Book Review: The Christmas Village by Annie Rains

About the Book:

Title: The Christmas Village

Author: Annie Rains

Series: Somerset Lake #2

Page Length: 339

Publication Date: Oct. 12, 2021

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis: Lucy Hannigan has inherited her mother’s bulldog, Bella, and her childhood home, the only pink house on Gingerbread Lane. With the holidays coming up, the pressure is on to decorate the house for the annual lights competition and maintain her parent’s winning streak. But Lucy already has her hands full as a midwife and a new landlord-to her ex-fiancé.

When Miles Bruno is suddenly asked to move out of his rental home, he’s grateful to Lucy for taking him on as a tenant. But their broken-off engagement doesn’t make it easy to live next door. Sparks still fly between them, and he’d give anything to get back in Lucy’s good graces. But to do that will take much more than just tree trimming and house decorating and contest winning. Will one wildly grand romantic gesture on Christmas Eve finally soften her heart?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

The Christmas Village is a wonderfully charming holiday romance with themes of second chances, forgiveness, healing, and embracing love. Lucy Hannigan and Miles Bruno were high school sweethearts and engaged to be married when Miles surprisingly broke up with Lucy and broke her heart. Now, a decade later, Lucy faces her first holiday since losing her mother, and she is struggling with her grief, as well as the debt her mother left behind. When she puts her garage apartment up for rent, she never expects her old flame to ask to rent it from her.

Miles is so grateful when Lucy agrees to rent her apartment to him, and he’s glad that they are friends. However, as they spend the holiday season together decorating and preparing for the annual Christmas lights competition, which will hopefully pay off all of her mother’s debts, Miles and Lucy can’t deny their old feelings resurfacing. Miles will do anything to win back Lucy’s heart, but will Lucy trust that Miles won’t repeat the mistakes of the past?

I love Lucy and Miles! They are such wonderful, dynamically developed characters, and I enjoyed their journeys both as individuals and as a couple. Annie is so caring and giving, and she is stronger than she gives herself credit for. Miles is also very caring, and he devotes so much of his life to helping others. They are both such likable and admirable people who work hard, give back to their community, and value the relationships they’ve cultivated.

Lucy and Miles have a fantastic second-chance romance! It’s clear from the beginning that there is unfinished business between these two, and they have great chemistry. However, they also have a lot to work through if they want a future together. Trust issues, secrets from the past, feelings of worthiness, and more stand in their way, and Miles and Lucy can’t really embrace their current situation until they revisit what happened in the past and how it affected their lives and love. Secrets and hidden feelings got in the way of their relationship when they were younger, and it’s wonderful to see this pair grow closer and realize their feelings for each other never really went away. Now, with a bit of maturity and a lot of growth, their relationship has the potential to be stronger than ever.

I love that Lucy makes all these rules before Miles even moves in and then promptly breaks all of them. It just shows how deep her feelings run and how much she fights her feelings. It’s pretty clear Lucy is vulnerable, and she fears rejection again. However, Miles is tough to resist, and watching him try to win her heart is so romantic and swoon-worthy!

I also really enjoyed many of the secondary characters in the story, including some of Lucy’s pregnant clients, the young teen that Miles takes under his wing, Miles and Lucy’s long-time friends, and the town gossip who is also a blogger. There are so many interesting and dynamic characters, all with their own stories to tell, and I’m curious to see which of them will be the focus of the next novel in the series.

The holiday charm adds such a festive feel to the story, and I love the scenes where Lucy and Miles decorate for the holidays. They have so much fun and really get into decorating her house, which adds to the charm and holiday spirit. However, the novel also highlights some of the difficulties that come with celebrating the holidays. Grief, job loss, money struggles, and more impact the characters, which I thought was very realistic. I love the holidays, but it’s often bittersweet, as I also deeply miss those I’ve lost. I related to Lucy’s feelings about losing her mother and wishing she had more time with her. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, and the author portrayed that well.

This is such a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary romance. Though it’s the second book in the Somerset Lake series, it can easily be read as a standalone. However, the first book in the series, The Summer Cottage, is great too. So if you’re looking for a new contemporary romance series, you should totally check this one out! Thanks so much to Forever Publishing for gifting me a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The holiday charm.
  • The friendships.

Favorite Lines:

Sometimes when you were stuck in a hard time, seeing others in similar conditions made you feel less alone.

The only way to move on from the past is to face it honestly.


I highly recommend The Christmas Village to readers who like charming contemporary romances, second chance romances, or holiday romances.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Christmas Village by Annie Rains

  1. Wonderful review, Julie. This sounds like the perfect read for this time of year. Thanks for pointing out that I don’t have to read book 1 to enjoy Christmas Village.

  2. What a wonderful review Julie. I will try and fit this one in before the end of the year. I really like the sound of this couple and their dynamics.

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