Book Review: Lisa Kleypas’ Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor

Posted April 17, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1)Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Friday Harbor, 1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First in the Friday Harbor romance series based on an island outside of Seattle. The couple focus here is on Mark and Maggie with Holly as the catalyst.

My Take
A tragic start for a delicious end! Kleypas sets a village scene where everyone knows everyone else and tucks in a fairytale of a toy store and the tragedy of loss. Together, it comes up as a tale of love and gain.

The Nolan brothers have no idea what a great family life can be like while Maggie knows nothing else even if it still leaves her lonely.

I love this paragraph:

“Something happened to you, they discovered, when you were given the unconditional love and trust of a child.

You wanted to deserve it.

Everytime I read this, it makes me cry…

Oh, I want the fairy dollhouse…it sounds too cute for words. Then there’s the old Victorian the brothers begin fixing up, building ties between each other.

I so enjoyed the banter Sam brings to it as he teases Mark about his attraction and the unexpected approach used for seduction—too funny and sweet. And Renfield…oh, man, how can you not love someone who wants a Renfield!

Yes, it’s clichéd, but, oh-so-sweet. I almost want to start reading it all over again.

The Story
It’s their sister’s death that dumps young Holly on two single brothers. Brothers who had vowed never to marry…not after their home life growing up!

Now, it’s instant family and neither Mark nor Sam have a clue. Except for the one phrase in Victoria’s note: “Just start by loving her…”.

The trauma of losing her mother has caused Holly to clam up and it’s been six months since Holly has uttered any word at all until she meets the magical Maggie.

The Characters
Victoria Nolan is a single mom doing so well with her daughter Holly. Her brother Mark has started up a coffee roasting business, Sam is developing Rainshadow Vineyard, and their not-so-happily married brother Alex intends to pave the entire island.

Maggie Conroy has been a widow for the past two years and recently opened the Magic Mirror on San Juan Island. Elizabeth works for Maggie and knows everyone on the island.

Shelby is Mark’s girlfriend over on the mainland.

The Cover
The cover is a very Christmasy Friday Harbor with the lines of pleasure craft outlined in white fairy lights and colored ones along the shore with the snow-capped mountains rising up behind the intervening firs. The sky blends from a blue-purple to a soft red-violet and out again onto the waters.

I liked the touch of the Christmas star in the sky forming the dot of the i in Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. A perfect title for its conclusion.

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