Well, I am not sure where to begin with writing about this book. I do know I read it way too fast and wanted more of Mark and Maggie's story by the time it was over. Ms. Kleypas is always good to her readers so I am very confident I will be reading about them again in future books.
Honestly, I usually do not choose stories that feature children prominently in them. I have found that authors sometimes do not have the children act (or talk) age appropriately and it just turns me off (I know I am probably in the minority with that opinion, but it is just the way I sometimes feel). Of course, I should have known Ms. Kleypas would work her literary magic and make Holly instantly endearing. I loved that she was not loud or demanding, but sweet and sensitive.
The family dynamics with the Nolan brothers left me with more questions than answers, but I know I will understand more as future books are released. I instantly liked Mark and how he immediately took his responsibility to Holly seriously. It was obvious that Holly bonded with her Uncle Mark and Uncle Sam and I loved seeing that develop between them. The third brother, Alex, is still a mystery and I am actually looking forward to reading his story next. Although, I think it will be Sam's book that will be released, but I have to check to make sure.
By the time I had finished reading the second chapter, I had instantly loved Maggie. She had already been through a lot by the time she was twenty-eight years old, but still remained a hopeful person. I cannot think of anyone that would have been better suited to help guide Holly as she gets older. She will support Mark and provide the extra hugs and kisses that her Mom would have given her. Ms. Kleypas once again perfectly matched two very different characters. Where does she think of all of these ideas?
I have read reviews from some readers who were disappointed that this story was not as steamy as Ms. Kleypas' other books, but it did not bother me. I also know she has said in interviews that she is not changing the way she is writing and that her future books will be a little steamier. I do not know if this book would have worked as well if she had written it any other way and I am glad she chose this way. "Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor" was the perfect book to read on a cold and dreary day and I am so sad I am finished. My only regrets are I wish it would have been longer and I did have to wait so long for the next book. Oh...and I want to visit the San Juan Islands now!!!