“Mistletoe Effect” by Cate Ashwood


Although Christmas is his favorite time of year, all is not merry and bright for Danny Ellis. After being laid off and facing eviction, he’s eager to make a fresh start. When a friend mentions an opportunity in Sin City, he packs up and heads west. Unfortunately, plans run awry when his truck breaks down a little more than halfway there and he’s stranded in the cold with no money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Vegas.

‘Tis the season, but not for Merrick Holland, who loves being a part of the community in the small town of Rowley Bridge. Christmas has been a little tainted since his father died three years ago, and when people start to deck the halls, he withdraws. When Merrick finds a man asleep inside his bakery one morning, rather than call the police, Merrick makes him a cup of coffee, and after hearing his story offers him a job and a place to stay.

The two men strike up an unlikely friendship, but with Christmas only three weeks away, could a little holiday magic bring them together?



If you require ALL the happy in your holiday stories, this one has you covered. It’s bursting with good feelings and you just know everything is going to be okay. It begins with a stumble as Danny finds himself in a sticky predicament. He was clinging to the end of his rope and the last thread finally snapped. He’s stranded in the middle of nowhere on his way to a fresh start in the Sin City. Hungry and cold, he slips in the backdoor of a charming bakery in the small town he’s stuck in. When the owner catches him asleep with the crumbs of his crime next him, he surprises them both by offering him a job.

The holiday season is Merrick’s busiest time of year and he could use an extra pair of hands. Danny starts helping at the bakery straightaway and things quickly fall into place. Instantly they realize they fit quite well together. Merrick is lonely and still recovering from the loss of his father. He has his bakery and he lives and loves his job. Danny has a natural artistic gift he’s given up hope of utilizing. When Merrick gives him an opportunity to let his creativity flow, he opens a dam inside Danny. When the time comes, Danny doesn’t want to go but how can he stay? This was only a temporary detour to the wonders awaiting him…right? Sometimes luck takes us exactly where we are meant to be but it takes courage to seize the possibilities of ‘what if’. And if a traditional sprig of green allows that burst of bravery, bring on the mistletoe!


Smooth writing with clean editing delivers a lovely holiday story. Happenstance meeting turns into an easy friendship, which in turn becomes a fragile romance. I really enjoyed the slow and steady build of their relationship. Nothing felt forced, it was a pleasant and enjoyable ride. There are times when that is exactly what I’m looking; when I don’t want to hold my breath or grab the tissues. It was sweet and tender and left me with a bright smile on my face and what’s not to like about that?


I love it when two people bring out the best in each other. Those wonderful qualities that have always been there but needed a catalyst to bring them forward. Danny is depressed and ashamed of what little things he owns. Merrick reminds him that most of our best assets are not things. Danny is brilliant and sparkles when he allows himself to shine. Merrick gives him the nudge he needs. When Merrick’s father passed away all of the lights dimmed in his world. He never realized how deeply it changed him until Danny gave him a priceless gift. Now, if he can only convince him to stay maybe he can return the favor.


Sugary and sweet. If you are searching for any turmoil, move along. Since this novella is fairly short, things flow quickly. I didn’t have any complaints with the speed of their relationship but be aware that it’s swift.

bookisforThe hopeless romantic that believes in fate and has a sweet spot for the power of a mistletoe kiss.


TITLE: The Mistletoe Effect
AUTHOR: Cate Ashwood
PUBLISHER: self-pub
LENGTH: 116 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 10th, 2016

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