Cover Image: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

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Member Reviews

Late to this one but here we are!

I felt like this was more of a drama than a romance novel. There were a lot of heavy topics in this book; and as someone who loves Christmas and the holidays, I would have loved to have more of that incorporated given the book title. The storylines were relatable-ish, but Nory's wealthy friends sucked, and I think there was too much time given to them. I love British novels, so while I didn't *hate* this title, it was just okay. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy!

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I am sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the time to read this anymore and have lost interest in the concept. I believe that it would benefit your book more if I did not skim your book and write a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.

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Jenny Bayliss is one of my favourite holiday authors. I was immediately sold at, “A city bookshop owner heads to the English Countryside.” Even though, I cannot live in London nor visit in the winter, at least I can live vicariously through these books, haha. I loved all the Christmas elements throughout the book because it was cute and festive. I loved the dynamic of Nory and Issac because it showed their character development towards one another. While, it was obvious Issac was going to be the love interest, it was a relief that it was “Insta-Love” between Nory and Issac, otherwise, it would have felt forced. One of the things I didn’t like about the book was the miscommunication trope. Throughout the book the characters express their feelings and struggles. So, it felt out-of-left-field odd that characters who were excellent at communication had a miscommunication trope towards the end of the book. Another thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was all the side-plots because it felt like it was an info dump and didn’t contribute to the overall story. Honestly, you could skip entire chapters and be fine. The book was good, just wasn't great. In conclusion, this is cute Christmas story and I would recommend it to others during the holiday season.

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There’s nothing like having a Jenny Bayliss novel to look forward to at Christmas. I always love her romances, and she can set a scene like no other. Meet Me Under The Mistletoe was no exception! I waited way too long to write a review, but my notes include “good setting, fun side characters, and good chemistry for closed door”. I will certainly be reading Jenny’s next Christmas romance (and perhaps re-reading this one in order to write a better review!)

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Jenny Bayliss is a master at writing holiday stories. This was so cute and heartwarming. It was the perfect read in December! Also that cover? Adorable!

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Having really enjoyed the author's previous two Christmas novels I was looking forward to reading this one and it did not disappoint. This was absolutely delightful! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were charming and witty. I really like the settings, especially Nory’s bookshop which as book lovers you’d enjoy browsing and wiling away some happy hours! The castle setting is also lovely. It is not very Christmas-y, more like a winter book.

Thank you NetGalley and especially to McMillan for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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Rating : 3,5 out of 5
Blurbs :
A city bookshop owner heads to the English countryside for a holiday reunion—only to face her childhood enemy.

Elinor Noel—Nory for short—is quite content running her secondhand bookshop in London. Forever torn between her working-class upbringing and her classmates’ extravagant lifestyles at the posh private school she attended on scholarship, Nory has finally figured out how to keep both at equal distance. So when two of her oldest friends invite their whole gang to spend the time leading up to their wedding together at the castle near their old school, Nory must prepare herself for an emotionally complicated few days.

The reunion brings back fond memories, but also requires Nory to dodge an ill-advised former fling. When she falls quite literally into the arms of Isaac, the castle’s head gardener, who has nothing but contempt for the "snobby prep school kids," the attraction between them is undeniable. And as Nory spends more time with Isaac during the wedding festivities, she finds herself falling hard for the boy she used to consider an enemy. Nory and Isaac explore their common ground, but pressures mount on all sides, and Nory must decide what kind of life she wants to live and what sort of love is worth the risk . .

Thoughts :
Hmmmm....enemies-to-lovers during holiday season??? I'm in. It's enjoyable and very funny and swoony too!
Thank you Netgalley for the early copy!

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A heart-warming sweet read. There is a unique cast of characters and personalities that blend together to make an honest group of friends. While some characters are struggling with marriages, place in life, and various other things the ability to bring to light common issues while weaving it naturally into the story lines is what makes this book shine. At times it was easy not to like a character but their actions felt true and more realistic because of it. Overall a cute and at times a bit heavy read!

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if i’m being honest, it was a cute book but I ended up DNFing it. I feel like I was hoping for better vibes/more exciting plot line? it wasn’t for me, but the concept of the book itself was cute!

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This is definitely the Hallmark story you’ve been looking for! I love the cheesy Christmas romance and the girly gossip vibes. I was so in love with Isaac and Nory’s romance and they complimented each other so well throughout the story. Love that it took place on the English countryside too beautiful!! I love how they were able to connect with each other and the lack of spice in a Christmas book is sometimes needed. So thank you Jenny!!

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This book took me quite a while to read. I am not sure if it is because I didn’t love it or I got busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I thought the story was lovely and the setting sounded so dreamy. This is the story of a group of friends coming together for a wedding. They are going back to the town where they attended a posh boarding school. One of the friends, Nory, is also going back to her hometown. There is some family drama, romance, reconnecting with childhood friends, and Christmas spirit. Even though it was a 4 sunshine read for me, I will definitely read Jenny Bayliss’ holiday book next year.

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This book is laugh out loud funny, incredibly heartfelt, and genuinely relatable. The characters are real, raw, funny, and flawed. I felt like I was immediately friends with many of the characters, and was immersed in their world. I especially liked how everything wrapped up at the end, I wasn't left hanging wondering how situations resolved. Jenny is a wonderful author, I've loved all her books so far!

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Nory and a group of her school friends, two of whom are getting married, arrive at the castle near Nory's hometown for a mini-reunion and a grand-scale wedding a few weeks before Christmas. Nory, the only non-posh kid of the class, runs into her childhood enemy, Isaac, who is now the gardener at the castle. Now as adults they find they are drawn to each other and Nory must balance a bridezilla friend and her romance with Isaac.

This book had a good balance of humor and seriousness. There was a slowburn romance, the story touched on issues of societal inequality, family dynamics, friendships, and mental health. Although it started a bit slow for me, I came to enjoy this book's pace. Nory is a bookish girl. She owns a secondhand bookstore and it's a dream come true!

SPOILER ALERT! When Nory fails for Isaac, everything would have been fine, if she didn't overstep the boundary trying to help Isaac with his private family matter. Oh, and by the way, Isaac also walks in on Nory and her former classmate Guy who was trying to make advances at her. What a mess!! Well, long story short, Nory is heartbroken over Isaac's anger. She was only trying to help, but it was important to him that she respected his wish for privacy. The book really picks up the pace toward the end!

I enjoyed the cast of characters, the humor, the castle setting, the garden full of rare plants and the bookstore with the amazing rare editions. All of my favorite things! This is a steady-paced enemies to lovers read, so curl up with a blanket and some hot cocoa and enjoy!

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I have enjoyed all the novels, most holiday themed, by this author. A Season for Second Chances is still my favorite. This one was a bit slow going for me, but ultimately I enjoyed this holiday romance.

Nori fled her home in the English countryside to open a London bookshop, but returns home for the holidays most years. This year she is heading back early for a school chum's pre-wedding festivities and wedding - at a castle! The castle is very familiar to Nori and her friends who all attended the private school within sight of the castle. What's unexpected is finding Isaac, her childhood nemesis and her brother's best friend is the gardener and caretaker of the castle.

While the romance is predictable - hey that's why we read them! The setting is lovely and Nori's family is a delight. The author also tackles the us vs them theme of the haves and have nots.

I will look forward to a new Jenny Bayless book as anxiously as I await that first picturesque snow of the year.

Thank you the author, NetGalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons for the advance digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Jenny Bayliss is a reliable writer of super cute holiday romances. They're never my *favorite* holiday romances, but they always give me exactly what I'm looking for -- a sweet, thoughtful holiday story that I don't have to think too much about.

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Jenny Bayliss is just a favorite romance author! This was sweet and had the magical holiday vibes we come to expect from Bayliss. This one was a little slower and not quite a five star for me but still enjoyed!

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3.5 stars

Based on the title and cover I was expecting more of a holiday read so I was a little disappointed but since it's light on the holiday you could read it year round! The start was really slow to me and I struggled to keep going. From there it picks up and I love that Nory has a second hand bookstore! I absolutely love how she matches people with books - it's my dream job! The London setting is beautiful along with the castle!!

I love that it's a little enemies to lovers ,mixed with brother's best friend. I love those tropes! I feel there definitely should've been trigger warnings for suicide and cheating. There was so much going on with all the friends' lives I feel like it should've just focused on one heavy subject instead of surface leveling a bunch of them. There's a big class distinction that while I understand I just felt it was mentioned over and over again. I enjoyed the friends and family relationships! I hear great things about their previous books though so I think I'll try those still!

Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for my review copy!

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DNF at 21%. It was clear early on that Nory was just not the main character I could get behind, she really was quite annoying. There was a large cast of side characters introduced at the onset and I felt that there was a lot to navigate and try to keep straight. If the scope was narrowed in more I think I might have fared better with this one. Thank you G. P. Putman's Sons and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Meet Me Under the Mistletoe follows Elinor (Nory), who runs a second-hand bookshop in London. She’s remained best friends with her schoolmate from her days of being a scholarship kid at a posh private school. Her extravagant upper-class classmate invites her and the gang out for a pre-wedding party in a castle in a small town in the UK. There she runs into her brother’s old public schoolmate Isaac who has nothing but contempt for the ‘snobby prep school kids.’

This book primarily focuses on friendship dynamics, and romance is not the sole focus. Her friends were fun and dynamic, but I would have loved more about her bookstore and her romantic relationship with Issac. And Christmas, given how it’s marketed. It felt more like contemporary fiction. There were many supporting characters and side stories where I wish it were condensed, so we got more of a few, but eliminated any confusion on who was who and had specific topics land better.

There were moments of humor, spunky banter, and some pretty engaging conversations. This concept had a lot of promise, but sadly the result wasn’t for me. Overall, it was a cute but predictable read that lacked that coziness you want from a Christmas romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for the digital arc in return for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam, and the author for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest feedback!

Elinor owns a cozy vintage bookstore, Serendipitous Seconds, in old London. She is perfectly content running the place with her right hand man, Andrew, who helps her on the business side of things. She’s such an intense book lover that it’s hard for her to let go of the books she has curated for the shop. For all of the Bookish people out there, Elinor is immediately relatable because of quotes like these:

“One of the only downsides, so far as Elinor could see, to spending your life surrounded by beautiful books was that people kept wanting to buy your favorites.”

“Book love was a magical thing.”

“An unfilled bookshelf was a sad shelf indeed.”

Elinor and her best friend Ameerah are getting ready to go on holiday to see two of their friends from college get married. It will be a week-long affair leading up to the wedding at an English castle, full of activities for their whole friend group to catch up and reminisce on old times at school.

There’s a bit of a dark cloud hanging over the festivities because it’s evident to everyone that a vital part of their friend group is missing. Their beloved friend Tristan died by suicide a few years prior, and the last time that everyone was together was at his funeral. Throughout the week, the group tries to navigate this new normal and do their best to have fun and celebrate the soon to be Mr. and Mrs.

Elinor is surprised to reconnect with Isaac, an old friend that works at the castle as their head gardener, during her time there. This man loves dogs, spends his days pruning roses and naming flowers after people he loves, and happens to be hot and single.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is so much more than a holiday romance. Elinor and Isaac’s relationship is honestly more of a subplot compared to the rest of the book. This story is about friendship, loss and grief, mental health, accepting and loving those closest to you as they change and grow, and fighting for the life that you want.

This is a slow paced, feel good book filled with imperfect people trying to figure out adulthood and what they want for their futures (while usually sitting fireside wearing sweaters and drinking a cuppa tea!)

I absolutely loved reading this book over the holidays and would recommend it to everyone! Thanks again to NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam, and Jenny Bayliss for sharing this with me.

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