Book Review

Book Review: Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 327 pages
Author: Ashley Shepherd
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.

Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all.

So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes.

Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving.

And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final.

In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle.

She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing.

Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries.

YAAAAAS TO THIS CHRISTMAS CONTEMPORARY.

Kindle unlimited, indie author, bookstagram recommendation FOR. THE. WIN.

No really. A grumpy guy, a effervescent woman, and Christmas? Hit this one out of the ballpark.

I love enemies to lovers and books like this remind me why. I love the juxtaposition between the two of them. The banter was fantastic and didn’t over step that line of actually being mean to each other. I was laughing to myself over some of the scenes in there because they were too humorous not too. This office romance (with a fake girlfriend component) was PRECIOUS.

Asher was such a charming Grinch. Can’t even handle him. He could throw out the sarcasm and grumpiness then turn around and be considerate and kind. I love seeing those layers peel away slowly as he opened up to Olivia.

Olivia had me laughing at her antics and I feel spiritually seen with how much she loves treats. Her extrovert, people pleasing personality that screamed Christmas was fantastic. She went on her own emotional journey [because of some awful people] that shed lighter on tough subject matter. Olivia was a strong heroine that I immensely enjoyed reading about.

This book was romantic and sweet. Full of emotions and tough moments. Love and charismatic characters. All the things. I can’t wait to read more of Shepherd’s books because this was exactly what I was looking for when I tried to find a contemporary Christmas romance.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance [Christmas theme]
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, one little detailed almost scene, and another little detailed fade out scene
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault to the MC and mentions and discussions on the man’s behavior with others

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2019

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I am not equipped to make these choices. As a bookish people, HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE TEN FAVORITES? I mean, I did narrow it down and finally chose some books.

Though, so you know as you’re reading, I gave myself some guidelines:

  • If it’s a whole series I read this year (and loved) I included it as one book
  • I am not counting rereads (because the ACOTAR series would inevitability show up again)

Alright, now that that is out of the way, lets get started! [and no particular order]

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Review here!

I loved this book so much I listened to it twice back to back. It was originally only an audible book that was published as a physical book. You better believe I now have that version too. I am obsessed with this story.


The Traitor’s Circle Series by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss | The Traitor’s Ruin | The Traitor’s Kingdom

I originally picked this up through the library and in this case, I loved it so much I immediately bought the first two! Even more excited when the third book came out this year! It’s a fantastic YA romance and YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE.


Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd

Review to come in March!

I dove into reading as many Christmas books as I could this year, and y’all. THIS WAS THE BEST. Enemies to lovers, office romance with a sunshine and a grump. Oh guys. Just trust me.


The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Review here!

Need a book to bring you to tears but also swoon over the love interest? LOOK NO FURTHER.


Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Review here!

la la la la la, this book made my month and year. What a golden debut book. Enemies to lovers, forced marriage, witches, IT’S ALL THERE.


Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End | Water’s Wrath | Crystal Crowned

I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. I already got the audio books (which BTW, on audible credit gets you ALL FIVE!!!!) so I can listen to them again. It’s magical, romantic and packed full of moments where Kova doesn’t care about killing off your favorite characters.


Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Review here!

One of the first book I read this (thank you Netgalley). This series is whimsical, magical, atmospheric and full of vibrancy. If you love Russian folklore, try this series out. It’s amazing.


The Stormlight Archive (Books #1 & #2) by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings | Words of Radiance

I started to read ALL of Brandon Sanderson’s books at the end of last year and can’t believe I waited this long to do so. They are massive fantasy books with some of the best world building I’ve ever read. Don’t let these behemoths scare you!


If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Review here!

Oh wow, this was a STUNNING book. A perfect YA contemporary. The MC has a character arc that was powerful and the cute romance thrown in was just the right touch.


Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Review here!

Sci-fi books by this powerhouse team are my weakness. The first book in this new series is no different. I even gave away a copy in a giveaway I love it so!

Some honorable mentions:

And I know a lot more, but we’ve already discussed that I can’t make these decisions very well. This is what I’ve narrowed it down to. What was one of your favorite books this year? Lets talk in the comments!

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2019

Oh hey, LAST READING MONTH OF THE DECADE.

And what a month it was. I tried to read as many Christmas books as I could get my hands on to really feel that Christmas spirit. It totally worked. I had a lot of fantastic reads for the end of the year.

  • Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Bid My Soul Farewell (Give the Dark my Love #2) by Beth Revis – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Of Rioters & Royals (Swift Shadows #1) by M.L. Greye – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Powell and Faith Erin Hicks – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) by Kerri Maniscalco – (☆☆☆☆)
  • It Happened at Christmas by Christen Krumm – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Christmas Like This by Carina Taylor – (☆☆)
  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West – (☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Stars (Constellation #1) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Entwined Paths (Swift Shadows #2) by M.L. Greye – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  • One Christmas in Winter by Bell Renshaw – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Ashlords by Scott Reintgen – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation #2) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Fates (Constellation #3) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Veins of Magic (The Otherworld #2) by Emma Hamm – (☆☆☆☆)
  • East (East #1) by Edith Pattou – (☆☆☆☆)

My favorite this month: Faking Under the Mistletoe

Least favorite this month: Christmas Like This

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