Published: 2017 by HQN Books
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
First off, everyone reading this should know that I am a big fan of Hallmark Christmas movies. And when I compare this book to a Hallmark Christmas movie, I mean it in the best possibly way. Secondly, thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me this lovely little copy! It’s been the perfect read for this time of year.
I’ve always been a fan of sappy romance stories. My family loves to sit around and watch happy ending after happy ending on the Hallmark Channel around Christmas time. We like to say, “I betcha their going to fall in love,” when the main characters meet for the first time, and yell “awwwwww!” when they finally realize their love for each other at the end. Sappy declarations of love as the first snowflakes of the season start to gently fall around them never stops being “awwww” worthy.
This book reminded me of watching those Hallmark movies. It’s New York City at Christmas time. There’s a handsome doctor but somewhat troubled doctor, a shy, dog-walker who hasn’t had much luck in the romance department… obviously they’re going to fall in love and live happily ever after. What else could possibly happen?
But even knowing where the book was going from the beginning, I absolutely enjoyed reading it. The characters were interesting and unique enough to stand out from other romances like this one. Harriet (the main character/dog walker) in particular was an extremely interesting character. Her difficult childhood resulted in her being shy and anxious, and her “Challenge Harriet” resolution to do one thing every day that scared her made for both a good plot device but also a glimpse into her desires and fear and her true self. I enjoyed watching her come out of her shell more and more throughout the novel.
The romance itself, although predictable, was sweet and sexy. I liked that things didn’t just immediately jump into a relationship, but it wasn’t really a hate-to-love story either. It was somewhere in the middle, and that hesitancy felt authentic. It gave me the warm fuzzies and there were some definite “awww” moments. And although we’ve all seen the sexy doctor in a romance book or movie many times before, I really did like Ethan’s character. And the scene where he’s the sick one and Harriet takes care of him was endearing and a nice change of pace from the woman always being the one taken care of.
I’ll admit that there were parts of the book that felt a little forced and heavy handed. I think at times things were a little over-written and in general, the book could have been a little shorter. I flew through the first half in a matter of hours, but found myself lagging just a little bit as I made in into the latter part. Although I liked latter half of the book, I think it drug on just a little bit and could’ve been shortened some to keep things moving at a good pace.
This book isn’t the best book ever written… and there were little things here and there that annoyed me. But overall it made me happy and gave me lots of warm fuzzy feelings that were exactly what I wanted, especially this time of year. So if you’re looking for some Hallmark style romance, some Christmasy vibes, and a light-hearted, endearing read, look no further! Moonlight Over Manhattan will be right up your alley.