Cover Image: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

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Member Reviews

This book was really cute!!!! I enjoyed it a lot. I read her other book last year and enjoyed that too- this one has the same winter in England/London vibes and I felt it was more steamy. BUT don’t get too excited, not THAT steamy. Still pretty “closed door” but it was romantic and cute. Perfect holiday/winter/Christmas read!

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For me, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe didn't check the boxes that I need to be checked for a holiday romance. The story is mainly focused on the main character, Nory's, friend group while they reunite for a wedding. The romance part of this felt like a minor side story until around the 75% mark. The romance between Nory and Isaac just was't believable for me - and not because of how fast it happens - but because it seems like they barely even talked to each other. I know there is some shared history between the two but I think Nory has more interactions with her most hated friend than with Isaac. While I did greatly enjoy the parts that focused on friendship, that was not my main reason for picking up this book so I was slightly disappointed.

There were also parts of this book that were hard for me to understand however I am sure that is just because it is British English slang and as an American, I just don't understand it. The dialogue writing was jarring and off-putting for me as well. Every time someone talked, it was immediately followed by "[insert name] said". It just didn't flow great.

Overall, this was a nice quick read that does a great job of enveloping you in the Christmas season.

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I like the cover, and the synopsis for this was appealing (MC owns a rare used book store!) and I really wanted to like this one but I found, unfortunately, that I was not able to connect with the story whatsoever.

eARC kindly provided by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.

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I really wanted to like this and had high hopes but this just wasn’t for me. I was expecting a sweet light Christmas story and this was book contained a lot of sex and swearing and seemed uncouth. It didn’t live up to my idea of a Christmas love story.

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Good. Not great. It had some high notes, but lacked the luster and charm to keep me fully engaged. I ended up giving a DNF to this one because the pacing didn’t jive for me.

Thank you netgalley for the advance copy.

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Meet me Under the Mistletoe
by Jenny Bayliss

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publishing date: 9/27/2022

Nory lives in London where she owns a second hand book store. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, 2 of her childhood friends are getting married and have invited Nory to spend the week leading up the wedding in a familar English Castle with majority of their former school mates. Her friends are basically family, so of course she wants to go....but, she accidentally slept with one of her male friends ( Guy) during their last get together, and she didn't know he was married until AFTER....akward.

Even though Nory is having doubts about the holiday, mainly because Guys wife will be present, she really wants to go.

And its a good thing she does because while at the castle she encounters another former childhood mate, who she suddenly feels very different about.

Cue Issac, the gardner.......

She starts to develop feelings for Isaac but are they at a point in their lives where this will work? Or will something tear them apart before they even have the chance to start?

Unfortunatley, I didnt love this one. I had a hard time getting interested and I never felt "pulled in" to the story.

However, I am OBSESSED with the ending and thought it wrapped up well. There were a few funny moments where I actually laughed out loud and LOVED chapter 40. It was so sweeet.

This wasn't my favorite but it was a cute read that others may enjoy more than I did!

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Meet Me Under The Mistletoe
Author: Jenny Bayliss
Publication date: October 18, 2022
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5

Cover? Cute. Story? Cute. Cute is the only word that comes to mind. I am a big Jenny Bayliss fan + I really wanted to love this one, but this one just unfortunately fell flat for me. It was pretty long for all that happened - I just think the plot could have been wrapped up in less than 300 pages and surely less than the 450 pages it has. It did make me laugh in a couple places and I loved all the love stories that came about. It also had a beautifully done epilogue which made me so happy!

For being a Christmas (adjacent) book I was hoping for the warm and cozy feels and I never got those. I think I’ll try picking this up again closer to Christmas time because I do think it would hit differently then. I recommend this as the perfect holiday read!

Read if you like:
•Third person POV
•London based
•Castle setting
•Cozy cottages
•Secondhand bookstores
•Plants + Gardening
•Enemies (ish) to lovers
•Friend reunions

Thank you to @netgalley for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Nory loves her quiet life selling used books in London, but reluctantly agrees to attend a week-long pre-wedding celebration with her former classmates. Staying in a castle near her old school, Nory is faced with many memories of her time as a teen. Running into Isaac, her former crush and brother’s friend, further complicates an already uncomfortable week.

After reading, and loving, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, I was excited to receive an ARC of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. I particularly enjoyed that we were given a glimpse into the lives of each of Nory’s friends and that each of them were dealing with their own issues. Nory and Isaac’s romance was sweet, and it was nice to see Nory’s friends (finally) welcome him to the group.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group for the opportunity to read and review this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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3.75 rounded up to 4 stars. This is a bit heavier than most holiday romances I think. There’s mention of a suicide that occurred years ago, and some discussion about race and class. Elinor “Nory” Noel owns a secondhand collectible bookstore in London, but when a private school friend is getting married at the castle near their boarding school, the friend group spends the week leading up to it at the castle. There, she runs into her childhood crush, now the head gardener at the estate. There’s horrible friends, excellent best friends, tributes to fallen friends, and of course some slight miscommunication/not listening that eventually will end up in a happily ever after. I liked Nory and Isaac, hated a couple of her friends, but mostly enjoyed the others in the book. I’d also love to own her bookstore - or at least visit it!

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I’m sorry, I know I’m in the minority but I don’t want to read about sex and f words in a Christmas book. I want it to be light, cheerful, and Christmassy. I know, I know, Hallmark is cheesy and overrated, but I guess that’s what I want when I’m reading a holiday story! I couldn’t get into the plot, I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, and I couldn’t get past the tone of the author to read that far into it, so I gave up pretty early.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review and opinions are my own.

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When Nory reunites with her best friends from boarding school for a house party leading up to a wedding she expects to worry about her second hand book store that she really shouldn’t be leaving this close to Christmas. She expects some awkwardness as friends who haven’t seen each other in ages ease back into former roles. She even expects to feel a little out of place as she straddles the line between her middle class upbringing and her significantly more posh friends. What she doesn’t expect is to find love.

This was such a remarkably well developed story from the group of friends who have all grown up but haven’t really changed, to Nory’s charming but quirky family, to the attraction she and Isaac feel for each other and gradually explore. Bayliss skillfully covers a lot of ground in this book while managing to give aspect of the story its due. She doesn’t skimp on the holiday charm either. A lovely read and one I will want to read again.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review..

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Loved this. It’s nice reading about normal flawed humans instead of perfect fake mannequin types. The friendships were lovely and everyone supported everybody else so well. The writing flowed naturally and was a joy to read. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters, a series maybe?

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I was able to read this for free thanks to Net Galley, although that does not affect my opinion of the actual book. Is it weird to read a Christmas book 6ish months before the holiday actually occurs? Probably, however I love Christmas and can always enjoy the reminder of the happiness I feel during that season and this is an advanced copy. The books cover and description really intrigued me, especially with the fact that it involves a bookshop (if a story includes an author, a book store, someone who loves books, etc, I’m fully into it). It took me some time to really get into the reading of this book. I had a really hard time getting into this book and ultimately kept finding myself bored. I was unable to finish it, unfortunately. I think it just felt too fancy of a world?

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Thank you to NetGalley, Jenny Bayliss, and Penguin Group Putnam for providing this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

If you loved the Twelve Days of Christmas, then you will love this one. Another great holiday tale. She always adds so much detail to the story that makes you feel like you are actually there in the story.

I would 10/10 recommend this book to anyone who loves holiday romance. Can’t wait to read it again to get me into the holiday spirit!

This review will be posted to my Goodreads and Amazon accounts immediately and to my instagram account @ginganinja333 upon publication on 9/27/2022.

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If you enjoyed Jenny Bayliss' The Twelve Dates of Christmas, then you'll love this one. Super easy summer read. I wasn't supper attached to the main characters, but I'm super picky with romance couples.

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A charming, heartwarming holiday tale! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jenny Bayliss’ latest, in which an eclectic group of alumni of a private boarding school reunite for a Christmastime wedding at a nearby castle. The protagonist, Nory, is the proprietor of a London-based used bookstore, but hails from the village in which the school and castle are located, and attended the school courtesy of a scholarship. Typical school reunion hijinks ensue, and the novel explores a myriad of themes, including social class, racial prejudice, family, “framily” and, of course, romance. Christmas is somewhat incidental to the plot. Nonetheless, I found the experience of reading Meet Me Under the Mistletoe to be merry and cozy. Recommended for fans of Jenny Bayliss’ prior holiday novels as well as for fans of Jenny Colgan. Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Publishing Group for a complimentary e-ARC. This review reflects my honest opinion.

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I love holiday books and I'm super excited that I got to read it it will be fun to read again and I can't wait for the audiobook also cause I'm sure it will good as well

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Nory Noel is the owner of a rare books bookstore in London. Isaac is the head gardener at a posh prep school Nory attended on scholarship. Nory and her schoolmates come back to stay at the school for the wedding of a friend, and Nory and Isaac are reunited while admiring a hellebore in the garden. All the attendees of the wedding deal with their own relationship drama while Nory and Isaac navigate their growing feelings for each other.

This book takes place at Christmas (and there is a kiss under the mistletoe as the title implies), but it is not a strict “Christmas romance.” The setting does add to the magic though! There are some festive scenes in the snow and of course the end of the book takes place right around the actual holiday. While this could be classified as a romance because it is primarily about Nory and Isaac’s relationship, it reads like general adult fiction, featuring a variety of storylines tied to side characters and their interpersonal relationships. It covers broader topics such as adultery, alcohol addiction, race, class, and sexual harassments. Sex is implied, but the steam level is fade-to-black. This is a great book for lovers of cottagecore! It reads like the cup of hot tea, wrapped in a blanket by a warm fire.

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yet another book that is going to be fantastic to add to the holiday line up. such a cute sweet read that all holiday readers will love and enjoy

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I love Jenny Bayliss’ sweet, heartfelt, enchanting Christmas novels!

A beautiful British countryside and dreamy secondhand book store settings fit with the magical castle wedding, friends’ reunion. The depictions about the places are always detailed and well described.

Elinor’s struggle to balance her life between her middle class upbringing and lifestyle of her posh friends from school is realistically told.

She’s happy with her cozy life, burying her heads in her books, enjoying small town life.
Two close friends’ wedding ceremony at the castle will push her to face her past: sweet and bittersweet memories, bumping into a ghost from her past: he frenemy Isaac the gardener.
She cannot resist her feelings, developing a crush on him. The chemistry is magical between them. But… Elinor makes a mistake even though she has good intentions to help him out which puts the future of their HEA in danger.

I loved her previous books more than this book!
Main characters’ unnecessary drama made me a little irritated: Elinor acted naive and wrongful by doing something behind Isaac’s back and Isaac was way too much stubborn from the beginning.

Interestingly I adored the supporting characters more! For their sake and beautiful, dreamy bookshop/ Christmas setting, I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 let’s meet under the mistletoe stars!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam/ G. P. Putnam’s Sons for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

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