Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Christmas in Cupid Falls - Holly Jacobs (Montlake - Oct 2014)

Series: Cupid Falls (Book 1)

Kennedy Anderson loves Cupid Falls, Pennsylvania. Ever since moving there as an orphaned teenager, she's worked hard to carve out a place for herself in the tight-knit community. Now she's mayor and owner of the town's flower shop. But she also has a big secret and nine months to figure out how to break the news to the father.

Lawyer Malcolm Carter has always been the golden boy of Cupid Falls until he discovers the one night he spent with the girl-next-door turned out to have a lifetime of consequences. Now, the mother of his child wants nothing to do with him, and he's gone from someone who is admired to persona non grata as the town rallies behind its mayor.

Malcolm has always known what he wants. But now as Christmas approaches, he'll have to discover a way to show Kennedy that she could find the only thing she's ever really wanted: a true home with him. Convincing her will take the help of Cupid Falls quirky residents and a bit of holiday magic.

Fun and heartwarming story. Kennedy is the very hands-on mayor of the small town. Her life revolves around the town and its people and the flower shop she owns. She is pregnant and hasn't told anyone who the father is - including the father. 

Malcolm grew up in the house next door to Kennedy. Several months earlier, when his mother had died unexpectedly, he and Kennedy had shared their grief. That sharing had gone a little further than either had expected, and she's been on his mind a lot since then. When he makes a trip home to see his grandfather, the sight of a very pregnant Kennedy stuns him.

I loved Kennedy and Malcolm. They are both wonderful people who find themselves in an unexpected situation and have to find a way to deal with it. While Malcolm may have grown up in Cupid Falls, he works for his father's law firm in Pittsburgh. His parents divorced when he was young, and he remembers how difficult it was to have a father who wasn't truly involved in his life. He is determined to be part of his child's life and immediately proposes marriage to Kennedy. He's surprised when she turns him down, but takes a leave of absence from his job to stay in Cupid Falls to be near her and try to convince her. 

Kennedy's parents had died when she was a teenager, so she went to live with her aunt in Cupid Falls. Though she had a good home there, Kennedy always felt like she was an obligation. When she discovered she was pregnant,she put off telling Malcolm for a long time. She always thought that he would simply leave the baby to her and go back to his life in the city. She was surprised to find that he wants to be part of the baby's life. Though she appreciates his offer of marriage, she is unwilling to have a marriage of obligation rather than love.

At the beginning, both admit they don't really know each other, but with Mal's plans to stay through the holidays that changes. I loved the way that he throws himself into life in Cupid Falls. He spends a lot of time watching out for Kennedy and helping her with various things, growing closer to her by the day. He keeps proposing to her, citing all the practical reasons they should marry, but not really thinking about what it would mean for both of them. He slowly begins to realize just how much he wants both Kennedy and the baby in his life, but can't admit to himself why that is. I loved the way that he finally saw the light, and what opened his eyes to his feelings. 

Kennedy had fears about Mal taking the baby from her, but once she got to spend time with him she realized they were unfounded. She felt guilty about not telling him for so long. She was reluctant to spend much time with him at the beginning, because she didn't want to depend on him then have him go away. She was also afraid that the crush she had on him as a teenager would grow into real feelings for him, and that his departure would be too painful. Of course, those feelings did grow, making his proposals even harder to turn down, but she won't marry without love.

I loved seeing how they grew closer. It was the baby that started it, but it quickly became bigger. I loved seeing them share feelings and memories of the past and how those things shaped who they are now. I especially loved seeing how Mal's vision of what he wanted from life changed the longer he stayed in Cupid Falls. I loved the ending, with Mal's big moment being so sweet and romantic.

The secondary characters were fantastic and really brought the town to life. I loved all the little quirks that brought out their individuality, such as Clarence and his teasing and his wife's frog addiction. Jenny and her daughter Ivy were great friends to Kennedy. I really loved the way that the whole town was so supportive of her. Their treatment of Mal was pretty amusing, especially the way he reacted to it. It was really neat to see the way they all got involved in Mal's big moment. I also loved the guest appearance of Nana Vancy from the Everything But... series. She always adds an extra layer of fun to a story. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

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