The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans

IMG_0019“I once read that the secret to happiness is having something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love.  It must be true even if the love is contractual.”

During the holiday season, I always find myself gravitating toward sweet stories with themes of love, friendship, and connection.  While the holidays are a time for all of these things, at times all the noise and expectations can make it a time of great disconnect as well.  So what’s better than a story about lonely souls finding each other and making a connection?  The Mistletoe Promise is that kind of story, and one that is heartwarming and a wonderful chilly day read (accompanied by a cup of tea, of course).

The holidays are a lonely time for Elise, who has been on her own since her divorce, which came about as a result of her husbands infidelity among other issues.  The divorce along with a heartbreaking tragedy from her past, makes moving on very difficult for Elise.  One day, while having lunch at her usual place at work, she is approached by a stranger who she had noticed several times previously.  He is tired of being alone during the holidays, and proposes a deal in which they pretend to be a couple over the course of eight weeks, with the deal expiring on Christmas Eve.  There are 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

After some thought, Elise agrees and embarks on an unusual holiday experiment, learning a lot about herself, love, forgiveness, and moving forward.

I found this to be a very sweet and captivating story, which I ended up reading in one day, simply because I couldn’t put it down.  There is a simplicity to the story and the way it is written that is quite lovely, making it a great feel-good read.  There are events in the past of both characters that are incredibly heartbreaking and tragic, however they aren’t the main focus and serve to show how each of them finds themselves in such a lonely place in their life.  The book as a whole is about two individuals and their time together during a period when they would normally be alone.  If you’re looking for a nice, simple, heartwarming holiday read, I would recommend checking out The Mistletoe Promise. 

“It should not surprise us that, at the end of a journey, our destination looks different than we imagined at the beginning.  Everything looks different up close.”

If you have any favourite holiday reads, please share!

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