Author: Michele Paige Holmes
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Date: December 7, 2018
Publisher: Mirror Press
Ten strangers. Six days in paradise. One unforgettable Christmas.
Hailey Walsh has always loved Christmas, and this year the holiday was supposed to be the most magical of all, spent with her large family and her fiancé in preparation for their wedding just two days after. Then Gage broke their engagement.
Now, instead of playing in the snow with her nieces and nephews, Hailey’s building a playground with children she’s never met before, spending her Christmas with strangers in Hawaii, on a service program she hopes will lift her spirits and help her begin to pick up the broken pieces of her life and heart.
Gage Stevens didn’t want to spend Christmas in Hawaii any more than he wanted to break his engagement, but sometimes fate has a way of slamming a guy against a wall and forcing him to tough decisions—for the good of others, be that his ex-fiancée or his mom. And while he’s certain that no ocean breeze or tropical wonderland can heal what’s wrong, one glimpse at a familiar head of red hair and Gage realizes fate may not be done with him yet.
Rating: Mild. Mild kissing.
I loved the themes in this story! Gratitude, service, friendship, and hope helped Hailey as she struggled through the aftermath of an unexpected breakup. Realizing that others are also enduring trials, ones she considered tougher than what she was experiencing, was the first step in finding things to be thankful for. The wisdom of Micah and Lucy who run the program brought depth and perspective, and my favorite quote was “Alternate endings can be happy too.” The Hawaiian setting was fun and provided an escape for the people who are looking to reset, reevaluate, and prepare for a new future. I didn’t understand or agree with Gage’s choice to not communicate what he’s going through with Hailey, although this is what provided the plot. I liked the parts where Hailey is finding healing and peace, and knows that she will be okay whether she gets back together with Gage or not.
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)