“I want to jog on the beach with you–” He had almost forgotten. “Hang on.” He ran to the trunk of his car and came back with a bucket in hand. “To collect shells along the shore together. I want to buy you flowers just because it’s Tuesday, wake up to your smile and go to sleep knowing you’re nearby. I look forward to every piece of trivia you tell me.”
Nancy Naigle takes us to Pleasant Sands, North Carolina in The Christmas Shop; don’t be confused, if you see Dear Santa, it’s the same book. This was my first romance by Nancy Naigle and definitely won’t be my last. I rated it five stars over on Goodreads and here’s why:
The You’ve Got Mail vibes.
Rather than the heroine and the hero being bookshop owners, as you can tell from the title, they are Christmas shop owners. Angela, our heroine, is the owner of Heart of Christmas and both the shop and the lighthouse it’s located in have been in her family for generations. Geoff, our hero, is part owner with his Mom of a big Christmas store chain called Christmas Galore. Their store is new to Pleasant Sands and is giving Angela’s store the final push to closing. I adore the heck out of You’ve Got Mail, so any romance that’s well written and gives me the same vibes is bound to brighten my day.
I love when you read a book and come out of it having learned a lot about a place. Every day in her shop, Angela writes a historical fact about Pleasant Sands on a white board; a Did You Know board. I loved that. I love when you can tell the author is shedding light on wherever they are from without it feeling like a big information dump. In The Christmas Shop we learn how historical this small corner of the country is. Seriously, never underestimate the power and significance of small town America.
The lighthouse which Angela operates her store out of, has been in her family for generations. I could really feel through the pages that it was hard for her to see her shop closing, because she felt that with it’s closing, she’d be letting generations of family down. Angela and her sister were raised by their Grandmother, who Angela inherited the store from, and it was especially her, she didn’t want to let down. The family tie in, in Christmas romances are always a bonus for me. I loved Angela’s relationship with her sister, niece and brother in law. She truly has a strong support system. Our hero, Geoff, was raised by a single Mom and I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of their relationship as well and learning the reasons why setting up a store in Pleasant Sands was so important to her.
Nancy Naigle really keyed in on running a business in today’s world where big chains are sweeping through cities and towns and ultimately closing the doors of smaller businesses. I respected Angela as a business woman. She sold handcrafted items for the price they deserved, but that doesn’t compare to bigger chains selling the same kind of items for cheaper. In today’s world it isn’t so much quality, it’s what’s cheapest. I like that in her own way she shed a light on this.
I was well over halfway through the book before anything romantic happened. I was basically at the end. Angela comes to terms with her business closing, but she let’s Geoff know that one reason it’s so hard is because she truly cares for Christmas and her business. To him, his store and Christmas, is a business. They both have to overcome their stuff before we reach that happy ending at the end. I liked that. Seeing the back and forth and the coming to terms, and eventual friendship, made me appreciate the ending so much.
I really enjoyed this romance. If you’re a fan of You’ve Got Mail, small southern town charm and Christmas shops, I highly recommend giving it a try.