Author: Evelyn Mae
Fate doesn’t care about your plans. Neither does love.
Bakery owner Callie Parker has one goal this Christmas: avoid all men.
Newly single after a disastrous getaway with her ex, Callie vows to focus all her energy into expanding her business. Or at least that’s what she keeps telling herself until she meets him: Gabe Montgomery, the gorgeous stranger from the airport involved in one of the most embarrassing moments of her life (not to mention an incredible kiss).
She never thought she would see him again, but now he has reappeared in her hometown with the fate of her business in his hands. No matter how much she’s drawn to him, she can’t lose her focus. Too much is on the line. But the way he’s looking at her with those piercing blue eyes is making him hard to resist and she feels herself falling. Hard. Gabe is the one man who should be completely off-limits. So why can’t she just walk away?
Is all the mistletoe this holiday season conspiring against her? Can a chance encounter lead to love?
Falling Under the Mistletoe follows Callie Parker after she returns to her home in small-town Hopemeadow, Connecticut from a brief trip to Jamaica. The story opens at the airport where Callie accosts Gabe Montgomery after she believes he stole her bag. The two characters part ways as Gabe goes to get his rental car and Callie waits for her ride to show up. After Callie’s ride does not show up, she goes inside to the airport bar where she ends up reconnecting with Gabe. The two once again part ways as Callie returns to her bakery, Honey’s, in Hopemeadow, and Gabe goes to explore the building his grandfather left him in his will. The building turns out to be near Callie’s business, meaning that the two of them will see a lot more of each other.
This story is not only a very sweet Hallmark-style romance with Gabe discovering the beauty of this small town but also a tale about the community and holiday spirit. The Annual Hopemeadow Holiday Festival is approaching complete with a penguin mascot. As Gabe gets to know Callie and the town, he needs to decide what to do with the building, whether that is keeping it or selling it. Callie also has her own issues to work through when her ex-boyfriend, Jake, who was on the trip to Jamaica with her comes back into the picture. The novel itself is a smooth easy read with delightful characters and a heart-warming story. There is a twist that ties Gabe into the community that was nicely done as it fit the story and did not feel forced.
As the story is told through both the perspectives of Gabe and Callie, the reader explores each of their stories and their inner monologues. The two of them have great chemistry and banter as they get to know each other, but know that each of them has a history that they are working through. The small-town Connecticut setting was perfect and I liked that the author is from the state as the reality and fiction of the atmosphere worked well. Overall, this story was simple yet very enjoyable! As this is the first in a series of standalones, I cannot wait to read the next story!