Book Review

Book Review: Christmas Baggage (Christmas Escape #1) by Deborah M. Hathaway

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 302 pages
Author: Deborah M. Hathaway
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


If there is one thing she has learned in England, it’s that not all Englishmen are created equal.
Because this guy was turning out to be a real pill.

Tired of spending the holidays throwing up on cruises with her parents and, you know, being dumped by ex-boyfriends, Claire Frost is determined to change her luck this Christmas. Taking time off from her flower shop, she follows her friend to London, ready to enjoy all-things England. And boy, does she. The frost-covered flowers. The frozen green hills. The bright red telephone boxes. The festive Christmas markets.

Also the men. Definitely the men.

Except, of course, her friend’s cousin. Liam Everhart is super attractive, super swoony, and super English. Too bad he’s also a super jerk. A super jerk whom she now has to spend every minute with. What a blessed, blessed relief that his Darcy/Poldark looks are overshadowed by his Darth Vader/Malfoy personality. She had enough Christmas baggage to deal with, so why would she ever add a swoony Englishman to the mix?

This is a clean, sweet, wholesome romance set in present-day London, England that features the enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes, with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.


I have been waiting for this series for months and the first book started things off fantastically. I adored it. Suuuper sweet and cuddly and makes me want to fly to London ASAP.

For a very (I’m talking a week) fast paced romance, I was pretty charmed by the connection between Claire and Liam. They met on a rocky playing field and found common ground wandering London together. Occasionally things read a bit too much like a travel blog, but when this duo would banter back and forth I was HERE FOR IT.

The kissing scenes were absolutely swoooooony. Good heavens. I love well placed heat in sweet romances. This one knocked it out of the park. I felt the tension and desire easily.

Pleasantly satisfied with no ridiculous third actness. It all fit into the story well and made sense for the characters at the time. I thought the ending was delightful and gave the resolutions needed for both characters to be together and get what they needed from outside their relationship too.

All sorts of holiday cheer abound (which is something I look for when picking one of these romances up). You won’t regret diving into this series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: emotionally negligent parents, loss of a parent (off-page prior to book)

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