Book Review: In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey

In Mistletoe
by Tammy L. Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Publication Date: December 2, 2016
At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.
Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.
My Review

I am so happy to have read this book during Christmas! The small-town life, the secondary characters and the plot gave me the festive vibe and the warmth typical for this type of romance.

Grace comes to Mistletoe looking for her sister who apparently decided to take some time away and think, with little time before her wedding. The only accommodation available is with the most sought-after bachelor in town: Ayden McCabe. He promises to help find her sister if she agrees on being his pretend girlfriend for a few days. All goes well, until a mistletoe branch ruins their plans.

There are many things I liked and some I did not agree with. On the plus side, I did enjoy the small-town vibe we get from all the secondary characters. They were the ones creating the atmosphere around Ayden and Grace. I liked Ayden – his attention to Grace’s needs, his dedication to his family make him a great guy. He surrounds himself with women that can be quickly disposed, without forming any emotional attachments, yet when he meets Grace, a woman not interested in his charms and with a look of pure innocence, he feels the need to protect.

On the negative, there are some background stories that are not very well developed. Though I know they are not the front and center, I did wish to understand more about Ayden and Grace’s fears. We see just a little bit of both, just not enough to justify the fears they have or the weaknesses they possess. In my opinion, Grace’s past is not enough to justify why she puts up with her boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend)’s crises. The guy is portrayed as a real piece of … something bad and yet she still cannot find the strength to say it to his face. The last 50 pages are kind of a rush, with all things forming a conclusion and characters opening their eyes. It’s good, but I wanted more.

So while I did enjoy the story very very much and I do consider it a great read for the Christmas season, I would have wanted more swoon, a deeper background story for the characters. 4 stars on my end, just because I am picky.

Cover Review: I fully agree with the cover! The color scheme used is perfect for winter, with the blue and the snow. We see the blanket! Apparently, it has nothing to do, but you will understand if you go through the book. Snowy Mistletoe is in the background… It would have been nice to have also a snowy mistletoe branch but… maybe it would have been too much. All in all, I like the cover, it’s fitting.

Favorite Quote: “Danielle believed her older sister needed to spread her own wings and fly. Grace just wished someone had given her a damn parachute first.”


A LEO wife, mother, and military veteran, Tammy began writing when the shows and movies she watched didn’t end the way she wanted them to end. Whether it’s historical or contemporary, for her, there must always be a happy ending.
When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband and two boys near Cleveland, Ohio. Without their sacrifice and understanding, she believes she would have never been able to pursue her passion of writing or her accomplishment of becoming a published author.
$25 Amazon
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