Book Review: Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

About the Book:

Title: Bright Lights, Big Christmas

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Page Length: 288

Publication Date: Sept. 26, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: It’s a long way from a Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina to a certain street corner in Greenwich Village, but Kerry Tolliver, newly unemployed and romantically unattached, reluctantly agrees to make the trek, and live in a tiny vintage camper with her gruff older brother (and his dog Queenie) out of family loyalty. Selling Christmas trees at the family’s stand in on the sidewalks of New York, Kerry is startled to find herself beginning to feel at home in this quirky little corner of the city, and succumbing to the charms of Patrick, a single dad and his adorable, dragon-loving son Austin. When a secretive elderly neighbor goes missing with the holidays fast approaching, Kerry discovers her new friends have become family . . . and maybe more . . .

Surrounded by warm childhood memories, sparkling possibility, and the magic of
Christmas, will this small-town girl surrender her heart to the bright lights of the big city?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Mary Kay Andrews has often been synonymous with favorite summer reads for me, and now her holiday romances are reads I also look forward to.

Bright Lights, Big Christmas is a delightful walk through a winter wonderland in the big city, complete with a brother and sister living in a camper while they sell trees from their Christmas tree farm. It follows Kerry, who is at a crossroads in her life as she works with her brother over the holidays and connects with a community, From the local restaurateurs, the older, grumpy recluse, the generous neighbors, and one particularly appealing man and his adorable son, in ways she never has before.

Like all of MKA’s stories, the characters and dialogue are top-notch. There’s something about her writing that pulls me in and creates such vivid pictures of the setting and characters. I could just picture Kerry driving through the streets of New York with her old camper in tow. I could imagine their cute little tree stand and could totally see myself picking up a wreath or tree there just to absorb the festive ambiance.

I also loved all of the secondary characters. They and Kerry brought the story to life. It’s a diverse group of people who are all very different, and their personalities shine through. It was lovely to see so many helpful and thoughtful people embracing Kerry and others in need and helping them through difficult times in their lives. And there’s one particular relationship between Kerry and an older, enigmatic grump that has a profound effect on Kerry’s life. As Kerry learns more about him and his life, she becomes more certain of her future. I loved their friendship and the hope they gave to each other. And there’s another character who sparks Kerry’s interest, and he sounds like a total cinnamon roll. His son is adorable too, and they are both so sweet on Kerry. It’s adorable. I also really liked the sibling relationship, which felt very realistic and relatable.

My only complaint is that the ending felt a little abrupt, and I wish there were an epilogue so we could see what happened to the community members and the main couple. However, overall, it was a warm-hearted, feel-good contemporary romance with amazing holiday vibes.

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The community and holiday setting.
  • The romance!
  • The characters.

Favorite Lines:

“You’ve been completely reformed. It’s like My Fair Laddie.”


  • holiday themed
  • business in jeopardy
  • sibling relationship

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