Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor #6.5)

under the mistletoeThere’s no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness. Nick grew up without a family of his own so he’s overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia’s love for a lifetime.

Spoilers for The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

Characters:

Mia, daughter of Ford and Tara from Shalvis’ The Sweetest Thing, is returning to Lucky Harbor for her Aunt Chloe and Sawyer’s Christmas Eve wedding.  When we met Mia, she was this little go-getter, like her mama.  That summer in Lucky Harbor, she met and fell for her first love, Carlos.  Since then, she’s moved on.  She’s now a recent college graduate who just had a fight with her boyfriend, Nick, because he decided he didn’t want to meet her family after she invited him to go with her to the wedding.  And now she’s unsure where they stand.  Are they broken up?  On a break?  Will everything go back to normal when she returns home to New York?

Like Mia,  Nick was given up, but whereas Mia was adopted, Nick was shuffled around his whole life and never really fit in anywhere.  He is unaccustomed to being part of a family and unwilling to ingratiate himself into hers.  He just wants to get on with his new job, helping kids like him who’ve fallen into the cracks of the system and keep everything about his relationship with Mia status quo.

Conflict:

They’re both at a point in their lives where REAL LIFE begins.  They’re both becoming real adults, they’re in an adult relationship that could become THE relationship, and it’s time to put up or shut up, as it were.  When Mia invites Nick to the wedding, it’s more than just to have a date there, despite Mia’s intentions.  It’s also to introduce Nick to her birth parents and her extended family, which is a little much for loner Nick.  After a sleepless night, he realizes that he could lose her and so he follows her home.

Overall:

It was a cute book.  I loved the idea of Mia getting her own book.  She was such a little spitfire in The Sweetest Thing, it was a treat to get to know her as an adult, as well as seeing Carlos, her first love, again.  She’s grown into such a great woman.  I also really liked seeing the rest of the girls and guys from the original Lucky Harbor series.  I still love you, Sawyer!  I really liked Nick, too.  He grew up pretty fast in the book and went after what he knew he wanted and needed.  He was worthy of our Mia and they made a cute couple.  My only complaint would be that it was too short, but it was cute and sweet and just what I needed.

Pecans:  3.5/5

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