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3.8 out of 5 stars23
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2010
As an avid Lisa Kleypas reader, I had been awaiting this latest release with so much excitement. When I came to order I checked the reviews and found that it already had a few, and most were negative, so I was pretty worried.
Don't worry, I wont give you any spoilers, but what I will say is it's not as bad as they all say.

The book starts off well, at LK's usually middling pace. The characters are all established nicely, and I got the feeling LK has been to a place like Friday Harbour and liked it- the effort she put into describing everything made it incredibly vivid, like I was there. I could really see everything in my mind. Don't anyone say that romance authors can't write- LK is proof in this book alone.

However- I have to warn you that if you're the sort of romance reader that likes at least 2 or 3 steamy scenes (let's face it, most of us do- it's pure escapism!), then this book wont leave you feeling satisfied. There is one at the very end, and its barely longer than a page. I feel LK went some way to redeeming herself with the sexually tense, romantic encounters that the two leading characters have throughout the book- it's not sex but they're definitely not bland interactions.

Speaking of the leading characters, I actually really liked them. A lot of the time, even in LK's books, I find myself disliking at least one of the lead characters, at least a tiny bit. Some romance authors trip up by making their lead roles flawless both physically and morally. I start to get a little sick of the perfect Percy's and Pennys. But Mark and Maggie, the leads in this book, are flawed, sad, grieving and terrible at romance and commitment. They develop nicely through the book, although it felt a little sped up at times, what with the book being only just over 200 pages.

Conclusion- a nice little compact read, with likeable characters and plenty of tension. If this had been developed into LK's usual 300-400 page book then I would have given 3 stars.
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on 29 March 2013
Review taken from my Blog Post (#66) in January 2011 after borrowing from the local library:

This is the first contemporary book I've read by Lisa Kleypas, and actually enjoyed it ........... in fact, it was short but sweet.

Mark Nolan is left the custody of his six year old niece, Holly, when her mother is killed in a car accident, and he takes here home to San Juan Island in Washington State to live with him. Unfortunately, due the shock of the accident Holly has lost the ability to speak.

Mark's brother, Sam, stumbles upon a letter to Santa that Holly has written asking her to bring her a new Mummy, so Mark decides to kiss goodbye to his bachelorhood and find her just that.

One afternoon Mark and Holly go into a new toy shop in town, and the owner (Maggie Conroy) helps the little girl find her voice again with talk of magic fairies and a magic shell.

There seems to be an instant spark of attraction between Mark and Maggie, the only problem being that he is seeing somebody else and she had only recently seen and nursed her husband when he died of cancer.

Can the little girl's dream come true? Can they win the battle for love and a happy ever after?

Definitely worth a read, I enjoyed it quite a bit, given that I am not really a contemporary read kind gal.

A 3.5 Star read,but not quite a 4.
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on 9 November 2010
Enjoyed this book as I have all of Lisa Kleypas however it was a very short story about a family living in Friday Harbour. The rest was nothing like the review written by Amazon there is three brothers not two and the sister has died leaving a 6 yr old. The story forcus of Mark the oldest brother who mets Maggie who owns a toy shop. No sigh of a long lost adopted sibling? Apart from all that it was a nice if but very short story.
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on 24 May 2011
Whenver I find a writer I enjoy I lap up everything written by that author, one after the other with an obsessive/compulsive fever. Lisa Kleypas is such a writer and I'm very happy to say that all the books i've read so far (still working my way through her extensive collection!) have been immensely enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying. So I'm bemused (to use a writer's regular vernacular)after having read Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour. What was missing for me was substance which all her other books have spades of. The characters are likeable enough -two brothers looking after their dead sister's little girl with a third brother popping in and out of the narrative and a bright and bubbly heroine - yet, when I finished the book I felt uncommonly deflated by the experience and that's a first from a Kleypas novel! Perhaps it is a decent book in its own right (a little too linear in plot for my liking and the thinnest of all her books), however, when compared to her other works such as Sugar Daddy it just feels more like a Pot Noodle running up against a three course meal. If this ends up being your first experience of a Lisa Kleypas novel please, please, read another. You won't be disappointed.
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on 17 October 2012
I've read a lot more of Lisa Kleypas historical novels, and a few of her more contemporary novels, but none of her previous novels have been as short as this one.
At 200 pages you feel like you are only gaining an introduction to a larger novel, and thankfully it is the first book in a series, but due to the length you do feel like you've missed out on some of the storyline. There are three Nolen Brothers, and this one focuses on the eldest, Mark, (and i guess that the other books will focus on the other two brothers). Maggie owns a toy store in Friday Harbour, and helps Mark with his niece who he has been made guardian of, after his sisters recent death. Whilst i really enjoyed the novel, and there was still a lot of good background information and character development, i was left feeling like i had just read an abridged version of a longer novel...
Hopefully the next book in the series is longer!
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on 24 August 2011
I own all of Lisa Kleypas's historical books and decided it was time for me to try her contemporary novels. This one was advertised at the end of another book of her's 'Love in the Afternoon' with a sneak preview (a few pages from the book itself). It sounded interesting so i bought it. The first thing i noticed was that the Sneak preview appeared no where in the actual book, it was completely different. Secondly the book was barley 200 pages long, which is stange for a Kleypas book. And thirdly, the back of the book claims to a completely different story. Apparently Maggie introduces Mark to Shelby which is'nt true. He was already with her before he met Maggie. To top it all of, Amazon has an entirely different description for this book. Utterly confused! However....Like all of Lisa's book, i enjoy her writing. She has an amazing way of describing places and people, that you almost feel part of the story yourself. Mark and Maggie are excellent lead characters, you can sense the attraction between them the moment they meet. This would of been an amazing book if the story had just had more content in it, you feel like she could of squeezed alot more into this book, especially steamy scene's which we all love because there is only one and its at the end, with barely a page to it's name.
Despite this, I'm still a big fan of Lisa's books and The Nolan family have intrigued me, i do look forward to reading about the other two brothers, I just hope that its a better result than this one.
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on 27 October 2011
I always felt 'safe' with Lisa Keypas!! .. safe that is that she is a really delicious expertly written read. But reading 'Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour' just came across as being a 'Mill's and Boon' author's read ... sweet but nothing special. I mean this is a lady who wrote 'Again the Magic' .. quite magical!! and many other rapturous heart-fulfilling books!!!!
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on 12 October 2012
Yet again, the author delivered on this book about the second brother in the Nolan family. My heart went out to the little girl and the way they changed their lives to love and care for her. I know it's fiction, but somewhere in the world this must be happening to someone (yes I'm an eternal romantic, I confess) and I did shed a few tears of joy!
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on 31 July 2015
Very disappointed with this book. I thought it was going to be a squall to Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour but it is not it is the same book under another title. On the front cove in tiny print it says previously realised as Christmas Eve on Friday Harbour. I think this needs to be more prominent.
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on 10 March 2012
Having never read a Lisa Kleypas book before,I wasn't sure what to expect. This book was just over 200 pages so it wasn't exactly going to be in depth simply a nice boy meets girl and falls in love story which helped to pass a few hours on a cold winter's afternoon.
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