My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Mistletoe Promise” was released this week by Richard Paul Evans, popular novelist and author of bestsellers such as “The Christmas Box” and “Grace.” While I’m probably not in his target demographic, I’ve read several of Evans books and I enjoy his writing. He’s a good storyteller and creates characters that draw you in. I feel that Evans’ books have a sentimental charm and a sense of hope.
From the official description of the book:
“Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.
Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:
1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day
The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.”
Elise has been hurt in her past and carries a lot of shame and self-loathing. But her heart is softened by Nicholas. She’s a pessimist and even when things are going well, she seems to always have a sense that the good situation will inevitably turn sour.
If I had to give a criticism, this book reminded me of a previous book by Evans and it was a bit formulaic in places. But the characters and empathizing with where they are is what makes the book compelling.
It’s also an extremely fast read that will leave you with a sense of optimism. For me, I know this book came at the perfect time.