Review of ‘A town called Noelle’ by M.K. Hardy
I thought this was a cute holiday romance. In keeping my pledge to read some holiday stories this month, this book easy caught my attention. This is a novella-length story and my first read by the Hardy ladies. I did enjoy this and it was the kind of sweet holiday story I prefer, but I did feel it had a few bumps.
This is one of those stories about a relative dying and leaving property to another relative. Brooke hates the small Christmas town of Noelle and just wants to sell her mother’s property as soon as possible. What she didn’t realize is that Holly, the tenant, and owner of the bakery Brooke is trying to evict, won’t let her business go without a fight.
This book had a little bit of the ‘Grinch Who Stole Xmas’ vibe with Brooke being a grump and hating this Christmas town. And how that changed the more she let the people in including a cute kid that was very Cindy Lou Who-ish. Mix that with some Hallmark Christmas movie romance, and that combo will give you a good feel for this book.
As I mentioned before, I enjoyed this and was glad that I read it but I did feel like it was missing something. I think the biggest thing I was missing is I wanted a bigger connection with the characters. I know it’s hard to do that in a novella but it’s possible. In fact, I just finished a novella where I grew attached to the characters in such a short time. With this story, I felt like I wanted to go a little deeper with both of the main characters.
Holly is fighting for her bakery but I think we only see it once. Why does it really mean so much to her? And Brooke we know why she didn’t want to come back but were there more reasons for her hatred of the town? I could be imagining this and I apologize if I am but I thought there was a line about how she might have been bullied? It was never talked about again so I’m actually questioning if I’m imagining it. My whole point is both characters needed a little more depth for my tastes. When the characters actually spoke about important topics, their conversations were short. I wish there was more dialogue during those times so we could really get to know them.
My last slight issue and it’s not too big a deal was a few times I had trouble knowing who was speaking or whose point of view we were in at certain times. There were times I felt for sure I was in Brooke’s head but then she said she was looking at Brooke. How can Brooke look at Brooke without a reflective surface? I don’t know that answer so it would cause me to have to stop and reread the paragraph to figure out whose point of view I was actually in. As a reader who reads at a reasonable speed, I always find having to stop and reread very jarring. Luckily this didn’t happen often but I was scratching my head a few times.
Overall, this is a sweet and enjoyable lesbian holiday romance. It’s not my favorite that I have read so far but I do think most people will enjoy this. It’s nice to have these cute stories to read this time of year since we all know there are no lesfic holiday movies for us on the Hallmark channel. One more thing, I forgot to mention that there are no explicit sex scenes in this romance. 3.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.