Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor  - Lisa Kleypas
Maybe 3.5? I'm not sure, for the longest time I was thinking solid four, possibly more. For me this could have easily been a five star book, but it needed more story to it. There was absolutely no showing the adjustment period of a) Mark and Sam now taking care of a six-year-old girl, b) that six-year-old girl's grieving for her mother, c) her adjusting to be being raised by her uncles, d) Mark and Sam adjusting to living together now and being brotherly (and the addition of Alex later on) since so much of their childhood and family estrangement was made clear to the readers. Suddenly we're six months in and things appear to be going super smoothly. One element of the story is resolved at that point, and it was too quick for me, I wanted to see the evolution occur. So it lacked a lot of the drama and intensity it could have had.There were a lot of minute details on Friday Harbor, it's inhabitants, the house, the atmosphere during the holiday season, etc. This would have been okay if the necessary parts of the story were more fleshed out. I would have liked to have more scenes with the adults and Holly. The resolution of Mark and Shelby's relationship was skipped over. More with Maggie's family and her life as a widow could have been included, too. There really could have been more of everything. Even at the end. I kind of felt like Kleypas was jumping out of the exit with it. It felt kind of rushed. That may have been an effect from what I felt was missing in the rest of the story, or it could have been that it's called Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor and it wasn't Christmas Eve until the last chapter of the book, which, of course, was the shortest chapter. Most of the book wasn't even really during the Christmas season. This is the first Kleypas book I've read, and she seems like a really decent writer, so I feel like she definitely had more to offer in the story. Otherwise, I loved this book. It damn near made me happy. Mark's feelings about Holly, and he and Sam's interactions with her were adorable and priceless. I just loved Mark. I loved Maggie. She was fantastic. Her conversations with Mark as they were establishing their friendship and more were great to read. I loved that I could easily see the reasoning behind their dumb moves instead of them being contrived for the effect on the story. I loved that they didn't jump into bed together after knowing each other five minutes. I loved that when their declarations of love came I totally believed that they were, which is so unbelievably rare.Even though I felt some things were lacking, I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes this genre.