From Simon & Schuster:
The master of the holiday novel presents the moving story of two people who brave loneliness and loss to find love.
Is anyone out there?
Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.
Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.
Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?
Review: This is the third book in the Mistletoe Collection by Richard Paul Evans. I have not read the first two, but as far as I can tell, this book can be read as a stand-alone. I have read a couple of Evans’ other holiday themed books and have enjoyed them and this book didn’t disappoint either.
Alex Bartlett’s wife leaves him for another man. Divorced and alone for almost a year, his friends convince him to try online dating. Alex doesn’t find a good match on the dating site. However, through an internet search he stumbles upon a blog that interests him. All he knows from the blog is that a woman with the initials LBH bares her soul about her loneliness to the Universe in her posts. Through reading all of her blog posts, using the little personal information that is revealed, Alex figures out that LBH lives in Midway, Utah. In a rather impulsive decision he decides to travel from Florida to Utah to try to track down this woman.
When he gets to Midway, Utah, he discovers that there are several women with the initials LBH and his search may take longer than expected. Through his frequent dinners at the Mistletoe Diner, he befriends Aria, one of the waitresses there. The two end up forming a quick friendship that leads to something more, but Alex is still intent on finding LBH. Eventually, he does discover who LBH is, but will it affect his relationship with Aria?
There seems to be a theme with bloggers and Christmas themed books this season! This is the second holiday themed adult book that I’ve read that involves a blogger. I think the blogging theme fit nicely into the story. The loneliness focused blog posts seem especially relevant during the holiday season. I enjoyed reading the scientific findings about loneliness that LBH shared in her posts.
The story is told from Alex’s point of view. But I found both Alex and Aria to be well developed, likable characters. I found the book to be humorous at times, when Evans captured the quirks of small town living. This book is classified as Christian Fiction. However, I did not find many religious references or find it preachy. I found this book to be an enjoyable, feel-good holiday read.
Overall Rating: Recommend!