Title: Merry & Sprite
Series: Holiday in Sunset Surf: Book One
Author: Dani Lakely
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 258 Pages
Category: Holiday Romance, Magical Realism
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: Dani Lakely brings all the holiday romance tropes together and delivers them in a sweet package wrapped in SoCal sunshine, glittery Hallmark paper and spools of sparkling ribbon, and then slaps a big heart-shaped bow on top.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Jonathan’s to-do list:
1. Deck the halls
2. Throw Forrest off the nearest cliff
Jonathan Thomas moved across the country to escape his ex, only to end up planted next to a guy who drives him even further out of his mind. Forrest Wilde has no problem doing every little thing he can to work Jonathan’s last nerve, crashing into his tidy life and well-built walls with obnoxious flirtations and merry mischief.
When Jonathan is mysteriously hit with a spell that forces him to grant the wishes of the local townsfolk, he strikes a deal with Forrest to help him find a cure. As the saying goes, keep your friends close, and the impossibly hot guy who may just be an imp closer.
Toeing the line between naughty and nice, Jonathan and Forrest work together to break the spell. But as the tension between the two nears its breaking point, Jonathan is forced to decide if it’s really hate he feels—or something he’s willing to risk everything on for the greatest wish of all.
Review: “Forrest Wilde may be many things, but he’s definitely not boyfriend material.”
In the context of the Romance genre, these are what you might call famous last words. Everyone knows as soon as a character says never, or some variation of that, it invariably means always. Jonathan Thomas, the grumpy to Forrest Wilde’s adorkable sunshine, isn’t about to let a notorious player like Forrest shatter his defenses—even if Forrest is the most gorgeous man Jonathan has ever laid eyes on. But Jonathan is done being hurt by men he thought he could trust with his heart, so let Forrest flirt shamelessly and be annoyingly good-natured and buy tea every day from Jonathan’s tea shop that he never drinks. Let Forrest tease and smile and wink his disgustingly charming winks . . . Jonathan isn’t about to fall for it. Like I said, famous last words.
Dani Lakely’s Merry & Sprite is an absolutely glorious, utterly delectable, deliciously sweet holiday romance set in the fictional town of Sunset Surf, California, where a little black cat full of mischief and perhaps even a bit of magic, has free rein of the town and holds the townspeople’s hearts in her wee little paw beans. With bad Dad jokes and even worse puns, Lakely set out to tell an opposites attract story that enchanted me in the most earnest of ways. What really works in the story, though, is the way Jonathan and Forrest hurt in the same vulnerable places. They both have broken relationships and trust issues that have made rough edges of their hearts, though they show it in different ways. The key to letting Forrest in is for Jonathan to unlock his own heart’s desire.
Jonathan may or may not be under a spell after getting conked on the noggin in Forrest’s pub, but this isn’t a story in which the author builds a magic system to explain what’s happened to Jonathan that suddenly makes him Sunset Surf’s sprite of wish fulfillment. Wish fulfillment? In this economy? Nah, think smaller. In this case, it’s the little things that bring big payoffs for the people who are beginning to see Jonathan, the town newbie, as one of their own and welcoming him with open arms. But it’s Jonathan’s own wish, most of all, that made my heart grow three whole sizes. But first my heart had to hurt a little for him when he loses the thing he didn’t even know he wanted.
I adore the entire town of Sunset Surf. Every character brings something to the table to feast on, from their sarcasm to their to their kindness to their compassion to their caring (Noah needs his own book) to their delightfully bawdy sense of humor (I’m looking at you, Esther). Dani Lakely brings all the holiday romance tropes together and delivers them in a sweet package wrapped in SoCal sunshine, glittery Hallmark paper and spools of sparkling ribbon, and then slaps a big heart-shaped bow on top.
You can buy Merry & Sprite here:
[zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/Merry-and-Sprite” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]