Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: October 16th, 2018
A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!
Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.
Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?
Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?
When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?
What drew me to this book was that it was a holiday retelling of “You’ve Got Mail“. I loved that movie. I have lost count at how many times I have watched it. Put it this way, if it is on TV, forget what I am doing. I am watching it. As a blogger friend pointed out “There can’t be many book lovers that don’t love that movie“. So when Dear Santa showed up on my reviewing radar, I jumped at it. I am glad that I did. This was a cute romance.
Dear Santa is the story of Angela and Geoff. Angela runs a local holiday store, Heart of Christmas. Her business is struggling since Christmas Galore came to Pleasant Sands. She is sick over the possibility of her store closing. After starting a public feud with Geoff, the co-owner of Christmas Galore, she decides to vent on an app designed by them. An app that Geoff’s mother routinely checks. When Geoff’s mother ends up in the hospital, he takes over and answers a letter from Anita C. Miracle. He is taken by her emails and soon takes it off the app and into a regular email. Geoff soon realizes that Anita is Angela. He also realizes that he is falling for Angela. How can he break it to her that he is Guy? And will Anita return his feelings?
While I liked Angela, I did think that she was a pushover for the first few chapters of the book. She did end up growing a backbone but still. She cared deeply about that store and she didn’t want to let it go. It was her last connection to her grandmother. I thought that her marketing schemes to get people to go to the store was fantastic. I loved the idea of Snow Valley!! I liked how she stood up to Geoff. She was funny. I also like that she was honest with herself about her feelings about letting go of the store and Geoff.
I thought Geoff was a jerk for the first half of the book. He didn’t like being in Pleasant Sands and he made no effort to cover it off. He even gloated about putting Angela’s store out of business. I did start to like him after his mother was in the hospital. He started to see how his superstore affected local businesses in the area. He also started to see that his feud with Angela wasn’t going to do him any favors with the locals. I liked that right around that time, he started having feelings for her. And what he did to try to win her over…sigh. That gesture put him on my good side.
As always, the secondary characters made the book. Angela’s niece was adorable. I liked Geoff’s mother. But, I couldn’t stand Angela’s sister. OMG, I wanted to strangle her. She did nothing but put Angela down. I wanted to smack her. I did. There was nothing redeeming about her.
I liked the plotlines in Dear Santa. The two major plotlines were cute. There was no lag in either plotline. The author did a great job at bringing them together at the end of the book. She also did a great job at incorporating the secondary plotlines in with the major ones.
The first plotline was Angela’s closing of her store. That was heartbreaking because her grief came off the pages in waves. In the book, she said it was like losing her grandmother all over again. I wish that her sister understood. I also wish that Geoff could have taken what the family-run/smaller businesses were going through went such a store moved into the area. Not only was Angela losing her store but the local artists that she supported were losing a place to showcase what they made.
The second plotline was Angela and Geoff’s email relationship/their feud. I thought the feud was a little overdone. He could have been nicer to her at the snowball event. She didn’t have to go to the local news and basically call the stuff his store sells cheap. I did wonder when their hatred was going to turn to love. I liked how the email relationship evolved. I didn’t know how he didn’t figure out that it was Angela sooner. The hints she left in her messages weren’t exactly hard to decipher.
I liked how the author wrote the romance part of the book. It wasn’t Instalove (thank you!!). Angela and Geoff had to find common ground and then work their relationship up to that. What I also enjoyed is that there was zero sex. ZERO sex in the book. Another thank you. I like hot, sweaty sex scenes as much as the next person but sometimes I need a break. And I got that with this book. I was able to focus on the story and enjoy it. Not to worry that Angela and Geoff would start tearing each other’s clothes off and do it under a Christmas tree.
The end of Dear Santa was great. I liked how the author wrapped up the storylines. She ended them in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I also loved the epilogue!!!
I gave Dear Santa a 4-star rating. This is a sweet romance. I came to care for the characters. The book was a fast read too. A great book to read to get you in the Christmas spirit.
I would give Dear Santa an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Dear Santa. I would also recommend it to family and friends.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dear Santa.
All opinions expressed in this review of Dear Santa are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**