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New Release Review! DEAR SANTA by Nancy Naigle

Dear Santa cover

Dear Santa: A Novel
by Nancy Naigle


A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?



Dear Santa is a sweet seaside holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail, with Christmas stores in the place of bookstores. It’s an incredibly sloooow moving romance (as was the movie, come to think of it) so don’t look for a lot of hands-on action. Or any, really. There are some swoony gestures, though, and that’s nearly as good.

Though the whole “Dear Santa” part of the story is cute, it requires quite a bit of suspension of belief…how is it possible that Geoff, at least, doesn’t figure out who his pen pal is sooner? She gives him the name of her store in the very first email and mentions the name of their small resort town a few emails later. And she didn’t even have a glimmer of an “I wonder…” when he gave her that bouquet? I mean, really…

Angela feels a bit pricklier than she needs to be for much of the book, and Geoff isn’t at his best when he’s reflecting on the awesomeness of his business plan. (The lack of care for how disposable literally everything in his store is felt especially tone deaf after the past week’s climate news, which isn’t really fair but I couldn’t help but think of it as I read.) By the end, though, they both manage to pull themselves together into characters the reader wants to root for, and the epilogue was very sweet.

I haven’t even decorated for Halloween yet, but have a sudden urge to put up some twinkly lights now… 😉

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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