Sunday, January 1, 2017

Book Review: All I Want for Christmas is You (Fate with a Helping Hand, Book #1) by Lisa Mondello

Book Review:

All I Want for Christmas is You 
Fate with a Helping Hand, Book #1
Lisa Mondello

Book Information:

KindleFile Size: 1354 KB
Print Length: 200 pages
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
ASIN: B005KDG236

Goodreads Description:

Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Santa Claus is going to have a rough season... Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter Kristen, she has done a pretty good job for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That's why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn't Santa's bag.

But this Santa has a plan...

Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful Real Estate developers in town.

Building a house is easy. Building someone's trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.

Goodreads Link:

Amazon Link:

My Review:

A chance encounter was a mall Santa turns single mother Lauren Alexander's world upside down.

All Lauren's daughter, Kristen, asks mall Santa for is a daddy, except that type of gift isn't within Santa's purview to grant.  Kyle Preston, the man behind the white beard and overstuffed costume, really feels for the little girl on his lap asking for Santa to bring her a daddy this Christmas.  A product of the foster system as a pre-teen, Kyle has been both the neglected kid without a constant father figure and the welcomed son to a wonderful new set of loving parents.  He hates that he can't grant Kristen's wish but explains to her as best he can that he probably can't bring her a daddy on this short of notice.

When Kyle leaves the mall and sees Kristen's mom stranded in the parking lot, he offers to assist her.  Unfortunately, Lauren freaks out.  She's been able to trust anyone for many years so when a stranger offers to help her with her car, she's automatically skeptical of motive.   Her daughter's father left her and her parents shut her out of their lives, all when she needed them the most.

Drawn to both Lauren and Kristen, Kyle invites them both the annual Christmas tree lighting.  From here the invitations for Lauren and Kristen to attend Preston family functions continues.  Lauren is comfortable with Kyle and his family but she's not comfortable being in a relationship.  Her attempts to dissuade Kyle could have chased a lesser man away but he proves to Lauren that she can trust him and he's not going anywhere.  

This is the first book that I've read by Lisa Mondello and I wonder why I waited so long.  I grabbed a copy of this book off of Amazon in 2012 and I just read it.  The book is fast paced and I found it easy to get absorbed in the story.  The author does a great job with the character development and world building.  We have to have enough of the back story for Lauren to understand her behaviors in the present day.  We also need Kyle's back story to put him in perspective, too.

This story is sweet and hopeful.  It's full of love and tenderness but also skepticism and uncertainty.  Lauren's ex and her family have done a number on her and she's unable to look past the hurt until she meets Kyle.  Their connection is instant and written realistically.  I was able to connect to the characters on an emotional level because they were written so well.  

Their relationship moves along pretty fast over the holiday season so if you're not into insta-love then this probably isn't the book for you.  The book, story, and timeline work for me because I met my husband online in July, we met face-to-face in August and went on several dates, and I moved in by September.  We waited a year to get engaged, however, and another year to get married.  We've now been together for just over 9 years and married for just over 7 years.  It can happen people!

Anyway, if you are looking for a fast-paced holiday romance with a sweet 6 year old, a moody teenager, a distrusting and lonely woman, a hot Santa, and a crazy but happy family, you should definitely check out All I Want for Christmas is You.

My Rating:

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