Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Review: Miracle On 5th Avenue, by Sarah Morgan


Miracle On 5th Avenue
Sarah Morgan
(From Manhattan With Love, Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
HQN Books, November 29, 2016
Christmas Fiction, Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance, Women's Fiction
Source: Publix Supermarket

Book Synopsis: It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28590927-miracle-on-5th-avenue?ac=1&from_search=true





What a totally delightful read this was! I had seen this novel on other book blogs, and instantly LOVED the cover. So I bought the book on one of my weekly trips to my local supermarket. I read it during the Christmas season.

This novel is part of a trilogy, which I have just found out will turn into a series. (I'm SO happy about that!!) However, it can also be read as a standalone. 

The two romantic leads are wonderful, very well-developed characters, and their story is just perfect -- funny, serious, heartwarming, and just the thing for any romance addict!

Eva Jordan is, as the synopsis describes her, a "hopeless romantic". She's always optimistic, always ready to see the silver lining in any dark cloud. As I read this novel, I couldn't help wishing I had a friend just like her. She's always there when you need her to listen. Empathetic and passionately in love with life, she also goes the extra mile when dealing with her clients, as she is part owner of an events planning company.

Her complete opposite is mystery/thriller/horror writer Lucas Blade. He's cynical, and prefers to hold himself aloof from other people. He's especially wary of romantic relationships. Still mourning the death of his wife, as well as the loss of the way things could have been between them, he simply doesn't believe that love can really be as simple and straightforward as Eva happily thinks it is. In spite of all this, he's open enough to begin falling under Eva's spell. Down deep, he's a good guy. All he needs is a good woman to bring out his more sensitive side, even if it IS well-hidden.

One element of this novel I found a bit too predictable was the blizzard coming in at just the right time for these two apparently mismatched lovebirds to get together. However, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it! Getting snowed in together is, after all, the BEST way for two people to get to know each other. An alternative, for a more "southerly" setting, would be a hurricane.....haha!!

Eva and Lucas really get to know each other in just a few days. In spite of their personality differences, they do share one thing: they're perfectionists when it comes to their work. Eva loves to cook and decorate, giving all of herself to these tasks, while Lucas does the same thing with his writing. They're SO good together, too! I love their bantering, which had started out as arguing. Morgan has written some very funny dialogues in this novel, with lines that really stay in the reader's mind.

Here are some samples:

"You don't strike me as someone who is addicted to retail therapy, and you have a book to write."

"I don't want to be the dark cloud in anyone's day. It's better to be the sunshine than the rain."

"Since you're now hiding here with me, why don't we agree that we don't have to hide how we feel, for the moment, at least?"

"Extra curvy? Is that like extra strong coffee? In other words, more like the part that's already good?"     

The whole gradual process of these two characters going from a thinly-veiled antagonism to really establishing an emotional connection with each other was the most rewarding aspect of the novel. It also brought in some very interesting psychological insights that gave the story some depth. The fact that it took place during the Christmas season made it all so magical, too!

As I read, I began to fall for Lucas myself. I thought it was great that he could only work on his novel while Eva was with him. She really became his inspiration, his muse. This might sound a bit old-fashioned, but in Morgan's hands, it came across as rather adorable.

The secondary characters were terrific, as well! Lucas's grandmother, who happens to be one of Eva's friends as well as a client, is one of them. She's very well aware that Lucas has NOT gone on a "writer's solitary retreat" in Vermont. Instead, he's holed up in his Manhattan penthouse, feeling miserable, and suffering from writer's block, while his publishing deadline looms closer and closer.... It was her idea to send Eva to Lucas's apartment to decorate it for the Christmas season, while telling her that Lucas was out of town.

Eva's friends -- co-owners of the events planning company -- were very supportive of her, giving her some hilarious advice along the way. I also loved the doorman at Lucas's building, who was so fiercely protective of Eva. In fact, he reminded me of the hotel concierge in the film "Pretty Woman", who was also similarly protective of Vivian, the female protagonist in the film.

Now that I've mentioned this movie, I wish this book were to be picked up by some Hollywood studio, so it could become a permanent part of the holiday tradition. Meanwhile, I would like any romance addict reading this review to know that this novel will make you turn pages into the wee hours, whether or not you have to get up early for work the next day! That's because the writing style is great! It sparkles and surprises, keeping the reader's interest throughout. 

If you want to be immersed in a romantic comedy that will not only keep you on your toes, but make you glad you're alive, you've just GOT to read this one! KUDOS to Sarah Morgan!!             

MY RATING:






USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated 4 times for the prestigious RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors. 





 

2 comments:

  1. Sometimes, it's nice when something just works, isn't it? Even if it may be a little bit more predictable than other reads <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Verushka!

      Oh, DEFINITELY!! There are certain romance tropes that just work every time! They get the reader interested int he story. I think, if an author is skillful enough, they can put their own spin on these tropes and make them hook the reader. That's exactly what Sarah Morgan has done in this novel. I LOVED every minute!!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! <3 :)

      Delete

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