I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Harmony Harbor #7
Published by Forever on 2018-10-30
Length: 380 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2018 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2018 HoHoHo Read-a-Thon (Lillian), 2018 New Release Challenge
A feel-good Christmas romance
Sometimes love is just around the corner . . .
With her dreams of being a wedding dress designer suddenly over, Arianna Bell isn't expecting a holly jolly Christmas. Instead, her heart feels about three sizes too small. That is until her high school sweetheart Connor Gallagher returns to town and she finds his mere presence still makes her pulse race. But just when she starts dreaming of kissing under the mistletoe, he announces that he will be her opponent in the upcoming mayoral race....
Hot-shot attorney Connor Gallagher has something to prove. He's tired of playing runner-up to his high-achieving brothers. So when the opportunity to enter the campaign comes up, he takes it. Even if it means running against the only woman he's ever loved. But with a little help from Harmony Harbor's local matchmakers and a lot of holiday cheer, Connor and Arianna may just get the happy ever after they both deserve.
The Corner of Holly and Ivy by Debbie Mason is the 7th installment of Harmony Harbor and perhaps my favorite so far. I love second chance love stories and this is that. Arianna Bell and Connor Gallagher were high school sweethearts who were forced apart by their respective family members. When Arianna was severely burned and nearly died in the store fire at the end of Sandpiper Shore, Connor realizes his feelings for Arianna never went away. Now he is determined to prove that he still loves her and wants her back.
I’ll admit that when I started this book I was more than a little hesitant. I didn’t like Arianna. She was terrible to Jenna in Sandpiper Shore, and I wasn’t sure how Debbie Mason could redeem her character. BUT she does that in the very first chapter. Arianna lives with her grandmother, taking care of her. The two are very close and Arianna’s near brush with death has made them closer. Her grandmother has dementia. Y’all mine does too, so I almost immediately connected with Arianna. Arianna is struggling with her own demons, her new scars both physically and mentally, all while taking care of her grandmother who isn’t slowing down and refuses to recognize she has a problem. My heart broke for Arianna and I cheered her on as much as I could.
Connor is my new favorite Gallagher. He basically gives up everything to show Arianna he loves her and is going no where. I promise I’m spoiling nothing in saying that because it is clear from the first chapter what his intentions are. I found myself swooning for him and yelling at Arianna to look past her hurt and see the man who loves her.
The Corner of Holly and Ivy is different from its predecessors as it deals with heavier subject matter. While it is still a light, easy read, it comes with heavy emotional baggage. Set aside some tissues when you read y’all….consider yourselves warned. If you enjoy contemporary romance, I highly recommend it.