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Winter Stroll

Winter Stroll
Elin Hilderbrand
Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn's French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy--her devoted colleague, Scott. 

Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve's baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket's traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley's estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn's former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn't the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it's going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns--and the inn--through the holidays intact. 

Well, bummer. I read the second book first.

I’m a librarian. Usually, I know when a book is a part of a series, or at least I realize it pretty fast. Not this one. You know how I found out? Not by the flap, not by the list of books Hilderbrand has written, but the “About the Author” section! I was halfway through Winter Stroll! No wonder it was so hard for me to remember which character was which. THEY WERE ALL INTRODUCED IN BOOK ONE. On top of that, I read this in January.

It would have been so much more fun to read Winter Street (Book 1) and then Winter Stroll - in order- and at Christmastime.

That being said, I still couldn’t quit Winter Stroll to read Winter Street. I already knew what happened to everyone by the middle of the book, so why stop? Everything was so juicy! It was like a rich-people soap opera. One person was hooked on pills, another in jail for white-collar crime, the dad appeared to be getting sick, almost all relationships were in trouble, new romances began, others betrayed each other... Fantastic. The only part of the storyline that I honestly cared about was Bart’s - as a marine missing in action. It grounded the whole book and made everything else ridiculous in comparison. Honestly, he’s the one I was left caring about at the end of the book, and he’s the one I’ll read book three for - and there better be a book three.