Review: A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, by Peggy Jaeger
Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon. (An electronic copy of the book was given to the reviewer in exchange for an honest, objective review.)
This delightful novel does for Christmas what Nia Vardalos did for Big Fat Greek Weddings. In this case, the loud, large family is Italian and staunchly Catholic.
With a million close relatives watching her every move, both socially and professionally, Gia San Valentino is still living in her parents’ house in her mid-twenties. She is dutifully helping her mother and incorrigible aunts with the annual church Christmas Festival when a new soon-to-be-ordained young priest is assigned to Gia’s parish.
That’s fine. Old Father Mario is older than dirt and will be retiring soon.
What’s not fine is that Gia is terminally smitten with Father Mario’s young, handsome replacement! She knows two things for sure: (1) her family must never find out what she feels toward the priest, and (2) there is a special spot reserved for her in hell for what she thinks when she looks at him.
The author wisely lets Gia narrate the story from within the craziness of a huge, nosey, Catholic family, and the resulting story is brimming with heart and humor. With mild language and no explicit sex, this book is fun for readers of any age from 10 to 100. While certain social and cultural aspects of being Catholic are mentioned, there is no religious discussion of the meaning of Christmas. This is just good, clean, wintertime fun and a great Christmas gift for readers.