The Herd Archives

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor #6.5) by Jill Shalvis

Just one more kiss...

There's no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he's overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he's ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia's love for a lifetime.


Type: Contemporary Romance, Short Story (56pages then previews of past books to get it to the 80pages claimed on Amazon)
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 2.5-3 out of 5

Novellas and short stories are always a risk but since I adore the Lucky Harbor series and have enjoyed short stories from Shalvis in the past I had high hopes for Under the Mistletoe. And while I did enjoy some parts of it and the story was complete it still left a good bit to be desired, in my opinion. 

Part of the problem for me was that the story skips 5 years in the future when Ford and Tara's daughter, Mia, has gone away to college and found herself a man. Now, last we saw her she wasn't even legal (that I can remember) and I just couldn't get that out of my head. I kept seeing her as a 17 year old and, you know, that's got a real ick factor in some of the situations they get into. And with so few pages by the time I did get that out of my head it was, unfortunately, nearly over. 

Now, putting aside the whole age thing, I did like Mia and Nick. They've got a little drama and hurt feelings going on, are sweet and sexy and your heart breaks for them a little when things go amiss. But really I wanted more for Mia. Not that I didn't like Nick, because I did. It just felt too soon for her story and I would have much preferred things being held off and getting a full length or at least a more fleshed out novella down the line. With both of them having complicated family lives growing up their story really could have been so much more developed and explored. 

While Under the Mistletoe did provide a nice little taste of life in Lucky Harbor while we wait for the next novel and I did enjoy getting to see a little of the three original sisters and their men the story as a whole just didn't make it all the way into the "amazing" category that I expect from Shalvis now days. 

If this had been a freebie bonus read, or at most 99cents, I might not be so disappointed. But $1.99 is just too steep a price for the quality or quantity in my opinion. I'd recommend this one more for the hardcore Lucky Harbor fans and not for those trying out Shalvis/the series for the first time. If you're interested in trying Shalvis out definitely start at the beginning of the series. All 6 books are just amazing and are some of my favorites! 


*A copy of Under the Mistletoe was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.



What say you? Have you tried Under the Mistletoe? 

15 comments:

  1. I'm the same way about shorts. EEEK. It's always a hit or miss and it's usually a danged miss with me. But, I think it's good that you get more Lucky Harbor in between the books. I haven't started this series, but Jill Shavis is on my TBR pile :)

    I like a little...okay, a lot of drama in my romance books. lol. *Shrugs* sugar AND spice... ;) lol

    Ana♥

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    1. I like a good bit of drama too :) I do like getting a bit of the series between the books I just wish it had been up to the same quality, ya know? Kinda curious about the next book now too since we're so much further in the future now. Will be interesting.

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  2. I haven't read anything by her but obviously I need to start with another book, :) .

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    1. LOL yeah I would. The series as a whole is fantastic. I've rated almost all of them 5 stars and will definitely be reading them again. It's really a fun series with great characters but one I'd start at the beginning with :)

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  3. I love her books but passed on this one because I really don't care for novellas.

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    1. She is great isn't she? I've read so many by her and she rarely disappoints. Really I wouldn't even call this one a novella. It's more a short story. Way too short to really get into it. I'll probably stick to the full lengths from her unless I get another one for review.

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  4. I've had this one in my TBR list for a while. I like short stories and novellas, but sometimes they do leave you wanting. There just isn't enough time to pull you in and make you fall in love usually.

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    1. Yup. I think if it had been the full 80some pages it would have been completely different in the end. But man 50pages just didn't get me there. Still not a bad read but just not what I expect from Jill these days. Ah well. You'll have to let me know what you think once you've read it. I know a couple others who just loved it. So maybe it's me. ;)

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  5. Short stories by authors I like, are almost always just too short. This author is still on my wishlist, her backlist is kind of daunting.

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    1. Oh my word. Yeah she's written a TON. I've made it through her Animal Magnetism and Lucky Harbor series so far and picked up a couple random ones since. Almost all of them were excellent. Even another short by her was pretty damn good. Definitely an author I'd recommend.

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  6. i have only read book 1 and 2 of this series but i quite loved them

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    1. Ooh yeah those two were wonderful! I really liked book 3 and book 6 was my personal favorite.

      How are you feeling Miki? Getting any better?!!

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  7. like Ana, shorts are really hits or misses..sorry this one didn't quite work out for you Anna.

    I hear so many good things about her books...I seriously need to get in gear & start reading Ms Shalvis's work. I hope to start soon though

    loved the review!

    Sharonda

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    1. Thanks for dropping in Sharonda! Oh yes you really need to start her books. *rawr* there are some damn fine heroes. Sexy as hell in all their alpha goodness ;) I couldn't read the series fast enough.

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  8. I've been meaning to pick up Jill Shalvis, I have yet to read anything by her. Too bad you didn't love this one. You are right, novellas can be risky!

    -Amanda P
    Where the Night Kind Roam

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~Anna