Two Love Lane #1
by Kieran Kramer
Published on October 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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The best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .
From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn't a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry--just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.
Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously--how could she not, when she's rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he's just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love...for real. And Deacon can't help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it's the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who's become Deacon's favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?
A little cheesy and with plenty of fluff, Christmas at Two Love Lane is the perfect light romance to get you in the holiday spirit. Despite some of the more over-the-top elements, I ultimately enjoyed reading this book and definitely will check out future installments.
Macy is a matchmaker in Charleston, SC, and meets her match in Deacon, a visitor from New York who’s looking to meet some local ladies and please his aunt. I think Macy was a spunky fun character who played up both being strong and vulnerable. She knew who she was and stayed true to that (even if I thought she was being stupid at times). Then there’s Deacon who’s just looking for a fling, no strings attached. He’s genuinely nice deep down and that softness comes out the more the story progresses.
I actually enjoyed the romance of these two. I liked the chemistry because it MOSTLY felt natural, like these two people would have acted like this if they had been brought together in another way. But that’s where I wasn’t feeling it, the plot.
There are a lot of tropes in romance that I absolutely LOVE. The matchmaker who finds her match? It’s not on that list. I don’t necessarily dislike it but it tends to be predictable in the bad way. I read romance for its predictability because I love reading happily ever afters but how it gets to that point is another matter. Something about the set-up of this one, especially once Macy’s friends got involved, was super sweet. . . but there’s something that didn’t quite work for me either. That element of make believe that didn’t fully ground me in this contemporary setting. Which you’d think makes no sense from a primarily fantasy reader but if the book is set in our world then I want to feel like this story could truly happen. Something was missing from it to really give that to me.
Now it was a tad weird reading about Christmas in October but I thought Christmas at Two Love Lane got me into the holiday spirit, at least in part (sorry, y’all, where I’m from it’s not Christmas without snow). There’s definitely an emphasis on the gift of giving which I liked as a secondary theme but ultimately this book is all about the matchmaker and her true love and that overwhelmed the story a bit.
Although some of my comments may be more critical, I actually really enjoyed reading this book in the moment. Christmas at Two Love Lane was just the small town romance I needed and I can absolutely see myself picking up the next in the series. Looking forward to Macy’s friends finding their own matches (because if they’re not the leads in the next books I’ll be very disappointed). Light, fluffy, fun, would recommend to get you in the (holiday) mood!