Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition
The second holiday love story in New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans’s Mistletoe Collection.
At thirty-two Kimberly Rossi, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Burlington, VT. Deep inside Kimberly knows she’s at a junction in her life and it’s time to either fulfill her dream or let it go. The other reason she decides to attend the conference is because famed romance writer, H.T. Cowell, once the best selling romance writer in America, and the author whose books instilled in her the desire to be a writer, will be speaking in public for the first time in more than a decade.
In one of her breakout sessions Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, and one of the few men at the conference, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat. As Kimberly begins to open up to him about her stories and dreams, she inadvertently reveals her own troubled past. As Zeke helps her to discover why her books fail to live up to their potential she begins to wonder if he’s really talking more about her life than her literature. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes that Zeke has his own darkness, a past he’s unwilling to talk about.
The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.
My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, THE MISTLETOE INN started a bit depressing. Kim's mom commits suicide, she makes multiple relationship mistakes, and then her dad is diagnosed with cancer. I'm thinking ugh. This is not a feel good story. BUT then it picks up. Kim's dad pays for a conference she really wants to attend to meet her favorite author, H. T. Cowell as well as maybe get an agent to look at her manuscript and represent her. And then the story picks up. Add quirky writer, Samantha, who befriends Kim upon arrival, an accident in the fitness room where she meets Zeke, and the story can only fly. Add a bunch of information for aspiring authors that you need to know, a lot of fictional truths about story, and marriage advice that just made me cry it was so beautiful and you have one of those rare stories that draw you in and keep you engrossed, entertained, and engaged for the length of the book. One of those rare stories that you read from start to finish and never mind your to-do-list, because there is nothing more important than a book break. I loved this story (once I got past the unhappy beginning) and highly recommend it. 5 stars.