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October 15, 2019

Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Emma strolled through the East Village and admired the lamposts wrapped in red bows and the shop windows littered with fake snow and tinsel. Most of her friends fled New York City during Christmas, but Emma adored Manhattan during the holidays. Fifth Avenue flooded in lights was so romantic, and she could stare at the cashmere sweaters in the windows of Barney's for hours. (pg 1)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

October 2019; St. Martin's Griffin; 978-1250315915
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); holiday romance
I was looking to see what new books were out from authors that I had read before but hadn't read anything from since and I ran across Anita Hughes's new novel Christmas in Vermont at NetGalley. I read Monarch Beach back in 2012 (read my review) and while the plot wasn't something I cared for, I loved her writing style. Since I love Christmas stories I thought this one would be a good bet.

I'm glad I read this book in my forties instead of in my early 30s when I was still pining for love during the holidays. Now that I prefer my single life, I could appreciate the story without getting all morose.

Emma can only keep a relationship going for 364 days when she finds some reason or another to end the relationship. Usually, it is because she knows a proposal is coming and she realizes she doesn't feel that strongly for the person. This Christmas instead of vacationing in Hawaii she is pawning the bracelet her now ex-boyfriend gave her. At the pawnshop, she spies a watch that looks just like a watch she gave her college boyfriend for graduation. Except it isn't just a look-alike. It is the same watch, including the inscription on the back. But how did it wind up in a New York pawnshop when he had moved to London right after graduation?

Emma's best friend decided to play matchmaker. She finds out Fletcher is in Vermont for Christmas and books a room for Emma. Of course, the romance isn't straightforward as there are plenty of obstacles between the two of them, namely a little girl and a fiancee.

At first, the story reminded me a bit of the movie Serendipity with a dash of A White Christmas thrown in. I smiled when I realized that a Vermont inn was in financial trouble and a Broadway director was going to help save it. Well, it is actually his 9-year-old daughter who decides they need to help save the inn.

I'm kind of wondering if 9-year-old girls are going to be a thing this year in Christmas stories as this is the second one I read this month featuring a little girl.

Lola is fabulous. In some ways, she is mature beyond her years (probably the result of living in London with two highly successful and creative parents). Though she maintains some of the childhood fears (will I still be loved when my parents, who are divorced, have a baby with their new spouse?) and wonder (live reindeer, snow, sleigh rides, all the Christmasy stuff).

While there are obstacles in the way, its nothing too difficult to overcome so there is just enough tension to give the story some depth, but stays light enough to be a really great holiday romance novel. The plot is straightforward and predictable, but the characters are enjoyable (I hope to see them again). Plus the snowy setting will make it feel like Christmas (even if you are in the south like me where it is just as likely to be 80 degrees on Christmas day as it is to be cold and wet).

I was right when I said it was a good bet. So put it on your Chrismas reading list.

Buy Christmas in Vermont at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. I downloaded a copy of this and hope to read it next month. Love Vermont!

  2. Sounds like a perfect read for the holidays.

  3. I've enjoyed this author, and I love the excerpt and description of the book. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. pretty cover. funny how we change as we grow older. glad you enjoyed the story
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. I love New York City at Christmas time, and I was born in the East Village. Will have to take a second look at this when I'm in the mood for a holiday read.

  6. This sounds really good! I love NYC any time of the year, but especially during Christmas. I love all the Christmas window displays.