(Website, Goodreads)Published by Simon and Schuster on November 18th 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Holidays, Literary, Romance, Self-Help, Spiritual
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A love story for Christmas from the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box and The Walk.
Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.
Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:
1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day
The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.
Elise Dutton is ordinary, but for some reason she finds the attractive lawyer from four floors up glancing at her from across the food court. When Nicholas Derr suggests they write up a contract and pretend to be a couple through the holiday season, this lonely divorcee doesn’t shoot the idea down immediately. In fact, after some thought she agrees to it. The relationship’s supposed to be strictly platonic, but will Elise find herself falling for a man who doesn’t know her darkest secret?
I know it’s April, and we’re closer to last Christmas than the oncoming one, but I don’t regret picking up this book for a light read. If you’re looking for a book with a guaranteed happy ending then you pick up a Nicholas Sparks book. Wait, Richard Paul Evans! Even though he has become popular for his Christmas stories since his self-published book sold to a major publishing house over a decade ago, Richard Paul Evans has written many other good books besides his Christmas stories. I feel like he does not get enough credit for his adult romance novels. However, the book I chose to read this time happened to be a Christmas story.
Elise was a broken soul. If she downplayed her looks, her personality then no one would see her for who truly was—or who she thought herself to be. Elise did not only find love but herself. Before she could move on, she had to be able to accept her past.
The story was predictable and didn’t surprise me at a lot of points, but it increased my enjoyment. If you’re looking for an light, enjoyable read this is the way to go. It had a Hallmark-like story line and would go perfectly as a Countdown to Christmas special.
Whether it’s December or June, this was a wonderful book that you won’t regret reading.