Dear Santa: A Novel

Dear Santa: A Novel

by Nancy Naigle

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Overview

From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, Dear Santa is a heartwarming Christmas story about finding your passion for life and love.

A holiday retelling of You've Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help through the Dear Santa app, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250185181
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 235,687
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. Her books include Christmas Joy, Dear Santa, and Hope at Christmas. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home.
USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Dear Santa,

It's me, Chrissy, again. I'm still being good. I'm going to have a Christmas tree in my room. You can put my presents there so I don't have to wait until Daddy wakes up Christmas morning. He sleeps way too late. Be careful on the stairs.

Chrissy

Angela Carson prided herself on keeping things simple, like coffee, for example. She made her own. No K-cups or fancy electronic gadgets. Just a good old-fashioned automatic drip pot. The same one that she'd had in her college dorm days. No exotic flavored coffee either — just the local grocer's brand.

She used the same simplicity when it came to her store, Heart of Christmas, located in the old lighthouse at the edge of town where the road curved hard to the right, hugging the coastline near the jetty. And not just any lighthouse, but the one where her great-great-grandfather had worked until the day he died.

When her grandmother, affectionately called Momma Grace, died she'd left the family heirloom with all its charm to Angela, along with the beach house she'd grown up in, which was on the adjacent oceanfront property. And even though the lighthouse had been decommissioned long ago, it still sported its original daymark, a unique harlequin-like diamond pattern, adding a touch of whimsy among the sun-bleached pastel-colored beach houses in the surrounding area.

Beachcombers came in droves year-round to Pleasant Sands, North Carolina, because the jetty pumped up the ocean waves, allowing for huge deposits of shells. Shell seekers spent hours rooting through the piles and piles of colorful treasures.

Small prize shells, like the colorful coquinas, augers and tiny olive shells, could be found among larger shells such as clams, scallops, occasional whelks and Scotch bonnets, which were always a keeper.

The bounty brought people back again and again. And with that came a steady flow of customers.

Thankful was how Angela felt about all of those shell-seeking customers, and her dedicated staff. But today Heart of Christmas was closed so she and her staff could enjoy the holiday with their families, despite the fact that her competition had chosen to stay open on Thanksgiving Day.

Angela gulped a cup of coffee to chase the bitter taste in her mouth. Christmas Galore? There wasn't a single thing sincerely Christmassy about that store.

She opened the large glass 27-by-40-inch frame that protected her message-of-the-day board on the street side of Heart of Christmas. Locals said they enjoyed the local facts she posted there, which was nice because she loved posting them, and changed them at least weekly ... more when the mood struck her.

With the canvas tool bucket next to her, she pulled out a few wet wipes and cleared yesterday's message, leaving a shiny black surface with just the words DID YOU KNOW? in bright red along the top.

She grabbed a wide chalk paint marker in royal blue and wrote out the message of the day, switching up colors to make it look festive.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 1710, Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the Pirate, spent Thanksgiving in Pleasant Sands as a guest of the owners of the Topside Tavern, the Collins family, on Checker Street. Thirty years old, his table manners weren't the best, but he gave a gold coin to each child there.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

She stepped back to proofread for spelling, squinting against the bright sun. Last year she'd had to break out her winter coat on Thanksgiving but today the sun shone as brilliantly as if it were an end-of-season summer day.

Angela's phone began playing "Jailhouse Rock," the ringtone for her lawyer sister, Marie. "Hey, Marie."

"Are you busy?"

"Just finished switching out my message at the shop."

"I can't believe I didn't think of this," Marie said, "but Brad is asking about Momma Grace's oyster dressing. I forgot to ask you to make it. Do you have time? Apparently it's more important to Brad than the turkey."

"I thought that was expected," Angela said. "I made it this morning."

"You're the best sister."

Angela heard the whoosh of relief. It wasn't until just a couple years before Momma Grace died that she'd finally trusted Angela with that recipe — sort of the official hand-off of the legacy. Just like the store had been.

"I have another favor to ask too. Can you zip over to the Crabby Coffee Pot and pick up an order for me? It's already paid for. It'll save a trip out for Brad."

"Sure. I can do that." Not a fan of fancy brews, Angela hadn't been to the new coffee shop, even though it was practically across the street from Heart of Christmas. From the front door she could see their sign: a bright red crab with its open claw waving to the patrons below as he balanced on a blue speckled coffeepot. "As soon as I get your coffee, I'll get the stuff from the house and head your way."

"Have I told you lately that you're my favorite sister?"

"I'm your only sister." Angela laughed. "But that does make me feel a little better about letting you do all the work on these big holiday meals."

"You know I love doing it," Marie said.

Marie wouldn't stop at just dinner for the family either. Right after they ate she'd start welcoming guests for her Holiday Warm-up, an annual event with an open invitation to all of Angela's and Brad's customers and vendors, along with neighbors and friends. People would come and go for hours, noshing on delectable desserts and getting ready for the holiday season. Angela was exhausted just thinking about it.

"That I do. I'll see you in a while." Angela ended the call and tucked her phone into her back pocket.

She crossed the beach road and cut through the parking lot toward the small row of colorful storefronts, each a different shade of blue, peach, yellow and green.

To her surprise, the Crabby Coffee Pot was as busy today as any workday.

The front door had been propped open to take advantage of the mild weather. As she got closer to the bright yellow front door the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafted out into the parking lot and mingled with the smell of bacon from the diner down the way, making her hungry.

Bright blue nautical ropes herded the customers to the counter to place their orders in a line that wrapped around twice like a giant snake. She let herself be nudged along, thankful that at least the line was moving.

People stepped up to the register, recited their order and then left with a lift in their step before even taking the first sip of the caffeinated concoction. Some of those drinks were quite pretty, with their whipped cream, sprinkles and all.

She was tempted to treat herself to one.

Other customers were picking up orders too, some of them quite large. Angela suddenly found herself hoping Marie hadn't ordered so much that Angela wouldn't be able to walk home with it. It wouldn't surprise her one bit. Marie was her complete opposite, going whole hog on everything she did. No telling how many people would pass through her sister's house this afternoon and evening. Angela would stay just long enough to slip out when the house got crowded.

Across the way a dark-haired man reading The Wall Street Journal at a two-topper caught her attention. His watch glimmered beneath the edge of his perfectly tailored suit. Crisp ocean-blue cuffs peeked from beneath his sleeve a perfect half-inch. He looked the type to have money to spare. There were quite a few of his kind in Pleasant Sands since all those high-end condos had been built near the marina.

She'd take her weathered beach house any day, but these transplants were bringing new things to the area. Like this shop, for instance. Most of them were partial-year residents who closed the doors of their condos at the end of the season and disappeared until spring.

Her eyes followed the line of the man's sharply creased dress pants to his leather loafers. Nice shoes said a lot about a man. So many of the beach guys around here opted for sneakers or flip-flops year-round. That drove her nuts. Didn't they know grown-ups were supposed to wear real shoes?

She lifted her gaze, to see him looking directly at her. Their eyes locked. Even from here she could tell his were blue. As blue as the starched button-down dress shirt he wore. And for a moment she felt unable to look away.

Please tell me he didn't notice that I was checking him out.

But the slight lift at the corner of his mouth said he'd definitely noticed. She managed a smile, certain her cheeks were red.

Her phone rang. Thankful for the distraction, she dug for her phone and answered. "Hi, Marie. I'm in line to pick up your order. It's really busy."

"I appreciate you picking that up for me," Marie said.

Angela could tell she was on speaker. She could just picture Marie multitasking in her kitchen. "I don't mind. What's up?"

"Can I borrow that gravy carafe I gave you for Christmas last year too?"

"Sure, I'll pick up the carafe when I go home to get the dressing. I'll see you in a little while."

"Good. I've got all of our favorites. I love tradition."

"Me too. I wouldn't miss it." Heart of Christmas had been tradition too. Only, that might not be the case for long. Angela's gut ached at the thought.

"What would I do without you?" Marie said. "You're an angel."

"Aren't all sisters angels-in-waiting?" Angela remembered those words of comfort from their mom. It was the only thing about her mother she still remembered.

"Oh great, like that's not pressure," Marie said with a heavy sigh.

"I'll talk to you in a little bit." Angela ran her hand through her hair, trying not to give into the temptation to look back at that guy again. But by the time the next customer had walked away with their coffee and pastries, she found herself drawn back in his direction. Nothing nonchalant about that.

Thankfully, his newspaper seemed to have his full attention. As she looked closer, she realized he didn't really have that fancy-condo boat-guy look. Didn't have the weathered skin, or remnants of the sun lightning his hair, the way those guys did. Maybe he wasn't from around here at all.

"Next!" a brisk shout came from across the counter.

Angela felt a thump on her shoulder.

"That's you," the teenage girl behind her said as she almost pushed Angela off balance.

"Sorry." Angela lunged toward the counter, glancing back at Blue-eyes one last time. He was smiling at her.

She managed an awkward finger wave then turned before he saw the hot rush of embarrassment racing up her chest.

"May I help you?" The barista's words carried an edge that didn't even require a finger snap to get her attention.

Angela cleared her throat to place her order, then managed another quick glance, but he'd already moved on.

"Um, yes. Sorry." Somehow a plain coffee seemed way too ordinary after the long wait. "I'll have what she just ordered."

In a flash there was a sparkly paper cup with a peppermint-striped sleeve in front of her. Steam rising from the top, which reminded her of the other reason she preferred to make her own coffee: so she could sip it without burning the first layer of skin off of her lips.

"Whipped cream?" It was almost a threat the way the barista waved the shiny silver can.

"Why not? Go wild." Angela watched the sugary sweet confection stack into a swirly peak, followed by a toss of chocolate sprinkles and a cherry right in the middle. At least the whipped cream should cool down the coffee a little.

"Pretty." Angela handed over a ten-dollar bill.

As the woman counted back her change, Angela remembered the reason she was even here in the first place. "I'm sorry. I'm here to pick up an order for Marie Watterman too."

"Of course you are." The girl standing behind Angela propped a hand on her hip and cocked her head, checking her watch as if she were late for something.

The barista shoved a fancy blue sack toward her. "Already paid for."

Angela wrangled the bag, trying to maneuver it and not spill her coffee. The bag was so large it wouldn't even fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane. And it was heavy.

The barista craned her neck past Angela. "Next."

Angela left with barely enough change to satisfy the bell ringer standing on the sidewalk, but she dropped the coins and dollars into the kettle anyway. "Merry Christmas."

"You too. Thank you."

Despite his snow-white beard, Santa's hands looked strong, and even this late in November he had a tan. Probably a young surfer earning a few extra bucks to make it to the next big waves. Lots of locals, especially the fishermen and surfers, had tans late into the year. Angela's brother-in-law, Brad, was like that too, from being out on construction sites. He was successful enough now that he could sit in the office and never swing a hammer again, but he loved the physical part of the job, and his crews loved him for that.

The growth spurt in Pleasant Sands had been very good for his business.

Not so much for hers. Quite the opposite, in fact.

She stopped to get a better grip on the heavy bag, and then took another sip of her coffee. She had to admit it was pretty good coffee. She could see how people got hooked on it.

As she walked to the end of the strip mall heading home, she noticed the handsome stranger on his phone leaning against the open door of a shiny red sports car.

She smiled and waved, her stomach whirling, but he didn't seem to notice her. Too bad; she wouldn't have minded a quick conversation with him.

She crossed the street. Her old beach house could use a new coat of paint this spring. The once beachy, deep grayish-blue called Nantucket Fog had faded to more of a rainy-day gray, making the pewter shutters almost disappear. She knew she should've gone with the brick-red shutters even though Brad said it wasn't a beachy combination; at least the house wouldn't be fading into the backdrop right now.

She wondered where the stranger would be eating dinner tonight. She wished she'd thought to look at his license plate. Was he one of the new condo residents who had moved into the area, or was he only passing through on his way somewhere else?

Wouldn't it be funny if he ended up being one of the guests at her sister's Holiday Warm-up tonight? she thought. It could happen. This big old world had a way of seeming small most of the time, with everyone intersecting in one way or another.

What was it people said about that small-world experiment? That whole six-degrees-of-separation theory? That we're all connected in an average of just six hops among family, acquaintances or friends.

When Angela got back to her beach house, she stopped and put the bag in the front seat of her car, and then ran up the stairs to her front door.

She straightened its beachy wreath. A ring of artificial fern looked soft beneath the bevy of starfish, sand dollars and assorted shells she'd collected on the beach.

As soon as she opened the door, parsley, sage and thyme from the dressing filled the air. She gathered the casserole dish and the carafe for Marie.

She loved spending Thanksgiving with Marie's family, and now that there was an itsy-bitsy chance she might run into the handsome stranger there, it was even more exciting.

It wasn't a stretch that she might run into the dark-haired man from the Crabby Coffee Pot again — as soon as tonight — with all of the guests her sister always entertained at her Holiday Warm-up party. Angela might even stay for the whole party this year. She put the covered dish down and ran back into her room to change into something a little dressier.

CHAPTER 2

Dear Santa,

I'm sorry I told you to put my presents under the tree in my room this year. Daddy said that was bossy. I didn't mean to be bossy.

You can do whatever you want and it's okay with me.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Chrissy

At eleven o'clock Angela stood at the front door of her sister's house carrying Momma Grace's large casserole dish. The aqua Pyrex with the gold starburst was as precious as the recipe itself. She gave the door a one-two knock then balanced the dish against her hip as she opened the door to let herself in.

The huge wreath flopped against the door as she nudged it open with her knee. "Happy Thanksgiving." Angela kicked the door closed behind her and headed straight for the kitchen. A baritone woof sounded from somewhere in her wake.

"Aunt Angela!" Chrissy squealed as she came flying across the room, wrapping her arms around Angela's hips.

"Hey, Chrissy," Angela said. "Let me put this down so I can get a real hug."

The tiny five-year-old bounced on tiptoes. Fat orange-and- brown rickrack ribbons bobbed from her ponytail, just like the ones Momma Grace used to put in Angela's and Marie's hair when they were kids.

Angela put the dish on the kitchen counter, then swept her niece into her arms. "Chrissy, you look bee-yooo-tiful." Chrissy clung to her like a koala bear as Angela twirled around.

"More, Auntie Angela. More!" Chrissy cried out between fits of giggles with her hands reaching toward the ceiling.

Marie stepped up beside them, shaking her head. "Put her down before you make her toss her cookies. Literally. She's been sampling treats all morning." Marie had a way of losing her patience when she was busy, leaving Angela feeling like a scolded child.

Angela put Chrissy back down, and then gave her niece a boop with her fingertip right on the end of her nose. "Mommy is just no fun."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Dear Santa"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Nancy Naigle.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Dear Santa 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Macsbooks More than 1 year ago
We all have written that proverbial "Dear Santa" letter at least sometime in our lives. It's a letter where children pour out their hearts to Santa and ask, okay beg, for all of their wishes to come true on Christmas morning. In Dear Santa, a very adult Angela, through the encouragement of her adorable niece, writes such a letter using an online app. It is Angela's last hope for her failing business.  Angela's only goal in life was to successfully run her family's business, a Christmas store set in an old lighthouse that had been in her family for three generations. She was raised by the side of her grandmother, Grace, who had carried on the business started by her mother, Mackey. Yep, that's right, Mackey. (I have to tell you that I never have read a book that included a female Mackey who has the same spelling as mine, so already you know that I am hooked on this story, right?) However, Angela's rather old fashioned values of not connecting to social media, rarely used advertising and her staunch ideas about selling high end merchandise rather than affordable kitsch, have led to the downfall of her business. The final nail in the store's coffin comes when a chain store marketing cheap goods, a lot of flair and advertising and hoopla, move in across the street from her. In her angst, Angela agrees to write to "Santa" for help. Little does she realize that the "Santa" on the other side of the app is the owner of the new mega-store. The result is classic romance: enemies by day, confidants by night via the "Dear Santa" app. Dear Santa is a classic holiday romance with the couple hating each other and then, through a series of holiday "miracles" realizing how much they love each other. In this case, the story line reminded me a bit of the sweet movie, "You've Got Mail," starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I loved that movie and I absolutely adored this book! The writing is very well done, never too over-the-top and the characters are beautifully developed. Because I own a small business in a small town and see how my fellow townspeople struggle to walk the fine line between quality, quantity, nostalgia and the ever changing way that we do business in the 21st century, this book - Angela specifically - truly resonated with me. I could feel her heartbreak as well as her hope. Admittedly, I didn't care for Angela's sister or even Geoff, the mega store owner, at least until about mid-way of the book, but again, that was part of the story and the strong emotions that I felt were the result of very good writing on Naigle's part.  You already know that I love holiday tales and, if you're like me and holiday reading is your thing, then I am sure you will love Dear Santa as much as I did.  You can find the book today at Barnes and Noble. Enjoy!  
tweezle More than 1 year ago
My husband asked me why in the world I read Christmas novels. The answer? It's books like this that make me want to read them! Nancy has captured the magic of Christmas in Dear Santa. However, I will say that if you are a Christmas movie junkie, you'll notice that the story line has a familiarity about it, but it's the way Nancy tells the story that makes you want to keep reading. Her characters are interesting and the main character, Angela, is just a downright sweet girl who only wants to keep her store afloat. Then there's Geoff - the wealthy, handsome, businessman that is the threat to Angela's success. Yes, both characters are cliche, but still interesting and kept me wanting to read more to see how things were going to finally turn out in the end. Sure it's predictable - it's a Christmas story, but it's the way Nancy tells the story that will keep you captivated and turning the pages until you surprise yourself that you've finished the book and can't believe you've sat reading for such a long period of time. If you are a sucker for feel good Christmas stories, treat yourself and pick up a copy of Dear Santa. You won't regret it! I received an egalley of this book from the NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.
PrincessThuy1 More than 1 year ago
Cute and sweet romance. Emphasis on the sweet. Totally a rated G romance. I tend to like my romances a little bit steamier but this was still cute. If you loved the movie You've Got Mail then you'll definitely love this story. Very similar premise with a few changes of course. Overall an enjoyable holiday story.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! A Hallmark holiday movie in a book. Angela Carson has been working hard to keep her family's Christmas shop up and running but when a big box Christmas store opens in town it's the final blow and she's afraid the end is near. To add insult to injury Geoff Paisley is the most arrogant, infuriating and, darn it, attractive man she's ever met. He's also the head of the big box monster. Now not only does she have to come to terms with the fact that she'll need to close her beloved store but she has to see Geoff all over town. Don't miss this wonderfully written, sweet holiday read. I highly recommend it.
mavel More than 1 year ago
Aunque aún estamos algo lejos de la navidad, Dear Santa realmente me metió en el espíritu navideño. Me encantaría pasar esta fecha en un pueblito playero al estilo de Pleasant Sands y asistir al encendido del árbol junto con todos los personajes que conocimos en el libro. Me hubiera encantado visitar Heart of Christmas, el establecimiento de nuestra protagonista Angela Carson y ver el tren y la villa navideña y ser atendida por los simpáticos empleados. Al inicio del libro, Angela está consciente de que probablemente sea la última temporada navideña de la tienda, económicamente no le va muy bien y ha llegado Christmas Galore, una cadena de tiendas que no solo se especializa en cosas navideñas sino que tiene muchas cositas que tiene la atención de los habitantes del pueblo. Los dueños de esta cadena son Geoff Paisley y su mamá quien además ha creado una aplicación donde los niños le pueden enviar su carta a Santa. Cuando ella enferma le toca a Geoff contestar algunas de las cartas y recibe la que Angela, a petición de su sobrinita, mandó expresando todo su pesar de perder algo que la conectaba con sus antepasados. No pude evitar sentir la tristeza de Angela y todo el libro me la pasé rogando para que Heart of Christmas sobreviviera. Creo que el personaje se desarrolló muy bien y me gustó ver que la trama no se centraba en el deseo entre los protagonistas, como es el caso de varias novelas donde los personajes principales se encuentran en lados opuestos y empiezan como enemigos. En Dear Santa podemos ver la evolución de la relación y afortunadamente pasan por la amistad. Todo sucede en un período de un mes pero ese tiempo está bien aprovechado y sí pude sentir cómo se conocían Angela y Geoff. La verdad es que quedé muy contenta con su relación. La narración me gustó mucho y no me dejó soltar el libro hasta las 2 de la mañana que lo terminé. Generalmente esto me sucede con libros muy emocionantes donde quieres saber que los personajes no van a morir y por supuesto que este no es el caso en Dear Santa, lo que pasó aquí es que me metí de lleno con los personajes y realmente me preocupé por lo que les estaba pasando. Quería que todo saliera bien así que no pude dejar de leer hasta que me aseguré de esto. Terminé muy contenta y con una sonrisa en el rostro al terminar este libro.
Lynne_Pearson More than 1 year ago
This was such a cute book it was very hard to put down. This story follows Angela Carson a Christmas store owner. She has owned the store for quite some time and it has been passed down to her from her great great grandmother. As with a lot of small businesses new technology and cheaper products are threatening to close her shop. One last larger company comes in and she has to make some hard choices. Meanwhile she is talking to a "Santa" asking for advice and all the luck he can offer and finds out she is starting to have feelings for this guy playing Santa. When one door closes will another one open for Angela? I definitely will add this book to my annual Christmas read list! A problem that a lot of people are struggling with and a little romance thrown in, what a great read!
nku More than 1 year ago
Dear Santa: A Novel (Kindle) by Nancy Naigle This is a sweet Christmas story with Anglea Carson (owner of THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS and Geoff Paisley (owner of CHRISTMAS GALORE) thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for letting me preview and review this book. Anglea inherited her store from her grandmother who raised her... Geoff and his mother own a chain of discount stores and open one up the road from Angela... This is a sometimes sad and touching also funny and interesting story. I have to admit that I shed a few tears when Angela found the red envelope in her grandmother's desk. I also enjoyed her letters to Santa and his response... This great story gets to a wonderful HEA.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Dear Santa" is really the Christmas version of "You've Got Mail"- they are very similar. Angela works at Heart of Christmas, a store in North Carolina that features handmade and one-of-a-kind items related to Christmas out of a former lighthouse. She inherited the store from her grandmother (she and her sister Marie came to live with her grandmother after their mother died and their father left), who had in turn inherited it. Angela loves the store- it's family and so much a part of her. However, the giant Christmas Galore (think Christmas Tree Shops) has come to town with huge bargains. That store opening is the last push towards putting Heart of Christmas out of business. Angela is facing the reality of the future without the store in the center of her life, when she sees an attractive guy, who she soon learns is Geoff, the owner (with his mother) of Christmas Galore. Upon knowing who they are, they immediately begin verbally sparring. However, each cannot deny their attraction for each other. Angela's niece Chrissy has a new app that she loves- Dear Santa, where you send an email to Santa- and he replies! Chrissy convinces Angela that she should write to the app, and with the urging/pushing of her sister Marie, Angela goes for it. To her surprise, the response is personal- not the automated replies Chrissy was getting. What she doesn't realize is that the app is owned by Christmas Galore and Geoff's mother has a filter to allow some submissions to come in and be responded to personally- and Geoff is humoring her by responding to some. As they get to know each other on email and separately in real life, things begin to change. The vast majority of the book is in real life, and the emails between them are very limited, maybe a handful. I was expecting more emails between them with real life being secondary. This is definitely not the case. I didn't really feel the connection through the emails that they both seemed to felt- their real life relationship was definitely taking the helm. Aside from that, the links between the movie and this book are vast (even the sick scene!). As a fan of the movie, I enjoyed reading the book, and it was entertaining enough that I didn't mind feeling like I had read it before. If you don't like the movie, don't read this book- but if you loved the movie and love Christmas reads, then you MUST pick this one up! At the beginning of each chapter, we got to read a letter to Santa from a child to the app or a factoid about the town that Angela writes on the board outside the shop each day. I loved this part of the book- particularly the letters to Santa. In terms of the characters, Geoff had to grow on me- I didn't like him at first, but I loved Angela from the get-go. Geoff's mother was also great and I would have loved more from her (except, I still don't understand why she never told him about his father- it just didn't make sense to me). Marie, Angela's sister, was really terrible- highly judgmental and overpowering- I would have preferred to see Angela having a little support from family (what support is given felt a bit begrudging)- I like to see strong sister relationships! However, the main characters were great, and Geoff/Angela really sold me on the romance by the end of the book (it's a slow build). Overall, this is a fun Christmas twist on "You've Got Mail," and it really got me in a Christmas mood! As a final note, it's a really clean book with a very slow build relationship, so it's great f
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Definitely a retelling of a favorite movie starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks this story is set in a small tourist town in North Carolina. In this version we have Angela Carson running a family business that has been in business for nearly a century when along comes Christmas Galore to compete with her. Sure, her business wasn’t doing as well as it had in the past but the competition of Geoff Paisley’s store down the block didn’t help her out at all. Geoff and Angela soon become enemies with tense encounters that sometimes made them seem more like high school students than adults. Add into the story good friends, a supportive family, holiday scenes and a wonderful small town community and you have the makings of a sweet romance that could easily be made into a Hallmark movie. I enjoyed the story and believe someone looking for a clean holiday romance who also liked You’ve Got Mail will enjoy this book, too. That said, it wasn’t new or different but more comfortable, sweet and predictable. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
KrittersRamblings 4 months ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings When reading this book it was very obvious that the author took a lot of inspiration from the movie You've Got Mail and I was quite ok with that! Angela Carson owns her grandmother's store that is located in a lighthouse in North Carolina. A Christmas store that is open all year round that specializes in hand made and unique Christmas things that are truly one of a kind. A new store has opened up that is the complete opposite a big box store that carries Christmas things that are on the cheap and is possibly going to put Angela's store out of business. Angela asks Santa in an app for help and things get interesting.
lhill82125 More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It is a great Christmas romance and everyone should read it. Thank you Nancy for giving us such a fun holiday book!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle has us traveling to Pleasant Sands, North Carolina. Angela Carson owns Heart of Christmas located in an old lighthouse in Pleasant Sands, North Carolina. She is the third generation to run the store, but Angela is unsure how much longer the store can survive. Business has not been as brisk this year and it has gotten worse since Christmas Galore opened. While Heart of Christmas sells one of a kind handcrafted items, Christmas Galore carries more affordable options. Angela’s niece suggests she write to Santa via the Dear Santa app (sponsored by Christmas Galore) for help. Angela takes the opportunity to vent and waits to see what type of response she receives. Geoff Paisley manages Christmas Galore with his mother, and they move every two years to open a new location. Dear Santa is Rebecca Paisley’s special project and answers certain letters personally. When Rebecca becomes ill, she asks Geoff to answer the letters for her. A letter from Anita C. Miracle intrigues Geoff and he soon begins writing to her on a regular basis. When Geoff learns that Anita C. Miracle is Angela he is surprised, since they clash whenever they run into each other. Is there a chance for these two to reconcile their differences? See if the magic of Christmas can work on Angela and Geoff in Dear Santa. Dear Santa is the perfect book for those who love to watch the Hallmark Christmas movies. It is nicely written with a cute romance and the story progresses along at a steady pace. I enjoyed the Dear Santa letters are the beginning of the chapters along with the trivia for Pleasant Sands, North Carolina. I liked the Angela’s store, Heart of Christmas. The store is in a lighthouse that features handcrafted items in a cozy atmosphere which I think is a wonderful idea. It is a shame that Angela did not keep up with the times. She was still running the store the same way it had been since the beginning (no online presence). Pleasant Sands sounded like a charming coastal town with friendly residents. I admit that I was not a fan of the main characters (Geoff and Angela) and especially disliked Angela’s sister, Marie (not supportive of her sister’s store). My favorite character was Angela’s niece. I did appreciate that Angela grew from her experience and I liked the epilogue. I did find that Dear Santa was very similar to the popular movie You’ve Got Mail. There is a secondary storyline regarding Rebecca Paisley and how she met Geoff’s father along with Virgil, their operations director. Unfortunately, the storyline seems to peter out and readers are left with unanswered questions. I was curious how Geoff did not realize he was writing to Angela write away. It was extremely obvious (Angela’s niece would have figured this one out sooner). I kept hoping for a different solution for Angela’s store and was disappointed how this thread played out. I wanted to give Angela a good talking too and suggest ways to improve her business. I am giving Dear Santa 3 out of 5 stars. Dear Santa is a book for readers who love feel-good romance novels.
yomicat More than 1 year ago
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to review Dear Santa. If you are a fan of "You've Got Mail" or the classic movie "The Shoppe Around the Corner" you will love Dear Santa. This take on the classic story is about a quaint Christmas shop located in an old lighthouse and a mega big box Christmas store that comes to town putting the little store in jeopardy. Needless to say, the owners of both stores have a love-hate relationship, eventually, love wins out. A very enjoyable read.
DianeD54 More than 1 year ago
Dear Santa has all the warm and fuzzy feels that are perfect for this time of year. Great story and characters.
KMorgan73 More than 1 year ago
If you're a Hallmark Christmas movie fanatic then this book is right up your alley. Predictable, yet cute, story and characters who seem like your next door neighbors made this book a quick read. And it's one you'll want to read again and again. A cute little extra to this book is the letters to Santa that begin many chapters. I got a chuckle out of several of these letters written to Santa by kids. Also neat was the trivia about Pleasant Sands. The trivia, along with the author's descriptions, made me feel as if I were there. This was the first book I've read by this author and I'll be looking for more of her work as I really like her writing style. If you enjoy Christmas stories be sure to add this book to your must-read list. A well-written story that will make you believe in love and Santa. Happy reading!!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the p
BookLoverinFlorida More than 1 year ago
A great read to get you in the Christmas spirit! I grew up with a family business so I understand Angela's desire to keep the business alive at all costs but I also can see the madness behind Geoff's actions. When Geoff had to respond to the Dear Santa letters, I couldn't wait to see what he would do or say. I found it hard to believe that Geoff or Angela didn't catch on that they were responding to each other earlier but nonetheless, a festive read!
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
A new spin on the storylines of You've Got Mail/Shop Around the Corner. I loved the setting of the book, and I liked the idea of the story. However, it was REALLY slow to get going. And at first I really didn't like the Geoffrey character, and it took me a while to warm up to Angela, too. And her sister was really mean at first. But then the story finally got going and I enjoyed a lot about it. However, it never did finish telling the story of Geoffrey's dad. I especially liked the cast of secondary characters - and the LIGHTHOUSE and history of the town. I was glad I stuck with the book. The magic of Christmas finally shone through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed this sweet story set in a beach town. Angela is the owner of a lighthouse that houses a Christmas store that has been in her family for generations. She loves the history and tradition of it, but business has fallen off to the point of being unsustainable around the same time a discount chain store comes to town. Her feelings are complicated by an attraction to the chain store owner. All good things must evolve and Angela has to find a new mission in life. I found this a nice story about fresh starts and reinventing.
iiiireader More than 1 year ago
I had not read very far into this book when I realized why the story line was so familiar. It is the same story as that of “You’ve Got Mail”. If this wasn’t done intentionally, I can’t explain the similarities. Everything from a young woman with an inherited business going under to a conversation between strangers carried out over email. Just as with the movie, the story was fun and heart-warming. The two main characters have good impressions of each other when they spy one another from afar. When they find out who the other is, prior prejudices take over. The story is set at Christmas time and the title points to one my favorites parts of the story. Each chapter is begun either with a bit of history of their town or, more fun, letters from children to Santa. Those letters made me laugh more than once. The book is feel good and doesn’t contain sex or sexual situations. It is a book for all generations to enjoy to read. I’ll look for more books by Nancy Naigle in the future. I like romance stories that really tell a story rather than providing a backdrop for bedroom scenes. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
ganderson523 More than 1 year ago
Dear Santa is a touching story of a small town family owned business of generations is having to close its doors. But it is a story of hope, moving forward and a new romance. Angela Carson's family has owned the shop, Heart of Christmas, for generations. The lovely shop sells high end quality Christmas items in a old decommissioned lighthouse. Her great, great grandmother took over as lighthouse keeper after the death of her husband and when a new lighthouse was built, she made ornaments from wicks and sold them in the lighthouse. The business grew from then into a specialty shop that drew people from different areas for the quality and unusual items but recently has not been turning a profit as it once had. Her young niece encourages her to write to Santa with a request for help. When Christmas Galore, a chain that sells less expensive items, comes to town, it becomes apparent that Angela will have to close the doors. She feels that she is failing the grandmother that raised her as well as her great grandparents but she finally realizes that she has no choice. Heart of Christmas has been her life and she is fount of knowledge about town history that she passes on to her customers and others. Geoff Paisley and his mom own the Christmas Galore chain and when they move to town, they didn't think that their chain would affect Heart of Christmas but Angela has different thoughts and lets Geoff know how she feels. The two start off on the wrong foot with differing opinions about their place in the town. Angela doesn't realize that Christmas Galore is the company that owns the Dear Santa app that she has written to. When Geoff's mom is hospitalized, she asked him to take over answering the Dear Santa letters. The app directs certain letters to be answered automatically and others by a person. What Geoff and Angela don't know is that they are writing back and forth through the app since she signs the letters as Anita C. Miracle. It was fun to watch as Geoff and Angela finally put their differences aside and become friends, both who have a connection of growing up in a family business but sad to see Angela having to say goodbye to her family legacy. This is a sweet story of how two people on opposite sides of an issue unite during the special time of Christmas and become close. I received an ARC from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts stated are mine only.
Michelle Eriksen More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness, talk about putting you into instant Christmas spirit mode. I loved this book, i really wish it were a movie I could watch every year, it made me want to fast forward to Christmas time on the Hallmark channel. Angela has the most nostalgic little Christmas store in her hometown but the big bad box store owned by Geoff and his mother is pushing her out of business, or at least that is what she is blaming her situation on. Facing giving up something sh loves so much is tough but her feeling for Geoff keep growing despite everything. Wonderful story that leaves you with that wonderful happy feeling.
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
This story was a fun, updated version of the movie, You've Got Mail. All of Angela Carson's life has been spent helping run the family Christmas store, Heart of Christmas. Even as a little girl, raised by her Grandma , Angela would be there helping. Now the store is completely hers and ever since the mega-chain box store Christmas Galore opened up, her business has been steadily declining. If business don't pick soon, Angela will have to close Heart of Christmas. One day while picking up a coffee order for her sister, Angela notices a good looking guy, Geoff Paisley. Too bad he ends up being the owner of Christmas Galore, the company helping to put her company out of business. Geoff is immediately smitten with Angela. He doesn't realize that she is the owner of Heart of Christmas at first. The more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that he wants her in his life. That has never happened to him before. When Angela's niece, Chrissy, convinces her to send a letter to Dear Santa, she reluctantly agrees hoping he could help her keep her business open. When Geoff's mom, whom he owns the business with, has a heart attack, she makes Geoff promise that he will keep up in answering their Dear Santa letters. Imagine his surprise when he starts enjoying it and even starts communicating with someone outside of Dear Santa. Through some luck and Christmas magic, Geoff and Angela actually find themselves a happy ending. This was a delightful story and a perfect read during the holiday season. I really liked Geoff and Angela. They both were work-a-holics in a way and together they were able to find a nice balance. Highly recommend this one!
momof3boysj More than 1 year ago
Angela's beach front Christmas store in a historical lighthouse is suffering after a big box store moves to town. She's so desperate to save the business she inherited, she takes her niece's advice and writes to an online Santa. Santa takes a special interest in her and they email back and forth. Meanwhile, the hot guy she's interested in turns out to be part of the big box chain. Geoff and his mom run the big box Christmas store, and his mom started the app for Christmas letters to Santa. He's rather bah humbug about the whole thing, but when he's forced to take responsibility after his mom's health scare, he inadvertently becomes pen pals with the competition. Aware of her situation, he doesn't tell her the truth until it's almost too late. The writing is on the wall, and Angela must find a way to close her business and start a new career. Unlikely help comes from Geoff, if she can forgive him. Can Christmas magic and a little help from Santa help Angela and Geoff find the heart of Christmas again? **received an ARC from Netgalley**
JennieF More than 1 year ago
ARC for honest review with no compensation, received from Negalley and St. Martin’s Press Angela is the owner of Heat of Christmas, a store that has been in her family for generations. She has seen the times changing but when another store comes to town, Christmas Galore she knows she can no longer compete. She knows she has to make the hardest decision ever and when her niece tells her to email Dear Santa and ask for help and a miracle she does. What she doesn’t expect is to get a personal email back which then starts a wonderful romance until the truth comes out as to who Dear Santa really is....Geoff the owner of Christmas Galore!! This book is what Christmas is all about...hope, holiday spirit and love!!
blonde_betty More than 1 year ago
Nancy Naigle’s latest, Dear Santa, is a perfect Shop Around The Corner or You’ve Got Mail story. Much of the interaction between Angela and Geoff is separate, but the pull between them in undeniable. I couldn’t wait to keep reading. I’m a longtime Naigle fan, and this does not disappoint. If you are looking for a perfect Hallmark holiday read, this is a book for you. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.