Holidays, Inc. (Finding New Hope, Book 1)

Rachelle Paige

Dani Winters is a burned-out Hollywood star. She purchases a defunct cinema in New Hope, Wisconsin and plans to re-open it as a dinner theatre. She ends up becoming the saving grace to her adopted town, rescuing it from financial ruin. Paul Howell left Los Angeles disparaged. His dreams of movie stardom never took flight, and his musical scoring hopes fell flat too. Defeated, he returns to his hometown of New Hope, only to realize his twin sold the family cinema to a Hollywood star. Prepared to immediately dislike Dani, he’s surprised to find genuine chemistry sparking between them at each meeting they have. Things go well until Dani’s frenemy and Hollywood starlet, Kara Kensington, arrives with her own agenda and uncovers Dani’s secrets.

New Hope is a sweet setting for Dani and Paul’s story and for the rebirth of Dani’s dream. The struggling town provides home and backdrop to some memorable characters. Kara is the perfect foil to Dani. This story is hurt only with craft errors and pacing. The story crawls with repetitive background narrative and self-flagellation from Dani and Paul almost from the beginning, with the greater percentage of the story in narrative rather than dialogue adding to the drag. What dialogue there is, however, is punchy and witty. A lack of clear conflict, awkward sentences, and inconsistent point of view could have been corrected with more editing and would make what is already a unique story polished and shine brilliantly. Readers will surely cheer for Dani to reach her dream and catch her hero in this fresh perspective on finding love in a small town. 

Emerson Matthews