Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tori Review: "Do You Believe In Santa?" by Sierra Donovan

Well Hello There, Bibliobeauties!

I've crested the 46K word mark! I've got 3,902 words to go before this girl CONQUERS NaNoWriMo2015. During my insane writing spree and temporary reading hiatus, Tori has been blazing a trail through her TBR!




Title: Do You Believe In Santa?
Author:Sierra Donovan
Genre: Holiday Romance
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Pages: 312


Miracles don’t just happen on 34th Street. They can happen right in your living room—if you’re willing to believe…

What grown woman claims to have seen Santa Claus? Mandy Reese, for one—on a very special Christmas Eve when she was eight years old. These days, Mandy works at a year-round Christmas store in Tall Pine, California, where customers love to hear about her childhood encounter with Saint Nick. But when Jake Wyndham arrives in town—charming, gorgeous, extremely practical—Mandy faces a dilemma. Deny what she saw, or let Jake think she’s sugarplum crazy?

Jake scouts hotel locations all over the country, but he’s never met anyone quite like Mandy before. Her warmth and sparkle are irresistible, but…meeting Santa? Really? Jake’s no Scrooge but he’s definitely skeptical. Then again, there are all kinds of things Jake never experienced until he came to Tall Pine. Like autumn snow. Mind blowing kisses. And the magic of falling head-over-heels, madly in love…

Entertaining/Pleasant Read

            Do You Believe in Santa – my first holiday book of the season and I suppose I set my expectations a bit too high. I was hoping for a story that would bring on the Christmas cheer, make me giddy to drag out my tree with all the trimmings. Instead, while it did make me anxious for December…I ended up feeling a more than a little frustrated.

            The story is centered around a sweet character by the name of Mandy who saw Santa Claus when she was eight years old.  After telling a local reporter all about her encounter with the man in red, she was ridiculed for being a true believer all through school. “Mandy Claus” then became a town entity and a role that Mandy was never able to shake as she carried that firm belief into adulthood. When Jake, a VERY practical man arrives in town and becomes enamored with our sweet Mandy…she is faced with the sticky task of keeping Jake in the dark until she is ready to tell him her holiday secret.

Okay, so Hallmark quality stamp for this one. Nothing wrong with that if you are looking for a book of the cute and innocent variety. No steamy bits. Chaste kisses. Little dusting of romance here and there. Now with that being said, I felt like the “Santa” crux of the story is what bothered me. The fact that Mandy is a believer is not the point…it’s that she placed so much of her anxiety around her secret that it made the relationship seem less real. I was looking for that magic to be what kept me hooked while Jake worked on getting his proposal for a chain hotel in Tall Pine approved. Instead I felt myself yawning through town council meetings and missing the magic, as that was a point of stress for the couple.

And speaking of couples…I have no issue with romances that happen in the third person. None. However, I found myself constantly jarred (like one of those well placed “hip bumps” from a best friend that throw you off guard when you are strutting about) with how frequently the author switched from Mandy to Jake with no proper transition. It was a mid-chapter thing and maybe that just goes against my reading preferences.

Okay. Rant over. But I did see that ending happening from a mile away. Just saying.

I will not say, however, that there weren’t beautifully written passages sprinkled throughout the book. I think my favorite part was how well Donovan constructed the town of Tall Pine. She made me want to come for a visit and have a cup of coffee at the Pine-N-Dine. So I give this one 3 quills and I hope to find my new Christmas favorite very soon.

Happy Reading!


I am a 25 year old tiny oddball of a woman. I have come to expect that life rarely listens when you huff and puff your way around like some surly old she-wolf. So instead, I have learned to embrace that which makes me quirky. I’m quite a lover of chocolate in all its forms and I ardently believe that it can indeed be served for breakfast. My oven, however, is strictly for shoes.

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