Melissa Tagg. One Enchanted Eve: A Novella. Middletown, DE: Larkspur Press, 2016.
As the season of Advent begins, Melissa Tagg returns with another Christmas novella, following the events of last year’s release, One Enchanted Christmas. In One Enchanted Eve, Colin Renwycke is determined to make up for his behavior from the previous year. He has finally found a purpose for his life through his incredible baking abilities at the Denver Culinary Institute. However, his culinary school instructor, Rylan Jefferson, finds Colin to be her most disruptive student, as he continually experiments beyond the strict constraints of her recipes. When Rylan must create an impressive recipe as part of an interview for her dream job, she turns to Colin’s creativity as her secret ingredient. Colin persuades Rylan to travel with him back to Maple Valley, Iowa, as the perfect place to conduct her culinary experiments, even as he hopes for a second chance with his family. With a Christmas Eve deadline for her recipe, Rylan and Colin will need to draw on Maple Valley’s small-town charm to achieve the second chance they both desperately need.
Ms. Tagg revisits the town of Maple Valley and the Renwycke family during the Christmas season, in this Christmas-themed e-novella. Even as a short-form story, Ms. Tagg brings her delightful writing style and gift for fascinating characters to this work.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading One Enchanted Eve. Ms. Tagg expertly builds on the characters introduced in One Enchanted Christmas, as well as her Walker Family series. Throughout each work, she manages to expand upon Maple Valley as a convincingly real, yet idyllic setting for her stories. One Enchanted Eve also includes a strong food component, as both of the main characters have culinary skills and aspirations. As someone who enjoys reading about great food and recipes, this novella offered a fun look at these characters’ jobs. Honestly, I would have loved to see this as a longer-form story, as Ms. Tagg brought her signature writing style and humor to this novella. However, it left me wanting to see where she takes her characters next, especially as the work implies that a third novella will be released in this series, likely in time for Christmas 2017!
Fans of Ms. Tagg’s other works will be absolutely delighted with One Enchanted Eve! Readers who enjoy humorous, light-hearted Christian romance will definitely want to read this story, too. The novella is only available in e-book formats. However, I would highly recommend finding a copy to read, especially for readers familiar with Ms. Tagg’s Walker Family series set in Maple Valley.
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