Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by JoAnn Durgin – My Review

About the book:
Jacob Marston, Starlight, Iowa’s hometown hero made a long-ago promise to the Lord: he won’t kiss a woman until he knows she’s “the one.” Now at age twenty-eight, the rugged firefighter questions if it’ll ever happen. Then, he meets his best friend’s sister, and Jake believes he’s found the woman of his dreams. But what will she think when she discovers his vow?

When Julia makes an unexpected confession on Christmas Day, Jake shares his secret with her, and it looks as though happily-ever-after will make a holiday appearance. 

But somehow, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight learns Jake’s secret, and he’s instantly transformed from town hero to laughingstock. Did Julia reveal his secret? Can Jake forget the humiliation and find his way under the mistletoe to share a forever kiss with Julia?

My thoughts:

Jake’s the ideal hero: a firefighter who exudes boyish charm, a kid magnet, a guy who’s been hurt by an ex-girlfriend who left him because she didn’t appreciate his values, his vows, or his town. Julia’s a pediatric nurse, who loves her family, but she’s grown tired of them fixing her up with any and all available males. Her heart is set on Jake, but distance and other relationships stand in the way.

Don’t you love books that leave you with an “awww” when you flip to the last page? Where the conflict stems more from the circumstances that keep them and their budding romance apart, rather than constant bickering between the hero and heroine? Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is one of those books,  immediately tugging you into the blooming romance between Jake and Julia and leaves you with a satisfied feeling.

Durgin plunks you into the heart of Starlight and weaves you into the lives of the characters. At 145 pages, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is a good length to read during snatches of time during the holidays. It wasn’t too short, leaving me wishing for more, and not too long to stress me out. Just right for the holidays!  

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is offered as part of Pelican Book Group’s Christmas Extravaganza for only 99 cents during December. To read an excerpt or to purchase Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, click here. 

Do you like reading stories that leave you with a satisfied feeling? 
Have you been able to squeeze reading into this already bustling holiday season?

Disclosure: I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review.

Review for Awakening by JoAnn Durgin

GEAR UP FOR AN EXPEDITION with Awakening by JoAnn Durgin. 

A God-fearing man. A God-seeking woman. For Sam Lewis and Lexa Clarke, it proves a combustible combination.
Lexa Clarke signs up for a TeamWork Missions summer assignment expecting adventure in a far-off, exotic country. Instead, she’s sent to sweltering San Antonio to help rebuild homes destroyed by sudden flooding. She survives the four-hour bus trip from Houston, dust in the lungs, a flat tire, a tool-throwing incident and a spitting goat–not to mention an inquisition from a distractingly handsome cowboy–all before reaching the work camp.
TeamWork director Sam Lewis isn’t sure what to think of his newest volunteer. She’s feisty, witty, and incredibly pretty, but looks more prepared to board a cruise ship than build houses. Burned by a past betrayal, he’s got a job to do, a reputation to uphold. Sam can’t afford to be distracted by a woman who attracts animals, defies his rules, finds trouble at every turn and questions God’s purpose. But when she tumbles from the top beam of one of the houses into his arms, Sam suspects his life will never be the same.
During their weeks together in the TeamWork camp, Sam and Lexa learn the power of forgiveness and healing. Enduring a chain of incidents which challenge their faith, trust and growing relationship, they look to the Lord for guidance as together they discover a love greater than either could ever imagine. At the end of the eight-week work camp, Sam is committed to a year-long, dangerous overseas mission for TeamWork. Can Lexa trust the Lord enough to let him go? Will Sam safely return and keep his promise to meet her at the Alamo?
You’ll keep turning the pages of this sweeping romantic adventure. With great characters, plenty of humor, enough emotion to make you shed a tear or two, and an ending that’ll have you cheering, Awakening will leave you breathless. Hold on tight. The adventures of Lewis and Clarke have only just begun!

My Review:
Featuring feisty Lexa Clarke and once-burned Sam Lewis, Ms. Durgin takes you on an incredible expedition of love and healing in Awakening.

Assigned to a TeamWork Missions summer project in San Antonio, Lexa overcomes emotional barriers from her past while Sam wrestles with forgiveness issues. Ms. Durgin loads the book with humor, ramped up sexual tension, action, and sweet romance. I found the characters to be true to life, charming and witty, with real and emotional struggles, taking a turn rather unexpected at times. Ms. Durgin doesn’t come across as preachy; rather, she gently weaves Christian themes throughout the course of Sam and Lexa’s journey.

Set aside a few hours to read Awakening because once you get started, you won’t want to stop. What a great read by this debut author. She’s now on my must-read list.
(Review based on my purchase of the book.)

Second Time Around 
September 15. 
Isn’t this cover gorgeous?