I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Sugarplum Way by Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony Harbor #4
Published by Forever on 2017-10-31
Length: 329 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
"Heartfelt and delightful!" -RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author
Romance writer Julia Landon knows how to write a happily-ever-after. Creating one for herself is a whole different story. But after a surprising--and surprisingly passionate--kiss under the mistletoe at Harmony Harbor's holiday party last year, Julia thought she might have finally found her very own chance at true love. Until she learns her Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broodingly Handsome has sworn off relationships. Well, if she can't have him in real life, Julia knows just how to get the next best thing....
Aidan's only priority is to be the best single dad ever. And this year, he plans to make the holidays magical for his little girl, Ella Rose. But visions of stolen kisses under the mistletoe keep dancing in his head, and when he finds out Julia has written him into her latest novel, he can't help imagining the possibilities of a future together. Little does he know, though, Julia has been keeping a secret that threatens all their dreams. Luckily, 'tis the season for a little Christmas magic.
The Harmony Harbor series: Mistletoe Cottage Christmas with an Angel (short story)Starlight Bridge Primrose Lane Sugarplum Way Driftwood Cove Sandpiper Shore
I honestly don’t know where to start. Up to this point, every book by Debbie Mason I’ve really enjoyed. I enjoy the small town setting, the life-like characters and their banter, and the romance. Each of her couples are unique, playing off each other’s strengths and the chemistry is usually off the charts. However I felt like all of that was lacking in Sugarplum Way.
Julia is one of my favorite female characters in Harmony Harbor so I was really excited to see her story. I mean she’s a bookaholic, how could I not love and identify with her?! Introverted, quirky, and shy, Julia is me on the pages. She’s great with kids, get her around adults and she clams up….yep that pretty much sounds like a description of me. She also happens to be a romance writer who uses a pseudonym. I loved this twist with Julia’s character. It added layers to her. Guilt from her fiancé’s death haunts her, and while she may be ready to move on with her life, she isn’t ready to leave him behind yet either.
Aiden Gallagher is my favorite brother. I’ve been looking forward to his story as much as I was looking forward to Julia’s. To pair them together, I thought would be gold. Not quite the case. Aiden is really struggling. His ex is keeping his daughter from him and trying to manipulate him into another marriage. He resists but is miserable without his daughter. On top of that he has a temper and as a police officer this keeps him in hot water. I felt really bad for Aiden but also I couldn’t understand how blind he was to what was right in front of him.
Now onto the plot/romance of the book. As I said earlier, pairing Aiden and Julia should have been perfect. However it didn’t play out that way. In the previous books of the series, you could feel the tension and chemistry between the characters. There was none of that between Aiden and Julia. Also it felt overdone. The plot, the twists, the romance….it was like deja vu. I’ve read this story before. In fact a similar situation happens in one of Mason’s Christmas, Colorado books. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just it was much better the first time.
Overall, Sugarplum Way was just okay for me. While I enjoyed some aspects, specifically Aiden reading some of Julia’s work, I didn’t enjoy the romance or the weird plot twist at the end. That just wasn’t necessary…just saying. Would I recommend it? Yeah, just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy some parts of it. Will I read more of the series? Absolutely. I still love the small town setting and the quirky characters that come with it.