Review: The Mistletoe Kiss by Ruby Moone

Widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight. 

Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?

I am absolutely ridiculously in love with historical holiday romances so I had to snag The Mistletoe Kiss when it came through. It completely delivered on every little nuance that speaks to me and I ate up the atmosphere and the characters the author created. 

Lawrence is a stoic widower with a sad history. He’s now owns a small neighborhood bookshop and while he comes across as a solid businessman, he doesn’t really seem to be as strong on the customer service side. Not that he doesn’t do everything for his customers they ask, he just doesn’t have that charisma that customers in a close community love. He hires an assistant, Christy, who turns out to be just what the shop (and Lawrence) needed. Christy has a tough life, he’s dirt poor and has to be very careful trying to support his mother while avoiding his abusive drunkard of a stepfather. 

I enjoyed reading the dynamics between Lawrence and Christy. Technically, there’s a May-December thing happening, but the balance between the two of them never felt off with the power tilting too far towards the older of the two MC’s. The only way that came into play was that Lawrence was Christy’s employer, but that made sense. Christy held his own with his ambitions and loyalties, Lawrence gave him the warm fuzzies from tops to tails, but he also had his pride as a grown ass man, and was plenty mature for his years. I think what really made the thought of a relationship between them work for me was the respect they had for one another. The author did an excellent job of showing me the admiration beyond just the physical and it gave the story more depth beyond Christmas fluff. 

The little moments between the two came along with more frequency and the bookshop provided safe common ground for them to connect. Lawrence gave Christy more responsibility and Christy ran with it. He brought warmth to the shop and to Lawrence and it was so sweet to read as they slowly opened up to one another. 

There was a prominent subplot happening the whole time, Christy’s mother and the aforementioned stepfather from hell are constantly on Christy’s mind so naturally Lawrence gets pulled in as well. That brought plenty of ugly moments into an otherwise relatively angst free story. It did add some grit that kept the story from being too pretty-perfect. My only complaint was that line of the story didn’t end up being resolved. I wouldn’t expect it to be completely wrapped up in a story of this length but I would have liked it to be at least solidly heading in a direction of resolution. 

The MC’s are heading towards a pretty solid HEA though and that makes me exceptionally happy. They really found their footing with one another and when they took their relationship to a physical level they were verrrrrry compatible and I love, love, loved their potent connection and romantic banter. It was exactly why the holiday books get to me so hard.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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