BLOGMAS Day 14: REVIEW – More Than Ornmanetal by Monique McDonell

Published: 27th June 2020

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 85 pages (Christmas novella)

Format: Ebook

RRP: $1.42 AUD or free in Kindle Unlimited

5/5 Stars


The goal – go back to my hometown and open my beachside restaurant this holiday season. The reality – in order to do that I had to run the craft services van for the Hollywood movie that had come to town. The problem – movie star Connor Reed and his adorable daughter Ava had moved in next door to me and somehow as much as I tried to avoid them, they were everywhere I went. The even bigger problem – I liked that a little too much. I’d come home for a purpose and falling for a hot single dad wasn’t it.


The goal – I just needed to get this movie made and get my baby back to Hollywood.

The problem – I hadn’t known about Ava until a few weeks earlier and as hard as I was trying to be a good dad, I wasn’t sure I knew how. My neighbour Meg seemed to have more of a clue than I did and I was drawn to her kindness and her realness and the fact that she treated me as more than just a pretty face.The even bigger problem – we’d be spending a summer Christmas together – that much was certain – could I walk away when the move was made – that much I didn’t know.

More Than Ornamental is a sweet small town single father romance featuring a fiesty four year old, a burly bodyguard and a simmering summer romance.

More Than Ornamental is quirky Australian festive book full of love, heart, family and hope.

I  fell hopeless in love with Connor, Ava and Meg in this short and sweet release from Monique McDonell. Right from the get go, I loved the characters and found them endearing and heartfelt. The more I read, the more I found myself smiling as I made my way through their story, hoping for their HEA (happily ever after) and wishing for the story to never end.  The narrative is concise, homely and just so heartwarming and festive, that it makes the perfect Christmas read.

In her authors note, McDonell explains that the premise of this book was largely dictated by her readers via facebook where they were able to vote on the setting, character names, occupations and other narrative details. This shows real talent and craftsmanship on McDonell’s behalf for not only did she give up narrative control, but she was able to pull it all together so  seamlessly. The book feels authentic, and despite being short (it’s an 85 page novella) it packs an emotional punch and feels complete; which is not something I find often in novellas.

I read More Than Ornamental as part of Grinchathon, where I used the book to fit the reading challenge SAFE. It was a safe read for me because I’ve read Mcdonell in the past and previously loved her books, so I was pretty sure I was onto another winner when I read the synopsis and her writing did not let me down.


To purchase a copy of More Than Ornamental, visit the following online retailers:

Amazon AUS | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon USA

To learn more about Monique McDonell, visit the following social media sites:

Monique’s Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter |




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