Title: The Christmas Village
Author: Annie Rains
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
USA Today bestselling author Annie Rains returns to Somerset Lake, North Carolina, with a heartwarming Christmas story about a midwife and her ex-fiance who face high stakes when they must team up to compete in the neighborhood house decorating contest, in this trade paperback that will help get readers in the holiday spirit.
Once upon a Christmas, she gave him her heart. This year, he’ll have to win it back again . . .
When Lucy Hannigan returned to her childhood home in Somerset Lake, one of the first things she did was join the local book club. And thank goodness, because now that Lucy’s first Christmas without her mother is bearing down upon her, she can use all the help and support she can get. Especially when she has to take in a tenant and the only person interested is Miles Bruno, her ex-fiance.
Lucy’s friends keep teasing her about the way Miles is trying to make up for his mistakes but forgiving and forgetting isn’t coming easily to Lucy. With bills piling up and her mother’s finances in disarray, however, Lucy isn’t in any position to say no.
As the small town prepares for the holidays and competition heats up in the Merriest Lawn decorating contest, Lucy can’t help feeling like a Scrooge. Her mom loved the holidays and won the contest each year, but as much as Lucy would like to carry on the tradition, she isn’t sure she has it in her to deck the halls this holiday.
Yet when Miles shows up with tons of tinsel, dozens of decorations, and lots and lots of lights, Lucy begins to wonder if maybe the spirit of the season will finally mend her broken heart.
The Christmas Village by Annie Rains is the second book in the contemporary romance Somerset Lake series. As with a lot of romance series the main characters have changed with the common theme among the series being the setting of the stories, Somerset Lake, North Carolina. With a different couple in the stories the books can be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so.
It’s been almost a year since Lucy Hannigan returned to her hometown of Somerset Lake and unfortunately she had to do it under horrible circumstances. Lucy’s mother had become ill and passed rather quickly and while Lucy struggled with her grief she also found herself struggling with the bills her mother had left behind. Lucy’s plan of taking on a tenant to help hadn’t gone well so far with no interest.
One night Lucy thinks there is an intruder so she calls the police for help. Of course the one person to be sent to Lucy’s rescue just had to be her ex, Miles Bruno. Miles couldn’t help but notice the for rent sign and when he finds himself in need of a new home he asks Lucy to allow him to be her tenant. Lucy struggles with the decision but when yet another bill comes in she reluctantly agrees with a set of rules.
I absolutely adored the first book of the Somerset Lake series so I was excited to dive right into The Christmas Village. With a second chance romance rating really high in my favorite romance tropes list it wasn’t surprising that I enjoyed getting to know Lucy and Miles. The one thing that held me back from being overly thrilled with this one though was the idea of Lucy still getting bills almost a year later, it really didn’t add up to me. The idea of holding off collecting to be ‘nice’ flew out the window when they show up right at the holidays and a part of me thinks how is she to know who actually would be owed money in the day and age of con artists everywhere. Anyway, the town is lovely, the characters lovely and the Christmas activities were nice I just had that one niggle that held this one back from the five stars of the first.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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