ARC Review: Mistletoe and Mr Right by Lyla Payne


Mistletoe and Mr Right
Series: None
Author: Lyla Payne
Published November 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Childrens 

Goodreads Synopsis
In Mistletoe and Mr Right, Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family - and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend - don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is a hot local, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most ... and least.

The holiday high jinks continue in Sleigh Bells and Second Chances, when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but she has an intern job as publicist for London's hottest band at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve ... even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss - at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?

Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

I'm not sure if I've ever really read a Christmassy book like this, so when I noticed it was available to request, I immediately jumped at the chance. Mistletoe and Mr Right is actually a bind up of two different novellas, that have some overlap. I think the best thing to do would be to review each separately, which I'll do below.

The first story was called Mistletoe and Mr Right, and told the story of Jessica, who flew all the way from Texas to her boyfriend's house in Ireland to surprise him for the holidays. Have any of you seem the movie Leap Year, with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode? Well if you have, it's a lot like that. Jessica is a planner, and she wants to know if her boyfriend is in it for the long run, or whether the relationship should end sooner or later. When she arrives in Ireland, she doesn't make the best first impression, and it seems like her boyfriend's entire family hate her. And then, just to make everything better, her boyfriend's amazing ex-girlfriend turns up for the holidays.

I really loved Jessica! She was very abrupt, but I understood her wanting everything to be perfect and organised. She took the plunge to travel all the way across the Atlantic to visit a foreign land, where she only knew one person, and I feel like she dealt with all that was thrown at her in the best way. I wasn't a fan of her boyfriend, Brennan, from the get go, and that never changed for the entire book. Grady didn't help, to be honest; why would you want to be with Brennan when Grady was right there? The chemistry between Grady and Jessica was so tangible, and I shipped them so unbelievably hard!

This story was the cutest thing ever, and I would rate it at 4-4.5 stars! I'm pleased that they're be some overlap between characters in the second story, as I need more Jessica and Grady ASAP.

Tthe second story was Sleigh Bells and Second Chances, and was about Jessica's best friend, Christina, who was spending the Christmas following that in the first story as an intern for a major music label in London.
She's nervous for two reasons:
 - Reason 1: her estranged father whom she hasn't seen in four years lives in London, with her new stepmother and step sisters, and she has no fancy for seeing him again.
 - Reason 2: her summer fling who broke her heart, Cary, just happens to be the lead singer of the hot band she's working for, and she's never quite gotten over her heartbreak.
Seeing both of them after so long feels like torture, and old sorrows come rushing to the surface.

I enjoyed Christina's character, but after reading the first story, I felt sort of let down. i wasn't as much of a fan of the second half of the book, as Christina's tale was a lot more angst-y, and not nearly as cute and fluffy as Jessica's had been. I liked the way in which Christina was able to rebuild old relationships, especially with her father, who was actually really nice, and her step family, also extremely nice.

Cary, I'm still unsure on. I feel sort of ambivalent about him. And though I liked the chemistry between him and Christina, it was nowhere near that of Jessica and Grady. If this story had come first, I might have liked it more.
For Sleigh Bells and Secomd Changes, I'd rate it 3 stars - still enjoyable, but nothing really stood out.

I'd originally thought this was a YA book, but I think I'd class it now as more of an NA/Adult book. Mistletoe and Mr Right was more of an older YA, but still suitable for younger audiences, whereas Sleigh Bells and Second Chances had more adult content, which I'd say was for 18+. I don't want to censor anything though, if you're younger, or know someone who is, I just want to warn you that it may not her suitable for young YA readers.

Overall, the book was seriously enjoyable, and definitely got me in the Christmas spirit (though I have been since November 1st, tbh). It was a wonderful change to by usual books, and I think it might become a part of a Christmas tradition in the future.

Dates Read:
November 28-December 6, 2015

4 Stars 

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  1. Anthologies can be so hit and miss but overall it doesn't sound like this was too bad. If you at least like one story then I call that a win. ;) Great reviews!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I agree about anthologies being difficult, and I probably would've loved the second story, if it had come first - if you know what I mean?

      Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA