A Sugar Plum Christmas by: Susan Hatler ~ A holiday romcom book review

City girl and former foster child Lacey Lane arrives in Christmas Mountain to do research for a hit reality dating show she produces. If the location gets approved for filming then she’ll receive a bonus that will allow her to buy her own house—a forever home after a lifetime of moving from place to place.

Jacob Curtis is a small-town guy who doesn’t want his hometown exploited for ratings. Lacey might think he’s her tour guide, showing her all the best places to film her show, but he has a different agenda: show her all the reasons the town wouldn’t appeal to her TV audience.

Lacey catches on quickly to Jacob’s goal to undermine her research and soon they’re engaging in a dance that takes them from one end of Christmas Mountain to the other. Before long, she’s charmed by the town and its people, including Jacob, who is funny, heartfelt, and honest. For once in her life, she’s slowing down long enough to focus on things other than her career.

But when it’s clear Lacey and Jacob have developed feelings for one another, Lacey is torn. Regardless of where the show is filmed, will she return to the city to buy her dream house? Or will she stay in Christmas Mountain and make a home with the man of her dreams?

It may be after Christmas, but just before the holiday I had one more book to review so I am going to share this a little late. I’ll be honest and admit that my tree is still up and there are still lights twinkling all over my house, so this fits right in.

Let me start off by saying something I didn’t realize at the onset of this story. A Sugar Plum Christmas is actually book EIGHT in the Christmas Mountain series. However, this is easily read as a standalone and is a lovely little dollop of holiday sweetness that you can chomp on long after your cookies are gone.

Basically A Sugar Plum Christmas is a Hallmark movie that stepped out of your TV and onto a page. The entire town embraces their name, Christmas Mountain, and all the businesses behave accordingly by giving all their businesses Christmas themed names. This… got a little corny after a while, but… so do Hallmark movies if we are being honest. And that is kind of the draw, right? Losing yourself in something wholly impossible and excessively cheesy, but sweet and romantic to make you forget the reality that is the news and current world events. It’s called escapism and you can’t help but appreciate a little cheese with your fantasy.

Although this is a clean and wholesome read you can easily see the chemistry between Lacey and Jacob when the big city foster child with some serious baggage meets the small town loving soul who doesn’t want to see the town he loves exploited for TV ratings. I honestly can’t blame Lacey. If I had a highly competitive producer position like her and I stumbled across an idyllic locale like Christmas Mountain as a possibility for a reality dating show, I would jump all over it too. But Jacob’s protectiveness and concerns that his beloved hometown will be victim to big city executives is valid and wholly endearing. Especially when he uses his de facto job as “tour guide” as a way to deter her from choosing Christmas Mountain for the show which leads to SEVERAL hysterical moments that made me literally LOL.

As much as this book met my personal requirements for the label “romcom,” there was that story long worry. Will they be more than just a fling when she lives a far different life than his? Who is going to compromise and can it really work?

Never fear, Ms. Hatler ties this story up with a beautiful, red glitter, bow that leaves you with that gloriously contented feeling that only comes from a decadent holiday meal or a fully satisfying HEA.

Where to find A Sugar Plum Christmas