Book Review

ARC Book Review: Merry Ex-Mas by Courtney Walsh

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 322 pages
Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 25th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I haven’t been home for Christmas in eight years.

But that’s about to change. This year, I’m traveling to my small hometown to convince my producer to make me the permanent host of Good Day Denver.

The plan: Charm viewers by sharing my favorite family Christmas traditions, and in turn, get the likes, clicks and shares to land the job.

Not the plan: Running into my ex-boyfriend.

In my house.

For Christmas.

But here he is, a guest of my mother, who apparently had more trouble letting go of Max Weber than I did.

Unfortunately, he is as handsome and charming and talented and annoying and frustrating and flirty as ever.

Even more unfortunately, he seems to have a plan of his own—to convince me to give him a second chance.

Which is not happening.

There’s just one problem—my viewers love him. More than that, they love us. Me and Max. My ex.

The boy who broke my heart.

The boy I now have to fake flirt with to win over the hearts of my viewers.

But it’s not their hearts I’m worried about. . . it’s mine.

Merry Ex-Mas is a sweet, small town, second chance romance with a dash of not-so-fake flirting, a tiny bit of enemies to lovers and just enough forced proximity to make things sizzle.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.


I love Christmas books, and I love that I can easily add this to my recommendations list for the season.

We’ve got a really great set-up of lovers to enemies to lovers and I enjoyed the banter and rehashing of all the things that occurred then and what was happening in the present. And talk about Christmas CHEER. I LOVED the baking, decorating, picking out trees, walking the town, craft shows, alllllll the things that truly brought the entire spirit into this book. I feel so in the mood for everything holiday based, ’tis the season!

There’s plenty of family drama (but the good kind) and a lot of laugh out loud worthy awkwardness as Marin and Max clash a few times before realizing they love they once shared is still clearly there. I do think the change of heart came a bit late for me because Marin really held on to being stubborn about a tough situation. The resolutions afterwards led to some beautiful conversations that warmed my soul and made me love these characters.

Perfect for the season. Great swoony moments, hilarious banter and just a truly good time of a read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents (from a car wreck, off page), grief and loss depiction, depression

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