Happy 2018 everyone! For my first Book of the Month Pick, I’m sharing with you all an e-book that I was honored to read and review for an amazing publisher called Hallmark Publishing, a staple of the Hallmark Channel.
Ready to see what it is?
Moonlight in Vermont by Kacy Cross! Some of you may have seen the Hallmark Channel Original Movie starring Lacey Chabert and Carlo Marks. What’s nice about the novelization is we have an epilogue at the end, and a recipe! This story contains a recipe for Maple Glazed Sea Scallops, a dish made by the chef–and main character Fiona’s fake boyfriend–Derek during a cooking demonstration. This is also the first Hallmark book from Kacy Cross. I hope she does more in the future because her writing takes you right into the story from the very beginning, which I will discuss more in a minute. She did an amazing job!
So what’s Moonlight in Vermont about? The story centers on Fiona Rangely, a busy and successful real estate agent in New York City who has just been dumped by her boyfriend, Nate. She’s also been offered the job opportunity of a lifetime by her father’s old rival, Irwin. Devastated by the break-up and needing some time to think, she and her best friend, Angela, head to Vermont to stay at the Inn at Swan Lake, run by her father, Harris, and stepmother, Delia. There they encounter Nate…with a new girlfriend. Wanting to win back her ex, she has the inn’s head chef, Derek, pretend to be her new boyfriend in exchange for getting a field he needs to grow his food. What follows are some comedic, heartwarming scenes that cause Fiona to question what she really wants out of her life.
Earlier, I mentioned Kacy Cross’s writing style. For me, the lush and beautiful descriptions of Vermont, the realness of the characters, and the pace were great. You felt magically transported to this inn. It also felt like you were picturing the Hallmark movie playing in your mind as you read through the story. The emphasis on family, good friends, and realizing what really matters in life are messages I feel we can all learn from and see in a different light in our own lives. I especially appreciated the message of slowing down in life to see what’s around you; something I feel we need to do more of in our technology-driven, fast-paced world.
With characters, I was more drawn to the subplot around Angela and Fiona’s brother, Brandon. I felt she was fleshed out really well and this budding relationship helped balance with Fiona and Derek’s comedic, and often-times frustrating, relationship. I say frustrating because of the two being polar opposites. It was nice to have a story focused on two different relationships: each with their own struggles, hopes, and desires. They’re not the only relationships, though, but just some of the highlights so not to give away the entire story.
So if you are a foodie, love Hallmark Channel movies, wholesome stories, budding relationships, and great messages, check out this e-book. Also take time to check out the other selections and keep an eye out for more stories!
Before finishing this review, I want to take a moment to thank Stacey Donovan, Director of Hallmark Publishing, for this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to read more Hallmark stories in the future and share some of my favorites with all of you!