The Mistletoe Promise
by Richard Paul Evans
Simon & Schuster, 2014. 251 pages. Fiction.
Elise Dutton is not looking forward to another holiday season alone, but a proposition from a lawyer working in her building promises to change everything. Lawyer Nicholas Derr needs someone to be his plus one at all the various holiday parties he needs to attend. And thus is born the Mistletoe Promise - a contract for a feigned relationship, set to end at midnight on Christmas Eve. But as Elise gets to know Nick and appreciate being cherished again, will her long-hidden secret come back to destroy it all?
I checked this book out on the recommendation of a friend and picked it up one night, planning to read just a chapter or two. I ended up reading the whole thing. The whole premise is straight out of a romance novel, but what sets the book apart is the depth of the feeling Evans explores with his characters, and the themes of loss, repentance, and forgiveness. This is a story that will not only have you cheering for Elise and Nick as a couple, but that will also have you hoping that Elise can find peace in her heart, despite the tragedy in her past, and learn to love herself and allow herself to be loved again. This was a beautifully touching story of redemption.