AUTHOR: Delia Latham
PUBLISHER: White Rose Publishing
Noelle Joy stopped celebrating Christmas ten years ago, when Trevor Holden skipped out on their long-planned Christmas Eve wedding. He destroyed her trust in men, crushed her belief in God, and left her cynical about love. Gone is the bright, cheery spirit of the girl she thinks of now as “the first Noelle.” Stronger and savvier, the new Noelle would never be found waiting at the altar for a groom who didn’t show. When a famous-but-mysterious architect commissions her to decorate his mansion for a holiday event, Noelle finally returns to her hometown. Even as she finds an unexpected peace in facing ghosts from the past, her fiercely private client disturbs her.
Michael Holliday is kind and considerate, but far too handsome…and hauntingly familiar. Holliday didn’t choose Noelle to make his home a Christmas wonderland by accident. She’s the only one who can do the job he has in mind—and once she’s in his mansion, he never wants to let her go. But he’s hiding a secret that could destroy any chance of a relationship with the beautiful decorator. A false persona. A shattering secret. Can love break down these insurmountable walls?
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book as a gift. That said, it came when I needed a mental escape, just a little getaway, preferably with romance and suspense. The First Noelle delivered.
When we meet Noelle, she has reluctantly returned to her hometown, determined to complete her design contract and get out—again. Instead, her new client turns out to be much more than she’d bargained for.
The romance between Michael and Noelle compelled me, and the mystery from their past kept the pages turning. I have to admit, when the mystery was revealed, I was disappointed. Up until then, the story was totally believable, but I was unable to suspend reality enough to embrace that scenario. With just a few minor changes, it could have been perfect.
As it is, I truly enjoyed The First Noelle and award it four stars. I love Delia Latham’s writing; she brings scenes to life with flawless prose and beautiful descriptions. Recommended.