Holiday Mix Tape
by Beau North
Formats available: Electronic
Pub Date: 11.11.19| 88 pages
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
Anne Elliot prefers to stay out of the spotlight, content to be the academic middle daughter of a scandalous politician. When a new family and an old love move to the neighborhood, Anne finds herself reluctantly pulled out of her shell and confronting her past.
When ex-Marine Eric Wentworth receives an unexpected invitation, his curiosity gets the better of his pride. It’s been nearly a decade since he walked away from his old love Anne Elliot, and he’s certain the spark is all but fizzled out. Time has changed them both, but Eric is beginning to realize that some change is good, and some sparks never completely die.
Anne and Eric have to get through the holidays before they can reach an understanding, but with tabloid reporters and tricky family dynamics in the mix, their Happily-Ever-After might just be Happily-Never-After. https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Mix-Tape-Modern-Persuasion-ebook/dp/B08129Y2CP/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=holiday+mixtape&qid=1573563316&sr=8-1
Book was provided by author. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Does time really alter the decision to love? Or does the love itself alter growing less, stronger, or even differently with time? Beau North and Brooke West explore this in their novella-length, modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic second chance romance, Persuasion, set during the holidays.
Anne Elliot’s life has been low and lackluster for some time. Her father’s political career has been colorful and tabloid-worthy, her mother’s painful passing, her sister’s struggles, and, those are painful, but not circumstances she brought on herself. Oh no, she managed to hurt and destroy the love of her life eight years ago and the regret and pain from that have simmered under the surface for years until now, when she must face him once again. Does he still hate her? Did he read that barely disguised memoir-as-fiction book?
I have appreciated this author pairing’s works in the past and this story, from their first published pairing- to my knowledge, demonstrates why. They manage in an economy of pages to develop fully-fleshed out characters, a backdrop, a setting, and a powerful and moving story. If that wasn’t enough, this story was interwoven with flashbacks that flowed quite well and didn’t disrupt, but enhanced.
Second chance romance can sometimes fall flat for me because I need to see that the breakup, the time apart, and the reunion do not feel contrived and the romance really does make sense when taken up again. As soon as Anne uttered the words to his confusion about her tastes in food and the absence of her music that she was a different, changed person and he didn’t know her even while their past connection was resonating so strongly right then, I settled in with relief to see what came for this pair.
Beyond the romance, the story touched on social issues without harping and also mental health, scandal, and the importance of family- for all its flaws.
All in all, this was a powerful, shorter piece set against the holiday season that I can recommend to contemporary romance fans who love reunions with depth and feeling, but need something of shorter page count in their busy lives.