Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft | Book Review | #UnderTheMistletoe | #FestiveChoice


Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.


Sue Moorcroft and her books are a frequent visitor to my blog – you will find several reviews of her books from recent years here as well as a few guest posts- all can easily be found from the index. A Christmas book is always a delight and I have to thank Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite and the publisher for the copy to review.

In Under The Mistletoe, we return to the idyllically described village of Middledip, the centre of several previous stories. Although some characters make a welcome return appearance, it is absolutely not a requirement to have read any previous books as each one can be read as a standalone.

Troubled but successful artist Laurel Hill has returned to Middledip to support her struggling older sister Rea and young teenage niece Daisy. Laurel had left the village suddenly as soon as she could nearly twenty years before. The past associations with the village were not altogether happy ones and it really isn’t somewhere she had any desire to return to but family loyalty and circumstances have sent her there.

Laurel’s return to the village isn’t problem free. The first thing she has to do is confront the ghosts of her past – the Cassidy brothers. One she used to love and the other she hated; she has certainly not forgiven nor forgotten.

As ever with a Moorcroft book, nothing is straightforward and here a happy outcome certainly wasn’t guaranteed. Because Laurel’s feelings of hostility ran so deep, I didn’t even know if there would be a HEA for her, the chasm between the reality of what she wanted and the reality of the situation seemed far too wide to ever be bridged. Watching her struggling to get some kind of perspective on her feelings about the past whilst dealing with outside interference on her present situation, I did feel for her.

This is a wonderful uplifting read with endless Christmas spirit and charm. Crafty villagers who with their various talents and Laurel’s artistic help turn Middledip into a festive feast of arts and crafts for the month of December with festive wreaths, intricately decorated gourds and stunning artwork. Balanced against the feel-good factor however is a story that includes mental health issues, varying degrees of bullying and assault as well as marital problems. Such matters are however sympathetically woven into the story with sensitivity.

With many excellent supporting characters as well as the highly engaging main ones, it is rather difficult to single out any particular ones for credit however fourteen year old Daisy was a delight and in some aspects surprised Laurel with her maturity. There was one character that made me grind my teeth whenever she appeared. I will say no more!

Under the Mistletoe was a wonderfully enjoyable read. With passionate romance, the lightness of humour, and a depth of storyline to stop the book being too sweet, this is one festive book I definitely recommend.

At the time of publishing this post, Under the Mistletoe is only 99p to download from Amazon UK – a bargain!!

Publisher: Avon
Format: Ebook, Audio, Paperback (28 October 2021)
Pages: 384
Source: Copy received for review


Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK as well as top 100 in the US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Sue’s emotionally compelling, feel-good novels are currently released by publishing giant HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world. She’s also well known for short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses.

Born in Germany into an army family, Sue spent much of her childhood in Cyprus and Malta but settled in Northamptonshire, England aged ten. She loves reading, Formula 1, travel, time spent with friends, dance exercise and yoga.

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