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

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Elle Project by Summer Dowell

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Holiday Contemporary Romance Novella
Length: 137 pages
Author: Summer Dowell
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

True Love should never be put to a family vote.

Elle:
All I wanted was a nice, relaxing Christmas vacation at home with my family. But no, the lot of them had to ruin it by inviting my childhood crush, Oliver Moore, and throwing us together at every possible moment. Heaven, help me.
Now, instead of sipping hot cocoa by the fire, I’m dodging matchmaking attempts and trying to pretend I’m not attracted to Oliver’s adorably perfect smile. I will not become another one of my family’s projects.

Oliver:
I mean, am I upset Elle’s family swindled us into this Christmas vacation together? No. Will I ever admit that aloud? Also, no. I’ve long ago come to terms with the friend zone Elle placed me in back around ninth grade.
But there’s something different about her this week. Something that’s bringing up feelings I really should ignore.
Too bad ignoring has never been my strong suit. 

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

PERFECT FOR THE SEASON.

A quick, light-hearted novella sure to make you smile. I got a few good laughs out of this and love the fast paced nature of this childhood friends to lovers holiday novella.

Oliver and Elle were constantly being pushed together until something finally cracked. I love the dates they went on and the speed of everything. Even in a short format, I felt like I got a lot of the story. I would have loved even more a full fledged novel (but maybe with Elle’s brothers???). It has that predictable air that I love in a holiday romance.

Elle’s family was a bit over-bearing for me personally, but I know that others may really enjoy that quirk. I do like having large families in stories though, all of the sibling dynamics remind me of my own. Another sweet read from Dowell! I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Holiday Contemporary Romance Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

Instagram || Goodreads