Allison: Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor | Lisa Kleypas | Book Review

Originally, I had planned on having this review posted on Christmas Eve simply as a play on the title Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. Unfortunately, life got in the way a little bit and although I finished reading the book before Christmas Eve, I wasn’t able to write up my review. Still, I wanted to review the book, and actually as I started writing my review, I got to thinking about how much the idea of “life happening” related to the book, and the way the events within the story unfolded.

Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor Cover

After Mark’s sister unexpected death, he finds out that she has left him as the guardian of her young daughter Holly. He knows nothing about caring for children, and is much more used to his bachelor lifestyle. Yet somehow this sweet innocent little girl pries open a side of Mark that he would have never believe existed. Together they begin to forge through the path of guardianship with a little help from Mark’s brother Sam and the homely town of Friday Harbor. One of the newer aspects of Friday Harbor is a toy shop owned and operated by new comer Maggie. Maggie is starting over again Friday Harbor after losing her husband two years ago to cancer. Even though it has been two years, the wounds are still pretty fresh, and she feels as if she must throw her self into something new (the toy shop) because her chance of love has already come and gone. Yet, all of that changes when Mark walks into her toy shop with Holly. Suddenly, she’s feeling an unexpected attraction to him, and he to her, and it’s time to decide for both of them if the walls they’ve both built up can finally come down.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is written by Lisa Kleypas and it’s the first book that I’ve read by her but I don’t think it’ll be the last. She has a very warm voice within the story, and I liked how she drew out the characters. All the characters in the story were well-written, even the side characters like Mark’s brother Sam have a personality and an actual relationship with the other character surrounding them. She was even able to give an ugly Bulldog a sweet personality! The romance in the story was not insta-love and it took time for the two characters to actually admit that there may be something between them.  Also, the setting that she painted for the reader was beautiful too. There is also a touch of humor as well. I was drawn right into the story from the very beginning which I really liked.

Not only did I like the relationship that developed between Mark and Maggie but I also really liked the relationship that developed between the two adults and the child. Holly was traumatized from losing her mother. Before she and Mark met Maggie, she wasn’t speaking, and wasn’t feeling up to doing very much. Yet, after she met Maggie, and Maggie introduced a little innocent magic into her life, Holly slowly started speaking again, and blossoming into a beautiful young girl. This also strengthened Mark and Holly’s relationship too. This story is not only a tale of romance but it’s also a beautiful tale about learning how to find peace and acceptance with the events that have happened in your life, and how to move forward and open yourself up to new things.

“And there were no rules for how to deal with the death of someone you loved. You had to accept that the loss would always stay with you, like a reminder note pinned to the inside of your jacket. But there were still opportunities for happiness. Even joy.”

Overall, I connected with the warm simplicity of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor yet was still invested in the deep emotions that it projected. Lisa Kleypas paints a very pretty picture of the possibility of the power of love to warm hearts and to make bonds where there was no hope for a sense of connection. It’s such a sweet, genuine, and touching holiday story that tugged and wrenched my heartstrings and made me believe in the magic of Christmas Eve once again.

Disclosure: Bought for my Nook.

Other reviews of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas:

Under the Covers Book Blog: “Christmas Eve at Friday Habor was a book that warmed my heart.

GReads!: “This story is a beautiful tale about finding peace and comfort during a time of sadness and grief.

For Love and Books: “Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor introduces us to a sneak peak of the magical realism that Lisa Kleypas really lets loose in her next few books, and is a beautiful foundation for this series.

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. I really like Lisa Kleypas, although I’ve only read one of her comtemporary novels. I’ve read most (although not all) of her historical romances, and I’ve loved them!

    I’m so glad you liked this. I really need to read more of her contemps.