Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Mistletoe Mommy by Tanya Michaels

Dear Ms Michaels,

When I finished “Mistletoe Cinderella,” I knew I wouldn’t mind spending a little more time with the nice people of Mistletoe, Georgia. Good people who care about each other, genuine issues mixed with a little humor and a series that you don’t have to have read the previous books to follow along. Yep, win/win all around.

I’m feeling like a lazy slob today so I’m just gonna steal your blurb.

Brenna Pierce is a pet sitter who thinks the biggest complication in her life is a broken-down car-‘until Dr. Adam Varner and his three children roll into town for summer vacation! Trying to get her self-owned business up and running, Brenna doesn’t have time for romance. And Adam certainly isn’t looking for a relationship. He already has his hands full trying to bond with a teenage son, surly "tween" daughter and a little girl obsessed with getting a cat for her fifth birthday. Yet, amid the chaos of animals and kids, Brenna and Adam discover love and something that feels remarkably like family.

There are lots of things to like about this book. The kids aren’t all sweetness and light – they act their ages and no lisping! – but are basically decent children. Yeah rah that Adam doesn’t try to buy his children’s affections – the man makes enough money (though as a cardiothoracic surgeon he sure as hell earns it) and could do the “throw money at them to prove my love in place of spending time with them” routine but he doesn’t. Yes, he hasn’t had much time lately to spend with them but with this vacation, he’s trying. Geoff appears to be earning money on his own for a used car, no mention is made about Eliza having designer YA clothes or the latest electronic gadgets and all Morgan wants is a real kitty. Kitties rule.

Brenna is a pet lover heroine! Brenna makes her living in a cool way as a pet sitter, dog walker, all around animal care giver. I haven’t seen too many of them in romance novels. The support Brenna gets from her family and friends is wonderful and again proves this is a nice, small town. She had a tough childhood but doesn’t wallow in angst. She knows it affected her though she doesn’t let it get her too down.

I like how she relates to each child. Geoff as an employee she can trust, Eliza as a young woman who is feeling similar things that Brenna did at that age and Morgan as a sweet child as well as one who – or really all – who has/have taken on the responsibility for a living pet. Kitties rule. Brenna doesn’t try and toady up to them or slick talk her way with feel good moments.

Brenna and Adam start out on a professional basis – after giving her a lift back to town she agrees to pet sit for their newly acquired kitty. Kitties rule, especially gray ones. Each thinks the other is hot but there’s no inappropriate mental lusting. They do take things quickly once they decide to see where a short vacation relationship might go but, what the hell. It’s a short book.

I’ve only read one earlier book in the series but I didn’t feel I was swimming in the names of people I ought to know or trying to figure out all the relationships. There was a two paragraph section of “wrap up” that threw me just a little but really, that was the only spot in the book. The rest of the time, when mention was made of people it was about how they were pertinent to this book.

One moment I found really touching was between Brenna and her stepmother Maggie. When Brenna told Maggie how much the older woman meant to her and how much of a difference in her life Maggie had made. I hope Brenna is going to follow up on saying this more often given how Maggie almost broke down in tears she was so happy to hear it.

I was curious to see how you’d work out the final arrangements to get Adam and Brenna together given their geographical distance apart and his three children. I do get that he’s only seeing them on weekends and some holidays now anyway but that’s going to be a ton of miles on his SUV. Yet, given the nature of Brenna’s business and the discussion Adam had with a colleague, I figured that was what would occur.

So, this is two good grades for two books greatly enjoyed. I’ll have to make sure to be ready for the last book due in October. Kitties rule. B

~Jayne

This book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers on August 1. It is available now at eharlequin.com.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

10 Comments

  1. S. W. Vaughn
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 16:13:57

    I am getting the impression that kitties rule. :-)

    This sounds like a sweet story. I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Suzie
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 16:44:26

    I love books with kitties. Kitties do rule!

    BTW, Dr. Adam looks like Billy Ray Cyrus.

  3. Jayne
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 16:53:43

    Hmmmm, looks like my kitty added some commentary to the review.

    I’m not too sure about that cover guy. (o-O) Another good thing about ebooks is you don’t have to look at covers much while you’re reading!

  4. Jody W.
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 19:55:10

    I always love Tanya Michaels’ books. I’ll have to get this one!

  5. SonomaLass
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 08:27:05

    This cover guy scares me, but that’s my normal reaction to Harlequin’s American series. Something about their image of American heroes does not sit right with me — they tend to look like country singers, or up-and-coming televangelists. The kitty on the cover, however, rules. And can it be that they got the kitty’s hair color right? Most publishers don’t manage that with the HUMAN characters!

  6. Terisa Wilcox
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 09:12:37

    I usually prefer time travels or historicals, but this sounds like a very good book. I will have to pick it up and see.

  7. Sharon
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 10:25:26

    Loved the review. Given the cover and title (gak) , I would never have read the book without it.

  8. Jayne
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 12:07:00

    This cover guy scares me, but that's my normal reaction to Harlequin's American series. Something about their image of American heroes does not sit right with me -‘ they tend to look like country singers, or up-and-coming televangelists. The kitty on the cover, however, rules. And can it be that they got the kitty's hair color right? Most publishers don't manage that with the HUMAN characters!

    Bwahahaha. The more I look at that cover, the more the guy does scare me. At first glance, it seems like he’s got a gap in his teeth – or something. And yes! the kitty fur color is correct. A darkish grey.

  9. Jayne
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 12:11:59

    Given the cover and title (gak) , I would never have read the book without it.

    I’ve basically stopped looking at the covers – or titles – when I pick Harlequin books I want to try.

  10. Dear Author Recommends for August | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Dec 17, 2009 @ 12:57:35

    […] Mommy by Tanya Michaels (recommended by Jayne who also recommends forgetting what the title is because it has nothing to do with Mommy or […]

%d bloggers like this: