Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.
Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.
Penny and her sister, Abbey own the card and knick knack store in Lobster Cove. The girls are setting up their store full of Christmas goodies, but Penny simply isn’t really feeling any of the Christmas cheer – since her wedding was called off this time last year. Del had been in love with Penny since kindergarten – and now he was a semi-famous artist with his Christmas cards selling like hotcakes. Even though Del’s family had moved when he’d finished third grade, he’d never forgotten Penny, the first woman who ever captured his attention. Penny and Del might have had a major crush on each other back when they were little kids, but they’ve both grown right up now. Can they rekindle that sweet first love?
This is a sweet, heart-warming, lovely story. Readers who enjoy character based, slower moving storylines should find themselves really enjoying this story. There are quite a few chaste kisses, but all other physical affection occurs off-screen. I love how the author didn’t just info-dump all of Penny and Del’s history – but rather the two characters caught up on all their missing time together, sharing and telling each other stories and exchanging that information in what I felt was a really realistic manner. This also helped me see the small sparks of attraction grow between Penny and Del and made the start of their relationship feel so much more special and wonderful to me.
I enjoyed how they got to know each other again, how they didn’t just jump into bed or race toward their Happy ending – but how they allowed their chemistry and relationship to flourish at a slower, more enjoyable pace. This really helped make the whole story feel more solid and enjoyable to me as I could relish and take time to appreciate everything Penny and Del already had, and what they allowed their relationship to grow into. My only small, very minor disappointment with this story was that the conflict aspect of the plot (Del’s ex-wife and Penny’s ex-fiance) really felt stilted and a little unrealistic. While I can completely appreciate that the author wanted some form of conflict/antagonist in the story, I personally feel that stories that revolve around the characters as strongly as this don’t necessarily need such a clichéd conflict to make the story better.
I found this to be a lovely, slow-paced, wonderfully sweet romance with interesting and appealing characters. A wonderful story that readers of all ages should enjoy.