Wild Rose Press’s release Mistletoe Fever by Jennifer Snow is the tale of a young woman who desires to have a temporary boyfriend for the Christmas holiday. She’s had a boyfriend before who turned out to be a cad so she’d like to try another route. Piper Johnson is of an age, twenty-seven, when women typically crave a serious relationship and haven’t been burned too harshly to avoid taking risks, although her method of risk taking makes her friend Alex Miller bolt into action.
Snow begins the story at the point when Piper tells Alex she’s going to place an ad in The New York Times for a man to kiss under the mistletoe on Christmas Eve. Alex, a Manhattan attorney thinks she’s insane. Piper, an independent painter and owner of her own art gallery, believes this is her only chance to be kissed on Christmas Eve.
Piper and Alex have an open friendship reminiscent of the characters Harry Burns and Sally Albright in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, although how Piper and Alex meet is nothing like in the movie. Piper and Alex are not only trusted friends but they support each other even in regards to Piper’s insane idea about the ad in the newspaper. Alex is there lending his support and giving Piper his honest opinion about prospective candidates who contact her at an email addressed to Mistletoefever, which she provides in the ad.
While the plot unfolds, Snow enlightens readers about Piper and Alex’s true feelings for one another. Both are strongly attracted to the other, but they’re too afraid to let their vulnerabilities show in case the other one doesn’t reciprocate. The struggling feelings and insecurities make the characters appear three dimensional and human. Anyone can relate to their position.
As Piper shifts through the emails she receives, she confers with Alex about them. From the first batch, she chooses a guy whom Alex informs her is nicknamed Crazy Max because he’s a Times writer for the column “Crazy Manhattan Sex.” She figures out he applied for the role as temporary holiday boyfriend to do research for his column. Audiences might relate this segment to the Carrie Bradshaw character in the TV series Sex in the City with reflections of the character of Andie Anderson in the film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Piper does settle on one candidate who keeps his real name and identify hidden though his words capture her heart. She has dubbed him her Mistletoe Mystery and lets Alex know all about him. Her candidate encourages her to let fate bring them together, a concept which was the basis for the movie Serendipity. The exchanging of emails between Piper and her Mistletoe Mystery is akin to the movie You’ve Got Mail. Even with these correlations, Snow’s story takes its own individual course as Piper and Alex pave their own path to bringing their guard down. Needless to say, Alex is Piper’s Mistletoe Mystery man.
The twists, the climax, and the resolution all keep the reader involved in the story making Mistletoe Fever is a quick read that leaves a lasting impression on audiences.