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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Avoiding the Mistletoe: Mistletoe, Jingle Belles, and Second Chances, Volume 1 is an historical Christian romance novella written by Anne Greene. Darcy was determined to get her sister, Olivia, to sign on with her to be one of Asa Mercer’s mail-order brides. Lowell, Massachusetts held no future for the two young women as the availability of marriageable young men had steeply declined after the Civil War. Olivia had been widowed by the war, which was something of a blessing for her as her husband, Howard Baker, had turned out to be a brute after they had gotten married. She was determined to stay single for the rest of her life, so going to Seattle, Washington, to get married was not at all an appealing prospect. Olivia did understand, however, her little sister’s concerns, and she hesitated about having her own refusal impact on Darcy’s life. Mercer’s advertisement did mention opportunities for brides to be employed as teachers. Olivia would be willing to trade her East Coast home for Seattle if she could teach and remain single.
Anne Greene’s historical Christian romance novella, Avoiding the Mistletoe: Mistletoe, Jingle Belles, and Second Chances, Volume 1, is an intriguing look at post-Civil War New England as seen through the life experiences of Darcy and Olivia. It also captures much of the spirit of adventure felt by those “mail-order” brides who braved ocean voyages and the unknown in search of love and marriage. Greene’s characters are well-defined and engaging, especially the spirited Olivia and her most dedicated suitor, Sheriff Stark Macaulay. Avoiding the Mistletoe is a well-written sweet romance that is suitable for young and new adult readers as well as adults, and it’s highly recommended.