4.5 and 3.5 Stars for Miracle on Mistletoe Lane by Derrick Knight – #MM #Romance @derrknight

Miracle on Mistletoe-1800x2700

Title: Miracle on Mistletoe Lane
Author Name: Derrick Knight
Publication Date: October 20, 2014 –

Synopsis

Joe Koehler and his six-year old son, Joey, are down on their luck. Currently, Joe is unemployed due to a bad economy and taking care of a medically complex son. Recently father and son became homeless due to their apartment catching on fire and Joe being without any insurance. They are forced to live in Joe’s old red pick-up truck. Eventually father and son take refuge at Hope House, a local homeless shelter, which is run by a kindly, yet mysterious, elderly woman named Emily.

Sidney Maier recently inherited his grandparents home but the house is in desperate need of repair. Skills Sidney greatly lacks. He befriends a fellow church member Emily who is the Interim Director at Hope House. Sidney tells Emily that he needs help with remodeling his new home. Also, he confides in her, that he is lonely and wishes he could meet someone special.

Emily and her assistants orchestrate for Joe and Sidney to meet where an instant attraction forms between both men. Joe and Sidney embark on a journey of courtship, but soon a negative force learns of their budding romance and wants to stop it at any cost. Emily and her assistants must all use their special talents if Joe and Sidney are meant to live happily ever after.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This was a warm and cozy Christmas read, with all the magic associated with the holiday.  The author had me believing in miracles.
Joe was a lonely dad down on his luck, if something could go wrong it did for him and his son Joey.  The author had you hoping good things would happen to  them.  Sidney was a man looking for a permanent relationship, who had a horrible friend, Glen.  I loved Emily and all her friends, their part of the story was adorable.  The characters truly came alive in this story.
The story was well written and flowed easily. It was a perfect light hearted Christmas read to help you believe in miracles. I enjoyed it very much.
Sherry

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a cute story that sometimes had me laughing and other times had me saying, “Awww.” It was a relatively quick, fun read for a full-length novel.
Although the writing was so-so, the plot was entertaining enough to make up for it fairly well. I enjoyed the two main characters, Joe and Sidney, but I especially loved Joe’s son Joey and Emily and her crew. I actually felt that some of the side characters were better developed than the central ones.
My one main concern was with the sex scenes. I’m a pretty big fan of sex when it fits the context of the story, but here, I really felt that it didn’t. It drew me out of rather than further into the story. For the most part, the story had the feel of a sweet Hallmark Christmas romance–which, honestly, I loved. I think the words spent on Joe and Sidney’s intimacy would have been better used in developing them as people or showing us more “behind the scenes” of Emily and her helpers.
On a similar note, the sex scenes were also only so-so. I thought there were some odd metaphors (like comparing it to National Geographic…that was a little strange). I couldn’t tell how much was tongue-in-cheek and how much was serious.
At the same time, there were plenty of very obviously funny moments (Sidney’s payback to his friend Glen for being a jerk was absolutely one of my favorite scenes in any story ever, but I refuse to spoil it for readers; I swear I laughed for a good 30 minutes). I adored Emily and there was plenty of good-natured humor on her part, too. The end was a bit cheesy, but it definitely fit the overall tone.
To be honest, I would love to see the author write another story about Emily and Company helping another sweet couple on their way to happiness. If that ever happens, count me in to read it.
3.5 stars
Amy

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AuthorInterview

What was the inspiration for all the complications in this story?  The medical challenges, the economic challenges and more?

Unfortunately too many good families have been negatively affected by this stagnant economy.  All of us know someone whose life has been dramatically impacted and have lost their homes due to foreclosure and losing their jobs after years of being a dedicated employee.
In 2013 I remember watching a documentary on the Food Network about hunger in America.  One of the families was a single dad and his son.  The dad had recently lost his job.  He talked about the financial hardships. His young son had such a positive outlook on life given their life hardships.  I think partly inspired me to create the “Joey” character in my story.  In my story, Joey understands that his dad and him are homeless but thinks of their plight as an adventure.
Since I work in a Children’s hospital with medically complex kids, I thought my knowledge and experience could bring an unique quality to the story.

Teaser

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Excerpt

When Joe lifted his head, he saw the man he had been fantasizing about since Joey was discharged from the hospital. He quickly stood up then nervously swayed back and forth. Partly because he was nervous seeing the man whom he secretly desired, but also because he did not want Sidney to know that he was living here at a homeless shelter. He did not want Sidney’s pity.

“Oh, I…” Joe struggled to find the right words.

“The church hired Mr. Koehler to finish remodeling our library,” Emily said smoothly. “We needed someone right away and by the Lord’s work Mr. Koehler was available. My assistants and I think he is a Godsend.”

Emily’s cell phone began to ring. “I need to take this call. It’s my husband.” She looked at Joe. “Would you be willing to give Mr. Maier a tour of Hope House while I take this call?”

Before Joe could respond, Sidney interjected.

“I would like that very much.”

The excitement in Sidney’s voice did not go unnoticed by either Joe or Emily.

“Good,” Emily said, taking her husband’s call as she walked away.

For a few moments Joe and Sidney just stared at each other, both men wanting to say something but too afraid. Finally, Joe mustered up the courage to start the conversation.

AuthorBio

Derrick Knight was born and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. For the last seventeen years, Derrick has been employed as a neonatal nutritionist in a neonatal intensive care unit at the largest teaching hospital in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Growing up Derrick was an avid reader of mystery novels. Agatha Christie was his favorite author. Ever since childhood Derrick dreamed of becoming a writer. He planned on writing mystery novels until a couple of years ago he read his first gay romance novel and he became hooked on the genre.

When Derrick is not writing, he is working on restoring his Arts & Crafts home, tending to his garden, and being an advocate for improving infant nutrition. Currently. Derrick resides in Peoria, Illinois with his two cats Iris and Madison Grace.

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