I always start my New Year out with a frivolous read. The rule is it has to be something fun and not very taxing. Usually it is a book that would fall into the "mind candy" catagory.
This year I read Moonlight and Mistletoe by Louise Allen. The book certainly fit the bill of light, frivolous fun. Out of five stars I would give it 3.5. The book wasn't bad per se; I wasn't expecting some great literary genius -- thankfully.
The problem I had with the book was that it tried to be gothic and be a Christmas tale. I don't know about you, but when I think "gothic", "Christmas" is not the next word that pops into my mind. Be that as it may, I wanted to get one last Christmas book in since I hadn't read very many this year. I would say the book is neither gothic nor Christmas-y.
The plot is this: A single woman moves into a sleepy little village and into a house that has a dark past. Prior to her moving in, it is rumored that people saw lights in the house from ghosts rumored to haunt the house.
A few days earlier a dashing earl had moved into the house across the street. And we learn he would like to buy the heroine's house as it has a tie to his family. Of course nobody knows this tie, not even our heroine.
Well the plot unfolds and of course, as this is romance, the hero and heroine notice one another. There are certain plot elements, like how it is Hester, the heroine came to be a "fallen woman", that don't exactly wash. However, when one reads romance one knowingly makes the choice to overlook such things in order to read the book. Likewise some of the other plot elements simply have to be overlooked.
I was disappointed that there was so little mention of Christmas. Lots of references to snow and winter, but not until practically page 200 do we see an actual reference to Christmas. There is a Christmas party, but that's about the extent of Christmas' involvement in this book.
Needing a Christmas fix still, I've picked up another quick read (aka mind candy) that promises to be a Christmas book. We shall see.
As for Moonlight and Mistletoe, check your brain at the door and don't mull over the believability of the plot. Just read for fun and not edification. Some parts of the book were cute and as a quick, fluffy weekend read, you'll do just fine with this book. If you're looking for something really good in the gothic genre, just stick with Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff never fails to elicit a sigh of appreciation!