No Mistletoe Required  by Jeanette Murray
Carina Press (Nov 2012) | Ebook, 71 pages

Contemporary Romance

Here’s the thing, I love Christmas, I love romance and I’m not adverse to a nice dose of cheese. No Mistletoe Required has all three in spades. It’s a light, quick Christmas read, but at the same time it does have a slightly sad undertone.

Our hero and heroine are in charge of setting up a grotto for sick children in hospital when they meet. But, Dan our hero suffered a terrible tragedy at Christmas when he was a boy and has never celebrated it since. And, Anna, a recovered cancer sufferer herself has her own demons, and is determined to make Christmas special for the children.

The chemistry between Dan and Anna is instantaneous, even if there is a strange interlude where Dan confuses her for a college girl. It’s hot, it’s sexy and it’s certainly fun, despite the sad backdrop.

I really enjoyed watching Dan transform from a Christmas grump, to embracing the season, and also the kindness he shows to the poorly children as the true meaning of what they are volunteering for sinks in.

Anna is feisty and determined not to fall in love for another year until she is given the all clear from her latest cancer scare. Naturally you crave for them both to get their happy ever after.

A problem I had with reading it, is there is a real cheesiness to the writing, which while most of the time it was fine, on occasion it tipped over into cringe territory.

For example:

“Please tell me you’re going to play “Hide The Candy Cane” with that fine specimen of man.”

Also, I didn’t really get the whole sexy Santa thing, which seemed to really appeal to Anna. This is her comment after watching Dan dress up and do fake belly-laughs for the children:

And, she had to admit to herself, more than a little erotic. The laugh and the attitude that went with it were doing things to her. And, oh God, she was totally hot for Santa.

Hmm not sure it did anything for me!

In general, this is not my kind of thing and I found it broke the spell of the writing when it occurred, but I think this is probably more about personal taste than anything else.

Also, my other comment is that the ending ended up being tied up far too quickly. I felt like the big decision about their relationship was made when a big part of Anna’s life was revealed and then it was the end, without fleshing out and properly concluding the story. But this is often a problem in novellas for me. I think this is more a short story problem, than a big issue.

VERDICT:

This is the third Christmas book I’ve read this month, and while it was probably my least favourite, I still enjoyed it. With good characters, a spirit of Christmas message and a sexy hero. There’s nothing like a bit of seasonal, feel-good fun. This book is ok if you don’t mind a side of order of cheese ;-)

RATING:

JEANETTE MURRAY ONLINE
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Laura

A self-confessed bookworm who's favourite genres are urban fantasy, horror and a good love story with a sexy supernatural beastie. Also has a bit of a handbag fetish… actually, let's not mention the handbags; they seem to be breeding!

2 Comments


carol December 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I enjoyed this one a little more than you did. I actually found the cheesiness funny.

Reply

Laura December 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I knew it was probably me, as I can see how this would work for some people, I think it’s more about my sense of humour! I still enjoyed the book though :)

Reply

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