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The Mistletoe Secret


The Mistletoe Secret

Richard Paul Evans’ latest novel is not a typical boy-meets-girl kind of love story. Rather, it is a modern-day tale of meeting online, although this is really an atypical way to meet someone. Tracking down an anonymous blogger is hardly online dating.

This romance is definitely part mystery. Alex Bartlett, a salesman of traffic management systems living in Daytona Beach, has been encouraged by his work buddies to try online dating since his marriage ended badly. He is weary of being alone and lonely. After filling out the lengthy online dating questionnaire, he still feels uneasy. He types "lonely" in the search box and up pops a blog by an unknown woman. He identifies with the feelings of loneliness she expresses and becomes a daily visitor to her blog.

"THE MISTLETOE SECRET has some quirky twists and turns. It reads easily, quickly, and is a pleasant, if implausible, love story."

Soon Alex decides to track down the mysterious and vulnerable-sounding LBH. She has omitted any personal information from her blog, other than the fact that she lives in snow country near mountains and that a Swiss festival is held every September in her town. With so little to go on, Alex forges ahead and with much effort tracks down her location: Midway, Utah, wherever the heck that is.

Armed with just this information, he heads to Utah anyway, finally arriving in the tiny rural hamlet of Midway. With the help of some local folks and the small phone directory, he narrows the possible list of women named LBH to 18. Eighteen total strangers at whose door he would appear and try to discern which one is the lonely blogger. The first name is a Leslie. Well, Leslie turns out to be a fellow named Les, so strike that one off the list. The next LBH is a Linda, who mistakes him for the plumber she’s expecting. Next is an octogenarian named Linda, who definitely is not the blogger. She gives him cocoa, popovers and kind conversation. Then there’s a Liz whose ashes are in an urn.

While the list of possibilities is shrinking, Alex is enjoying the company of a lovely young waitress named Aria, who works at the Mistletoe Diner where he often eats. She serves him pie and encourages his pursuit of LBH. There is a definite connection between the two, and the reader begins to wonder if he will abandon his wild goose chase. But it continues. He meets a masseuse named Lynette, who is more than a little interested in him.

Does Alex find the elusive LBH, and if so, is she everything he hoped she would be? Or does she freak out at being stalked by a stranger who found her online? Does he continue to be distracted by Aria or Lynette? They say that the course of true love never runs smooth, right?

THE MISTLETOE SECRET has some quirky twists and turns. It reads easily, quickly, and is a pleasant, if implausible, love story.

Reviewed by Carole Turner on November 23, 2016

The Mistletoe Secret
by Richard Paul Evans

  • Publication Date: November 15, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Holiday, Romance
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 1501119818
  • ISBN-13: 9781501119811