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Posted December 31, 2012
A Delightful Blend of Romance & Humor!
Captain Jake Marston was injured in the line of duty in his role as a fiirefighter for his beloved hometown of Starlight, Iowa. As a teenager Jake had made a secret promise to God, a promise that he intends to keep. It's been a year since his former girlfriend left town, and Jake's friends think it's time he moves forward. Fellow firefighter and friend, Dylan Sinclair pays Jake a visit with his gorgeous younger sister, Julia, in tow. Julia works as a pediatric nurse in Cedar Rapids and has a secret of her own. Dylan persuades Jake to attend the town's annual Christmas party, giving tours of one of the firetrucks, and passing out gifts to the local underprivileged children, an activity Jake loves. During the party Jake can't take his eyes off Julia, and begins to think that he has found the woman of his dreams. As Jake and Julia are thrown into numerous situations together the attraction between them escalates. Both Jake and Julia are strong in their faith, and look to God for direction in their most unusual predicaments.
JoAnn Durgin writes with a strong Christian conviction and beautifully descriptive elements as well as charming characters. This lovely Christmas novella is filled with romance and humor! The characters are strong and are protrayed with all the human characteristics of lovable, delightful and godly personalities. Numerous emotions surface as the story unfolds. I found myself smiling, laughing, and cheering for these sweet characters throughout this unpredictable and fun-filled story. Jake's bumbling habits are charming, and Julia's sweet personality is captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining Christmas novella, and will most likely read it every year when Christmas approaches!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. All expressed opinions are my own.
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Posted February 13, 2015
I really enjoyed this novella. It was fun getting to know the characters and following their road to romance.. It is also a wonderful story sharing how God can work in everyday lives to fulfill the desires of the heart for those that remain steadfast in their trust in Him. I definitely recommend this to any one who enjoys a good Christian romance with wonderful characters and a delightful story line.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2014
Who would not want to kiss an adorable firefighter who also repairs toys to give them to needy children? and if there's mistletoe, who can resist? Julia and Jake have a rocky road as she is already engaged and he won't kiss a girl until he is sure she's the "one" for him. This book just made me feel good. It is a sweet romance and definitely make me recall my own moments of falling in love. Starlight sounds like a delightful town to live in and the town just has a "family feel" to it. Read this sweet book to find out if Jake and Julia find love and get a kiss underneath the mistletoe.
I won a copy of this book from the author in a holiday giveaway. It is my pleasure to review it.
Posted December 30, 2013
Purchased this book on my nook color on Christmas eve; wanting a last christmas book to read before the holidays were over. I liked this book, it was good writing, pretty good plot, not my favorite book though, only four stars. But i did like it, but because i chose this book so quickly, well thats probably why i didnt enjoy it that much. No hard feelings, it was a good book, filled with Christian life, and romance, but it didnt suit my fancy to rate it five stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2013
I found this novella to be one of the most God honoring works of fiction I have read. Growing up, we often intend for our lives to honor God, but when life plays out, living it can be so much more difficult than we ever imagined.
Jake made a promise to God as a teenager, but will he be able to keep that vow? Julia’s presence makes his promise even harder to keep. The encounters between the characters are filled with sensitive passion that draws you into an emotional turmoil that is so real—real to our emotions, real to our minds, and real to our hearts. But what if that heart is truly surrendered to a vow made to God? How will that heart react? I found this story to be such an exemplary display of the Holy Spirit inside us, directing each and every step.
JoAnn Durgin does an awesome job of writing an emotional romance while keeping the story clean and enjoyable. The characters are well developed, facing real-to-life struggles, making them likeable and real. This was a book that I could not lay down until the final page had been turned.
Posted January 23, 2013
Oh, goodness, another hunky firefighter. Do we ever get enough of them? Well...NO! Especially when said firefighter is a man that puts God first, and lives out the faith he professes by remaining true to a vow he made as a teenager. I just wanted to swoon.
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe didn't take me long to read because I just couldn't put it down, and I don't think you'll be able to either.
Yeah, I know it's after Christmas and I should be done with the Christmas books, but I love them all year round. Maybe it's because most people, even in books, tend to love each other more, give of themselves more, and do random acts of kindness. And all of that is included in this story.
***Complimentary copy provided for review. The above is my honest opinion.***
Posted December 19, 2012
I really enjoyed this Christmas novella and all the fun activities in the book put one in the mood for a Merry Christmas, but more than that, the book shares in a very warm and heartfelt way, the real reason for Christmas. It also shares a sweet love story, which involves past promises, humor and confusion, but oh, so sweet the dance between a God-loving hero and heroine.
JoAnn Durgin knows how to write romance, romance with always an honorably-done edge. Her heroes are among my favorites. You get
more than your money’s worth and certainly no disappointment with this well written novella.
Posted December 10, 2012
Jake Marston is taking time off from fire fighting after falling through a burning flight of stairs. But while he's healing from aches and pains, he spends his time fixing abandoned and broken toys so they can be donated and given to children at Christmas. One day, a fire-fighting friend shows up at the door, determined to get Jake out of the house to help with a community event. But Sgt. Dylan Sinclair isn't alone--he's brought his sister, Julia, to help.
It's been a year since Jake's girlfriend, Nicole, left him and the town for bigger and better things--and it's taken awhile for Jake to get over her. But when Julia walks in the door, he's drawn to the pediatric nurse--only to find out that she's engaged to be married.
Julia is immediately attracted to the handsome fireman who lives in the house his grandfather built. Her heartstrings are strummed even more as they spend time together volunteering in the community during the days leading up to Christmas. She knows that if she's going to have any chance with him, she must share a secret she's been keeping from her family. Only, things get more complicated when Nicole shows up and wants Jake back.
I've read and enjoyed several other books by this author, but this one is my favorite. Jake is the perfect hero. He's handsome, heroic, giving, great with children, loved and respected in the community, a fix-it kind of guy, and he honors commitments. Jake and Julia have similar hearts for people; they make a great team.
Their story had me hooked from the first page, and I finished the book in one afternoon. These are some of the yummy lines written: "Honey, if I was you, I'd snap this man up in a heartbeat, for no reason other than he can fix anything. That and the fact he could melt the chocolate in your s'mores." I love that!
Around the holidays, I tend to overdose on Hallmark Christmas movies, so I've watched my fair share over the years. As I read this story, it played out like a Hallmark movie for me. Not the over-the-top sappy films that make you nauseous. But those that have heart and make you feel good and hopeful--just like how you want to feel during the holiday season.
If you enjoy reading Christmas novellas, I highly recommend picking up "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe."
Posted December 8, 2012
What could possibly happen when a handsome, enticing, brave, young, kind firefighter and a darling, sweet, engaging, gorgeous, compassionate, bright young nurse are introduced by the nurse’s brother?
Well, when JoAnn Durgin begins to whip up a new recipe for romance she spills the wordy ingredients into writing and comes up with a wonderful Christmas Novella. JoAnn writes about love and romance as though she invented it herself.
Let’s drop into the town of Starlight and meet JoAnn’s atypical candidates for romance, I mean – the characters Jake and Julia appear perfect in personality and physique, not to mention high moral fiber. However Barbie and Ken-like Jake and Julia might appear, they are alive and vibrant. Their human qualities are compatible and more importantly, they are equally yoked as believers and children of God.
We come into JoAnn’s charming story during a cold and snowy pre-Christmas scene and first meet Jake who is recovering physically from an injury incurred during a firefight saving a beloved family dog. He has his mind and hands busy repairing toys for Starlight’s Christmas Drive. He says a prayer for each child who will receive this toy. A loud persistent knock at the door interrupted Jake’s solace and we meet Sergeant Dylan Sinclair, Jake’s best friend and fellow firefighter. Now, we come to my query at the beginning of my review. Dylan is of the opinion that Jake has spent enough time in emotional pain over his broken relationship with Nicole one year ago. He begins to introduce his sister Julia and turns to see her adjusting the Christmas lights on Jake’s front porch. He tells her to come meet Captain Jake Marston, Starlight’s resident hero. As Julia Sinclair comes through the front door, Dylan quietly lowers his voice to tell Jake not to mention the touchy subject of Julia’s fiancé. Jake’s first response was to thank Julia for taking care of his bulbs, seeing Dylan’s smirk of amusement, he felt like a fool. Particularly when…ZOWIE….he wasn’t expecting to see a beautiful grown young woman with sparkling eyes – he was expecting a gawky teenager with braces. Julie shyly replied that she was happy to help him. I was wondering if she could see the size twelve foot in his mouth – but she showed herself to be a quietly discerning lady as she began to comment and admire the house Jake lived in. He informed her that the house had belonged to his grandparents – but from here, you’ll need to read for yourself why the house is so special. Does Jake recover from his injuries and get rid of that foot in his mouth?
JoAnn Durgin started a heat wave of love all over the state of Iowa, mainly the town of Starlight. This story is full of God’s love in every corner of this town. In fact, Dylan and his wife Hannah are “great with child” and the sweet entrance of this child is quite exciting and timely. I laughed at the Keystone Cop antics throughout between Dylan’s family, Jake and Julia, not to forget grouchy Caroline and her famous cup of coffee. Jake’s unprepared filling in for the absent angel at the start of the Christmas pageant was great comedy; but I loved most of all watching him embrace the children around him. They saw him as a hero, of which he was deserving. Jake’s head never swelled, he was a man of humility and humbleness. Julia is loving and full of compassion, always there to listen and help. What fun we all had with Jake’s new puppy and how Julia taught him the rules of puppy raising. I particularly enjoyed the other romance ongoing behind the scenes between Ben Picasso and Caroline from Barney's Diner. She didn’t forget the generic generation.
When I found out Julia was carrying a load of deception in which she had involved herself, I was shocked. It’s up to you to read how she worked that angle out. Oh, and yes, Jake had temptation thrown his way from several different directions, which added interest to his romantic feelings toward Julia. When Jake was made the object of fun and ridicule, we did see a normal excusable flaw – anger, but he was full of hurt. Julia was the only ointment that could soothe that pain. Just when you begin to feel that everything will be alright, the feathers all explode from the pillow of comfort and the ending of that situation becomes unpredictable.
JoAnn’s Christmas story is full of the spirit of the majesty of Christ’s birth and why he was born to give us the gift of salvation. Meet Me Under The Mistletoe is a sensitive, touching, fun, wonderful read. JoAnn Durgin is a terrific matchmaker and I can feel the fun she has making up these beautiful stories. For a number of years, I’ve found it hard to feel Christmas in its true essence…didn’t feel like going through another stressful time. This season, I’m feeling excited and the Christmas Spirit is felt deep in my heart. Thank you, JoAnn, for the gift of reminding me about the true meaning of this wonderful season. I’d advise anyone with the blues at this Christmas time to read JoAnn’s Novella and meet Jesus once again under the mistletoe. What love you will feel.