Spending Christmas in a small town called Noelle, especially if the weather is snowy and cold sounds like a wonderful idea unless you are Brooke Hawkins. Brooke has traveled from her home in Boston to Noelle, Michigan for her mother’s funeral. She has no desire to be in this town, and plans to stay only long enough for the funeral and to sign the papers needed to sell her mother’s property. The weather doesn’t help her plans though, since a huge snowstorm swoops in just as Brooke gets to town and closes most everything including the roads for several days. While she is snowbound in Noelle, she meets Holly Jackson and her young daughter Maya. Holly is a baker and rents one of the properties being sold by Brooke. When Holly finds out about the sale, and that she will have little time to relocate even if she could find a place, she is not pleased with Brooke, and it shows. But there is also a strange attraction between the two.
A Town Called Noelle by M.K. Hardy is a lovely novella that I enjoyed reading. This is the type of story where you have one of the main characters who seems on the surface to be if not heartless, at least caring more about their self than those around them; a bit of A Christmas Carol type of story with Scrooge being Brooke. Of course, this means that there is some angst as the tale progresses. The authors (M.K. Hardy is a pen name for two authors who write together) did a good job with the small town setting. The characters are also well-developed and real. I had difficulty connecting with Brooke at the beginning, but then, she is a bit of a Scrooge during that part of the story. I did have a bit of trouble once or twice figuring out who was talking or thinking, mostly between Brooke and Holly which caused me to break from the story a couple of times. Overall I enjoyed the story and it left me feeling good at the end. If you want a feel good holiday story that you can read in a day, this might be a good book for you.
Trigger warning: This novella deals with the funeral of a mother of one of the main characters. The two had been estranged for years because of homophobia and emotional abuse. If that would cause you problems, you might want to give this story a pass.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and NineStar Press for an honest review.