Book Review

Book Review: The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
Length: 185 pages
Author: Chloe Liese
Publisher: Kobo Originals
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of THE BERGMAN BROTHERS series comes a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers holiday romance, perfect for fans of THE HATING GAME and YOU’VE GOT MAIL.

He loathes the holidays. She loves them. She’s full of festive cheer. He’s brimming with Bah, Humbugs. Besides unreasonably seasonable names, the only thing Jonathan Frost and Gabriella Di Natale have in common is a healthy dose of mutual contempt. Well, that and the same place of employment at the city’s most beloved independent bookstore, Bailey’s Bookshop. But when the store’s owners confess its dire financial state, Jonathan and Gabby discover another unfortunate commonality: the imminent threat of unemployment.

With the Baileys’ requests to minimize expenses, win new customers, and make record sales dancing in their heads, Jonathan and Gabby conclude—barring a financial Christmas miracle—one of them will soon be cut from the payroll. Neither are willing to step down from their position, so they strike a bargain: whoever has more sales in December gets to stay on in the new year; the loser will resign. With a lifetime’s worth of festive tricks up her sleeve, Gabby should easily outsell her nemesis, except the unreadable Mr. Frost’s every move seems purely designed to throw her off her game.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabby’s deceptive ex won’t quit pursuing her, and her anonymous online friend suggests they take a break. Worst of all, as the pressure mounts to save the bookshop and her job, Gabby meets a new, tender side of Jonathan. Is this the same man she’s called her cold-hearted enemy?

Maybe he’s got a motive she just can’t figure out—or maybe Jonathan Frost isn’t as chilly as she once thought. Maybe Jonathan and Gabby already know—and love—each other in ways they never thought possible.

This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

PERFECT HOLIDAY NOVELLA.

But no really. I expected no less and got more than I could hope for. These are the kind of holiday romances I love to read. I have absolutely no complaints other than I wish this was a full fledged book and hope we get more Christmas romances from the author!

There was a delicious mix of grump/sunshine and enemies to lovers tropes. Through in the You’ve Got Mail vibes and I COULD NOT HANDLE THE SWEETNESS. This slow burn gives all the best kind of angst. The begging to kiss, to shout that they love each other, let those feelings be known!! Along with great representation (demisexual, autism and type 1 diabetes) this book was a hit.

I love the bookstore setting that had just the right touch of holiday atmosphere. I wanted to curl up in that store with a book and watch these two try not to flirt as they moved throughout the store.

This is a novella that I could write an endless review for because I loved it so much. Highly recommend for the holiday romance lover, and the reader looking to try out a holiday romance! A wonderful gateway read with perfect pacing and a satisfying ending.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance Holiday Novella
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: two open door scenes + innuendo
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: ableism, type-1 diabetes

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Book Review

Book Review: With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4) by Chloe Liese

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Chloe Liese
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Cozy up for a heartfelt, humorous, sizzling slow-burn in this marriage of convenience romance about finding love—and home—in the most unlikely of places.

Axel

Rooney Sullivan is sunshine incarnate. Warm, bright, always smiling, she’s everything I’m not and the last person I have any business desiring. Desperate to hide a hopeless attraction, I’ve done everything possible to keep my distance…until a charades game gone wrong brought that to a grinding halt. 

Since then, steering clear of Rooney has been impossible. In a matter of months, she’s kissed me speechless, commandeered my art career, and infiltrated not only my dreams but my home. The woman who was once avoidable has become the last thing I needed: temptingly within reach.

Rooney

Axel Bergman is a gorgeous grump who doesn’t have the time of day for me. Thankfully, I’ve kept my crush under wraps…well, until I kissed him. Charades got away from me, okay? It was an accident! I haven’t seen him since, which is for the best. My life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to embarrass myself further with the man who avoids me like that’s his job rather than painting modern masterpieces.

It seems the universe, however, has a different plan. When Axel and I unexpectedly find our paths—and problems—converging, a marriage of convenience proves the perfect solution. At least, until I’m facing my most serious problem yet: a once-loveless marriage of convenience that’s inconveniently become a love match, after all.

With You Forever is a sunshine and grump, marriage of convenience romance about a shy artist on the autism spectrum*, and a smiley smartypants who has a chronic IBD. Complete with combustible cooking lessons, interfering family and friends, and a steamy slow burn, this standalone is the fourth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.

*This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

A NEW FAVORITE.

I loooooooooved this book SO DANG MUCH. I flipped when it finally dropped on my kindle and read it in a day. I could not and did not want to put it down ever. I flew through this magnificent love story that gave me all the feels from laughter to tears. What a beautiful book. If you only get through this paragraph PLEASE READ IT.

I would call this one of those perfect romance. Where I can’t even think of one nuanced complaint other then that it ended too soon because it could never end I would keep reading this forever.

Rooney is the sunshine heroine with a chronic illness. Something she hides from those she loves and something that has flared up badly enough she had to take a break. I love her vulnerability and strength. Allowing Axel to see the “ugly” sides of her that he made her realize would never change a thought in his mind about her. I loved Rooney’s sunshine along with the rain.

Axel, who is autistic, struggles with emotions and expressing them towards others. He’s the grump to Rooney’s sunshine. As Axel’s layers started to peel away, you really get to the heart of why he feels a certain way about himself and his “eternal” bachelorhood. I love how this two connected and allowed a space for each of them to explore new thoughts and express words that they needed to say to one another (and to the loved ones in their circles). It was emotional and romantic. Tender and incredibly heartfelt. I LOVED every single interaction between them.

Add in a marriage of convenience, a cabin in the woods, and some cute critters and this book is everything I love about the romance genre. Rooney and Axel’s love story was compelling and so full of truth that is undeniable. I swooned many many times and this book is going to live rent free in my mind for the foreseeable future.

Overall Audience Notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: occasionally strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: chronic illness (IBD)

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