The Mistletoe Promise
Richard Paul Evans
Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.
Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with 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
The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.
I read this one in December and I am finally coming around to writing the review. Not because I didn’t enjoy it but just because I haven’t had the time. I only have glowing reviews for this book. It is the first Christmas themed book that I’ve read and it made me want to read more. During Christmas, I watch Hallmark Channel nonstop for their Christmas movies. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Lo and behold, The Mistletoe Promise was a movie and I enjoyed it. It was good by Hallmark movie standards. Then I found out it was a book and decided to get it immediately! And wow! What a difference. The movie is a loosely based adaptation, let’s just say that. I really enjoyed it because I’m in this phase where I absolutely love the whole Fake-Dating trope.
This book will really surprise you. It goes a lot darker than the synopsis shows. I was really surprised by how dark this “Christmas” book goes. It was a very bittersweet book to read because of the dark times that the main character goes through. Don’t worry though, it is a Christmas book, so expect some really great moments! The plot twist and Elise’s past were totally unexpected. I really didn’t see it coming. You can kind of guess what it is as it gets closer to the big reveal but you never really know until it’s there. I love the writing style of Richard Paul Evans and I love the little quotes from Elise’s journals in the beginning of the chapters. They were like little previews that hyped me up for the chapter. His writing was very easy to read and easy to understand. It pulls you into the story and makes you want to keep reading.
I loved the characters. I see some of me in Elise and I really liked her character. After the circumstances with her ex-husband, the whole being cheated on, and the plot twist, I understand why she is the way she is. I understand her distrustful nature and her depression and Christmas loathing self. It was so hard because I always picture myself as the main character. She goes through a rough patch. It’s not even a rough patch, it’s a rough streak. Dan is a piece of crap person. I don’t even care about how the plot twist affected him, that guy is a dirt bag. He still is! Is he even human? Now Nicholas … okay, it’s hard to just instantly trust someone who comes up to you and asks to fake date him with a contract. But as you get to know him, he’s an amazing guy. I wish someone like Nick would do what he did for Elise for me in real life. Did I even make sense? Doesn’t matter. Read the book! Even if it’s no longer Christmas season!