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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Miracle on 5th Avenue is the 3rd and final book in Sarah Morgan's From Manhattan with Love series. As I mentioned in my review of Sunset in Central Park, I found the first book to be a bit mediocre but the second book picked it up. Happily, the series finishes strong and my love for all books Sarah Morgan continues.

Here's your summary, from Amazon:

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

This is a rare series that I think is a bit strengthened by reading in order. While starting here wouldn't really hurt your appreciation for the romance, you'd have a much fuller picture of Eva if you'd read all three in order. Eva is a romantic to the bone and was raised to believe in a happily ever after, as well as to always be the happy one, the cheerful one. She was always taught to hide her feelings if they might be depressing to someone else, and so when Eva is sad and lonely following the loss of her grandmother she keeps that bottled up. When her job sends her to an empty apartment away from her friends during the holidays she leaps at the chance to cry in peace.  Unfortunately for Eva, the apartment turns out not to be empty at all.

Lucas Blade is also holing up for the holidays. He has told his family that he's off to a writers' retreat in Vermont so that they will leave him alone while he struggles with the third anniversary of his wife's unexpected death. He's suffering from a severe case of writer's block and his very near to missing his deadline with nary a word written. When Eva shows up at his apartment to transform it into a picture of holiday cheer, he wants no part.  Eva has the upper hand though, because if he sends her away she will report back to his grandmother that Lucas is hiding in the apartment. A sudden blizzard means that the decision is taken out of their hands, and they are thrown together for a few days without a choice. During the storm, Lucas finds inspiration in Eva and his writer's block is lifted and he becomes fairly desperate to keep her around.

This is one of those romances that happen really quickly, with the entire book taking place during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You might need to suspend disbelief that two people with so many fairly major issues can overcome these things to be together so quickly. While Eva is ripe to fall in love, and does so easily and quickly, Lucas has much darker things to overcome, and as expected it does not come easily.  Eva has to admit how hard the holidays are and how lonely she is, and weigh this against her feelings for Lucas to be sure it's real and not just a placebo and Lucas will need to really examine his relationship with his wife and her sudden death. It is a bit rushed but the story still works. The romance is both sweet and hot, with several over the top scenes worthy of a romantic movie (as fitting when one of your main characters is a gazillionaire author.) This is really a perfect Christmas romance with a highly romantic setting full of balls, snowflakes, snowmen, happy puppies, and of course, Tiffany's.

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