Review: “The Christmas We Knew” by LIza Jonathan

Book Title: The Christmas We Knew

Author: Liza Jonathan

Series: Mountain Magic Christmas, Book 2

Rating: 4.5⭐

Release Date: October 15th, 2020

Goodreads | (Available on KU)

Synopsis: We’re back in Lewisberg, where two lost souls are about to be reunited through a series of time travelling adventures. When Hopper Vance and Lila Cook are brought face-to-face after years apart, it’s an absolute treat. But for them, it’s also a little terrifying and worrisome to know that things might not always be the same anymore.

Review: For someone who doesn’t care for Christmas till December 24th, I devoured the two books in the Mountain Magic Christmas series. Simply because there’s just so much excitement in these books! I enjoyed Wrecking Christmas, but I absolutely loved The Christmas We Knew. And that’s mostly because the two characters are so brilliant. They’ve been through so much, but they still managed to get up every single day and go out there and make something happen for themselves. If only all of us had the same drive and passion for life as Hopper and Lila. So, just know that I absolutely loved this book and hope that more people are going to get to enjoy this magic. (See what I did there?)

“He’d already had the great love of his life. Everything else was a pale imitation.”

So to break it down really simply, Hopper and Lila first met when they were teenagers. And then Hopper got sent to prison and they haven’t seen each other in a million years. And just like Wrecking Christmas, there’s a little magic in the air. Caine’s Christmas Outpost is a place that is meant for those who are lost and that’s how Hopper and Lila end up there. But at separate times. However, being there takes them back in time to experience Christmases past. Especially Christmases they got to share together, to see how their relationship grew and how they grew apart and everything. So much so that when they are finally facing each other in their current states, it’s a shock. The love has always been there, but it’s been years. And the last time they saw each other, Hopper said some not so nice things to Lila and she’s put him in her rearview.

Except neither of them have actually let go of the other.

“It was kinda insulting, honestly. He and Delilah were so royally fucked up that they needed a magical intervention? Really?”

Liza Jonathan has created such an incredible world of magic with amazing characters. While Wrecking Christmas took us to Christmas Pass and we got to meet Earl and Candy Caine, we get to know them a little better this time around. And then you have Lila and Hopper, two characters who have been through so much and have come out on the other side better than ever. What drew me to these books were the unique stories that they were telling. Yes, the stories are about lost souls finding each other (Kathryn and Hunter in book one as well), but they’re also books about Christmas and believing in that time of year.

What I loved about this was that we didn’t spend too much time getting lost in their pasts. Yes, we got to see a lot of it and experience it through their eyes, but also really uncover their story. I love how each time into the past gave us more insight into these characters. Even the ones where Hopper and Lila were naked, those scenes held so much heart (and heat) that you can see just how much they are meant to be. It’s a second chance romance with a holiday vibe and how can you not love that?

“It’s just that some men, once they love somebody like that, they can never find room in their heart for anyone else.”

Plus, Hopper Vance is a total babe. I mean, look at that cover. But honestly, seeing this tall, buff, gruff, ex-con who is covered in tattoos be a soft teddy bear is truly the most beautiful thing ever. Lila Cook is truly one of my current favourite female leads. She’s so strong, so beautiful and so incredible. The glimpse you get of her in the first book doesn’t tell you just how much of a treat she’s going to be when she gets her own book. Thank you Liza Jonathan for making me look at Christmas differently (especially in October). 

Thanks to Liza Jonathan & Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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