Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 16, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.
Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help through the Dear Santa app, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?
Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?
When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?
I’m reading holiday romances this week for #HoHoHoRAT. I do find it hard to read holiday books until December, or at least mid November. At least, it has turned cold here this week in the spirit of the readathon.
Dear Santa is an enemies to lovers story. The setting is a beautiful coastal town. Angela lives in an old family home on the ocean and her Christmas shop is in an old lighthouse, full of history. Geoff comes to town opening a discount Christmas chain. The elements are all there for an heartwarming, fascinating story.
There are just times when I can’t suspend my brain to enjoy a fiction and that is part of what happened here. Angela has plenty of money although her business is in trouble? This town is too small to support a discount chain. I would think smaller gift shops would be more realistic. Although the newer development might be helping that issue. View Spoiler »And Angela has all kinds of available time when she’s closing the business? « Hide Spoiler
The relationships were okay. I didn’t like the way Angela’s sister treated her at Thanksgiving. I wish the niece Chrissy had been a little bigger part of the story. I can’t believe neither of them figured out the Dear Santa letter writers sooner. It did make for a nice progression of getting to know each other; plus if people are nice when anonymous then they are really nice. In general, other than Angela and eventually, Geoff and his mother, I didn’t feel we knew the other characters very well.
Overall, it was a pleasant holiday read, but not really for me. There are many wonderful elements, so it might be different for you.
- Series on Saturday: Audio series @Rachel_Aaron @vikasadam @AndreaPenrose @KevinHearne @luckylukeekul @KelleyArmstrong #KateHandford @veschwab @booknarrator @HoJay92 @BaileyCarrVOICE #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 10, 2023
- Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub - June 8, 2023
- 🎧 All The Sinners Bleed by SA Crosby @blacklionking73 @alazarrewhite @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 New Release Challenge
Sorry this wasn’t a better read for you, Anne. Did it at least put you in the holiday spirit?
Sure. It had some great elements. It’s set here in NC. I like the main character and the history of the area and her family. I just didn’t fall for the guy, Geoff. That gives me too much time to get my brain involved and see things which are unrealistic.
I also like reading holiday books but try to wait until Dec and usually only get one if any in. This year I’m looking for a few to read.
I’m reading a few plus a bunch of Kindle holiday freebies. My favorite so far is Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas which I’m reviewing Friday. But it’s fun, I like the ones with more complex plot with the romance. This was a nice lighter read with some nice setting / historical aspects.
It sounds like one of the sweet and comfy ones that steps a little further from realism. I read a couple of those each year about this time. LOL I like the anonymous letter ploy and small town holiday.
I really enjoyed Angela the main character, and the history of the family and area. The setting is NC where I live so that always interests me too.
Christmas stories are nice but too bad it wasn’t more
Well it’s a romance, most have similar themes and tropes. I liked the setting and the history.
This looks cute Anne. I hope your next RAT read is all swoons and mistletoe.
I hope so. I am reading lots of average romances but there are some better than others.
Sorry it wasn’t what you were hoping for. Such a pretty cover.
There were things I liked. It did have some nice holiday moments.
I am not sure that this would really be for me. I haven’t tried this author before but this book doesn’t really appeal to me. Sorry this one wasn’t better for you.
For me, enemies to lovers is always a bit of an issue. It makes it more difficult to like an enemy. Well, I have many other romances to try!
My first thought was the movie You Got Mail. It’s very similar in a lot of ways. I think that would be what I was thinking the whole time I read it. I also don’t like things like not working when so much work is to be done. I notice stuff like that too. Nope, this wouldn’t be one for me. Thanks for sharing!
Yes I liked it but the odd bits being unrealistic took me out of the story. I think the plot aspect of You Got Mail has been used a few times in different stories.
My first thought was, this is You’ve Got Mail. I guess it would count as a retelling? But it sounds like the things that didn’t work for you would be problems for me, too. It’s hard to suspend the disbelief when the underlying assumptions don’t hold up.
It’s the first book I read for HoHoHoRAT and I enjoyed the small town, NC and holiday touches. But when you don’t fall for the guy it’s always going to be iffy I think.
What a thoughtful and well-balanced review, Anne. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it more, but I definitely understand. I hope you love your next read!
Thanks! Not everything will work for everyone. I wanted to love it, because it had so many great elements. I liked it, but I didn’t fall for Geoff and a few things I couldn’t believe.