25 February 2015

Review: Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

A Book With Bad Reviews (and here's another one) 

Hope Prentiss is dating conservative banker and future politician Chet Tuttle. She gave up on red-blooded men ten years ago when she eloped with John Burke instead of going to her high school prom—only that didn't last even to the wedding night. She always thought the marriage wasn’t official because they never sent the marriage certificate in … but then she finds the marriage is still legal.

John is back in town, and is pleased to find he’s still married to Hope … until he finds out she's not pleased at all. The plot is kind of Sweet Home Alabama with Christians, only in reverse, as it’s John who left town and comes back to find his lady is dating someone else. But, like the guy in Sweet Home Alabama, he's managed to make something of himself, and learned some valuable lessons in the process:
Success was more than a healthy bank account, more than following your passion; it was putting God and family first.
Love at Mistletoe Inn was a sweet story and a lovely romance, but there was one plot twist that seemed contrived in that it was completely out of character for both Hope and John, and that left me with a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. It just didn't ring true, and because that action drives the whole will-they-stay-married plot it made the whole story seem "off".

The writing was good, and the cover is lovely. I liked Hope, and I liked John (well, mostly). Put it all together and I should have loved Love at Mistletoe Inn. But I didn't. It felt wrong, and while I didn't hate it, I didn't exactly like it either.

Thanks to Zondervan and BookLookBloggers for providing a free ebook for review.

This book counts towards my 2015 Reading Challenge as a book with bad reviews.

(For those of you who are wondering exactly what I didn’t like, scroll down for the spoiler.)


Okay, so you married your high school sweetheart, but broke up minutes after the celebrant said the magic words. You haven’t seen your “husband” for ten years, and you’ve considered yourself single for that entire time. You’re dating another guy, and it’s a nightmare come true when you find you’re actually still married to the high school sweetheart. You want to get rid of the marriage. So what do you do?

You have sex with the husband.

That’s right. The guy you haven’t seen in ten years. Ten. Whole. Years. You chat, you kiss, and … (thankfully there it fades to black). But really?

I don’t blame John in this (much). He’s still in love with Hope (well, he’s in love with the Hope of ten years ago. Only time will tell if he even likes adult Hope, let alone loves her. I’m not holding my breath).

But Hope wanted to annul the marriage, and then does the one thing which means the marriage can never be annulled in the eyes of the law, let alone the sight of God. How stupid is that?

I wrote this review, then looked at the Amazon reviews. While there are a fair chunk of four- and five-star reviews, it’s the two-star reviews with spoilers who hold all the top spots on the Amazon page, and which are getting all the “helpful” votes. So that’s why I’ve chosen Love at Mistletoe Inn as my Book with Bad Reviews for my 2015 Reading Challenge.