Book Review: The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens by Jaimie Admans

Title: The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens

Author: Jaimie Admans

Page Count: 330 pages

Publish Date: September 12, 2023

Publisher: Boldwood Books


In Mistletoe Gardens a legend exists: anyone who kisses underneath the mistletoe will be guaranteed another year of love…

When local baker Essie Browne discovers that Mistletoe Gardens is to be demolished in January, she’s determined to save the place she loves so much. So Essie proposes building a life size gingerbread house to bring in the crowds…just how hard can it be?

Well, quite hard actually. Essie can bake gingerbread blindfolded, but she hasn’t got a clue how to build an actual house with it! She needs help – and fast!

Enter local builder, Joss Hallissey. Essie is convinced that with Joss’s help, they can pull this off. There’s just one tiny problem: Joss hates Christmas, gingerbread, and… well, just about everything else too.

Joss the Grinch makes it clear that her idea is ludicrous and pointless, but he reluctantly agrees to help with her plan.

Will the gingerbread house be enough to save Mistletoe Gardens? Or will Essie’s chance for a magical kiss under the mistletoe be lost forever?

The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens

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My Review:

I don’t often read Christmas-themed books, but The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens sounded so good that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

The way this book started was completely unexpected and that humorous first line had me curious as to what was to come.

Things are a bit slow to start with, as the town, the situation with the gardens, and the townsfolk are introduced to us. It’s a fairly interesting mix of people, many of whom are on the older side.

That’s one thing that stands out in this book. The two main characters are in their 30s and most of the other characters are older than that. It’s a nice change of pace from many romance books when the characters are mostly younger.

The story picks up quickly once this initial introduction is done. Essie and Joss are polar opposites, which makes many of their initial interactions quite interesting.

As the idea of building a gingerbread house to save the Mistletoe Garden grew, so did my interest in the story. After all, who wouldn’t want to see a full-sized gingerbread house being built?

This is the point where Essie and Joss truly start to grow as characters. As they begin to work together, fairly reluctantly at first, we begin to see exactly who they are.

While they have little in common at first glance, as they open up to each other it’s easy to see that they have some things in common. They both have their scars and those past events have held them back from embracing what they can become.

Yet, this building project is just what they need to branch out into something new. And the growing feelings for each other make things interesting.

Essie was a fun character to watch grow throughout the story. Her love of Christmas mixed with her passion for baking and making something special with dough and icing really made me love her.

It was clear that working on such a huge project, as impossible as it may have seemed at times, truly showed off her creative side and her potential as a baker.

Josh felt cold initially, but much like Essie, he began to open up as the gingerbread house came to life and he got to show off his creative streak as well. Not only that but seeing him slowly crack that shell he had put around himself and show who he truly is to Essie was wonderful.

These two fed off each other’s creativity and passion. It was clear they were meant to be together.

Yet, as the end approaches, several stumbling blocks stand between these two and their happily ever after.

Now, it’s not just Essie and Joss that make this book, there is an entire cast of characters that help not only build the gingerbread house but also work to save the town’s beloved garden.

One character, in particular, stood out to me, and that was the Mystical Mistletoe Magi or MMM. She was such an amazing character, showing up at random times to harass and encourage Essie and Joss not only in their building project but also helping them see the world in a new light.

Throw in Essie’s mother, who can be a handful at times and often a bit overbearing, Saff Essie’s friend and fellow baker, a dinosaur-costume-wearing old man, and a plethora of other townsfolk who adore Christmas and the Mistletoe Gardens, who all affect how things play out in town and with Essie and Joss’ relationship.

While there was one part of the book near the end where my love of the story waned a bit, overall I truly enjoyed this book. Watching a town come together to save a part of its history, build the impossible, and see a couple come together made it a worthwhile read.

If you are looking for a Christmas story that has a bit of a Hallmark story feel to it, then this book is for you.

I hope you enjoyed my review of The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens. Have you read this book?


  1. I will be adding this book to my Christmas book list. I love stories like this, Hallmark-type love stories. Your review was great and I like how you mentioned other supporting characters.

    1. Author

      Glad to hear you are adding it to your TBR, it was a fun little read and I will be looking for more books by the author.

  2. I will add this to my holiday reading list next year. I adore getting cozy with a seasonal book just in time for Christmas and The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens sounds like a perfect fit.

    1. Author

      I’m glad to hear you will be giving this one a try, it definitely has a cozy holiday feel to it.

  3. Oh, I spotted this book a while back and wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but now I’ll add it to my booklist. I especially like the polar opposite characters and they are in their 30s. I agree that it is refreshing to have a romantic story with older characters. I did enjoy watching Hallmark so I’ll give it a try.

    1. Author

      Yes, having characters in their 30s was a refreshing change and one of the big reasons I liked to book so much. I hope you do enjoy it because it’s a fun book.

  4. This is a great and honest review thank you!

    1. Author

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  5. I love Hallmark movies so this is right up my alley. I will have to check this out.

    1. Author

      I’m glad to hear you will be picking this one up. I hope you enjoy it.

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