Part of His For The Holidays Anthology)
Owen McKenzie has traveled to Vermont to spend an old-fashioned Christmas with his family when he finds himself staying at the same inn as his first love. Owen is disconcerted to realize he’s still attracted to Caleb Black but refuses to pursue him. Caleb left him once, and Owen’s not going down that road again.
Caleb is ready for a second chance with Owen and gets it when fate and the matchmaking McKenzies conspire to strand the two men in a rustic cabin during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. Can Caleb convince Owen to rekindle their romance so they can stop spending their holidays apart?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Mistletoe at Midnight is the first story of the His for the Holidays anthology but also sold separately. LB Gregg delivers another adorable and entertaining story filled with warm sheets during winter chill. The pacing is very quick and the novella is over before you know it, creating a perfect length to get readers interested and then satisfied. Fans of Gregg and even newcomers will likely enjoy this offering.
The story starts from Owen’s first person perspective. As a vet in a new town, his family has come to spend the holidays at a nearby inn. Little did Owen know that his match making mom would deliver some holiday mischief. Also at the inn is Owen’s ex-boyfriend and as if that’s not enough Owen’s very first boyfriend is there too. Life is about to get sticky for Owen as he travels the potential emotional mine field while attempting to have a Christmas holiday to remember with his family.
LB Gregg knows how to deliver a quirky and adorable story. This is no different. Owen and his crazy, affectionate family are somewhat over the top but not enough to frustrate or alienate readers. The story relies heavily on coincidence and set ups that aren’t necessarily realistic but they could be in a stretch. I could see where the story was going and while I didn’t buy into it, I could enjoy the wit and charm of the characters anyway. Owen’s family is slightly ridiculous from his embarrassing mom to over the top brother but they’re also exactly like a family that doesn’t have the same boundaries as others. No one knows how to embarrass you quite like family and in many respects the story captures that mixture of affection and exasperation.
The characters are well developed and feel genuine. There is a bit too much emphasis on Caleb and Owen’s past, which is as much of an angst riddled issue as it’s set up to be. Again, a lot of this plays into the coincidences and actions of others which may not always be realistic. Yet if you can get past that issue, Owen and Caleb have good chemistry and no real reason not to get together. Since Owen is the first person narrator, his thoughts and emotions are clear and very open. Caleb is definitely less so but clearly interested in Owen so you know the two will get together.
This is a nice take on the “one that got away” second chance at love theme. Gregg offers some great humor and a lot of warmth and charm to the story. The chilly Vermont setting comes across so well you almost want to be next to a fire while reading and the sparks between Owen and Caleb are sure to warm you up. The pace is very quick and the story is never dull or slow. Instead you easily read this in one sitting and finish it satisfied. I’d easily recommend this one for fans of Gregg as it has all the great strengths of the author and those new to Gregg’s great comic timing and humor, which is not to be missed.