Mistletoe and the Mouse
Can a magical Christmas melt a frozen heart?
Join Belle and James as they visit Mickey Mouse for a sparkling holiday season at Disneyland Paris.
Belle has been numb since her mother died, and she can’t face Christmas at home without her. Instead she books a surprise holiday to her “happy place” – the Magic Kingdom. But her boyfriend James has problems of his own. He doesn’t “do Disney” and what will his mother think of him missing their family Christmas to go to Disneyland with Belle?
A festive romance with a sprinkling of Pixie Dust.
Theme Park Press website: http://themeparkpress.com/
Elsa Simonetti was born in the same year as Walt Disney World, but many miles away in the north of England. Her earliest Disney memory is crying during Bambi at the Saturday morning cinema club! It wasn’t until her own children were small that her husband introduced her to the magic of Disneyland Paris, and since then she has become obsessed, proving Walt Disney’s own belief that “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever”. That was the seed of this story – that Disneyland is not just for children, but for anyone who is young at heart.
Elsa also writes romantic women’s fiction under the name of Liz Taylorson
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For me, every Christmas is better with a sprinkle of Disney but this year even more so. I had to squeeze this one in.
Belle is still mourning the loss of her mother, and her relationship with James accelerated as he stepped in to comfort her. But Belle and James are very different people, and she wonders if their relationship had been allowed to develop at its normal would they still be together. Belle is Disney-obsessed (nothing wrong with that at all 😉 ) while James is into his rugby big-time, both playing and watching. Belle hasn’t even seen him play yet. So, booking a break to Disneyland Paris over the Christmas holidays seems like the perfect way for them to spend more time together as a couple. But, first, they have to tell his mother.
James does his best to show enthusiasm, but it’s clear a Disney holiday is not his idea of fun, especially at Christmas when his mother likes all the family to gather round.
But, of course, his mother is gracious in agreeing for James to accompany Belle to Paris. That graciousness becomes ever more evident when we later learn her reason for keeping her family close by over the festive season.
Belle’s awe and delight is not immediately reflected in her boyfriend’s eyes and she begins to regret asking him along. However, this wouldn’t be Disney without some magic, and James is soon won over by “proper” restaurants and “big” rides, despite Belle’s love for the gentler side of the park with all the lights and fireworks. Can a sprinkle of pixie dust be enough to realign them and their future together?
As a big Disney fan, and a frequent visitor to Disneyland Paris – without kids, because …well, just because 😉 – Belle’s wonderment mirrors my own. “It’s a Small World” is my happy place too. Like Belle, my mum loved it too, and I can empathise with her as she recalls how much her mum would have enjoyed the Christmas theme. That said, I understand there are people like James who don’t “do Disney”, but that’s generally because they haven’t tried it, or they think it’s only for kids. this book did more to disprove that argument than I ever could.
This was such a heartwarming story, and James’s mum turns out not to be the Evil (Step)Mother thanks to a delightful twist in the tale that sees Belle’s reconsider her impression of the woman. As with all Disney stories, there’s a message here: don’t judge people until you really know them. Belle’s own grief cut her off from others a little, but with the help of Disney she was able to see through the tears and welcome in a new future for herself … and maybe James too.
I enjoyed reminiscing over the sights and sounds, the queues (!?), the real food in the restaurants, and the utter magic of the Parade. Belle and James were the perfect hosts, and they thoroughly deserve a happy ending.
Thank you to the author and Theme Park Press for my copy of this book which I have voluntarily read and honestly reviewed.
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