourceful, caring, and a great mother.
“He really was the cutest dog ever created, but he acted exactly like the rest of the Flowers; fussy, whiny, expecting to be serves and he never, ever picked up after himself.”
Blake is a rancher that is in financial trouble after another bitter divorce, the Flowers siblings are awful. He loves his son Ethan and tries to be the best father he can since he grew up with loving foster parents. Liz and Blake make a cute couple and the chemistry between them cannot be denied. I love that they supported each other and their decisions.
“Take me. Keep me. Make me yours. Be mine.”
The kids, Petra and Ethan are well adjusted teenagers and they take the new relationship between their parents in stride. I like it that they helped each other when Ethan needed it the most.
The writing is very good, straightforward, easy to read and insightful. The story, besides being romantic, is funny as well. It is nice that despite the length of the book, the story dealt with serious topics too and did it masterfully. I loved the happy ending a lot too.
“Welcome home, Liz,” he said, kissing her tenderly.
She hugged him tightly, eyes stinging, heart soaring. “Best Christmas ever.”
If you’re looking for a short story to put you in the mood for Christmas, look no further than Blame the Mistletoe.