Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
In her sweet and light-hearted holiday novella, A Holiday to Remember, Jennifer Redlarczyk tells the story of a modern-day Liz Bennet, who works as a music teacher at Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts, and William Darcy, CEO of Darcy Enterprises. This year Liz and her students have the auspicious opportunity to perform their Holiday to Remember medley for the Pemberley Foundation’s Annual Charity Gala on New Year’s Eve. Aside from hoping her students perform well and that Billy Collins keeps his distance, Liz hopes to not have another encounter with William Darcy, who she had exchanged heated words with after an incident that took place at Lollapalooza. But what happens when these two cross paths before then…
What a delightful holiday read infused with music! I’m finding it hard to decide what I enjoyed most about this novella. As a music teacher myself (and married to a musician) I am leaning towards the musical atmosphere as my most favorite element in this story! I love that Liz Bennet is a music teacher and that her aunt, Maddy Gardiner runs a music lesson studio (I can relate!). But I also love hearing about all the musical performances that take place in this story and the songs featured, whether they be standards sung by Nat King Cole and his daughter or Beethoven sonatas. I loved that this story included so many musical components.
In addition, I love that this story took place in Chicago which felt unique because so many holiday stories often have New York City as their setting. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas NYC, but this setting was a refreshing change! I enjoyed learning more about the Chicago area, and now I have some places that I want to explore and visit such as Door County and Peninsula State Park! 🙂 And of course, take in the big music festival – Lollapalooza!
As for the relationship between Darcy and Liz – while their first couple of interactions were unpleasant and tense, they are quick to resolve their differences and fall in love. It was heartwarming and satisfying to see these two fall in love around the holiday season. And even though the unexpected harmony and easy amicability sometimes felt a little uncharacteristic for these characters who usually have more flaws, misunderstandings, and stubbornness, I found myself enjoying their sweet and magical moments together! And the swift development of their relationship does fit well for the length of this novella.
A Holiday to Remember is a fast-paced and entertaining read that features a happily matched Darcy and Elizabeth, holiday festivities, and lots of music-making! And included with this charming tale is a bonus Regency short story. “Twelve Days” is a delightful and unexpected treat! One that will definitely make you smile and laugh out loud! 🙂