There’s something about a good old trope that just really does it for me – especially in holiday stories. Fake dating? Yes please. Cosmic misunderstandings? Absolutely. Friends to lovers? Gimme! Especially around Christmastime!
I was offered these ARCs by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.
Stuck On You: 4/5
Could a post-it note really lead to love…?
Sadie doesn’t have time for finding love. She’s too busy as PA for famous artist Damian Banks. When she’s not arranging exhibitions, she’s organising his dry cleaning or dumping his never ending stream of girlfriends.
But when she strikes up an unusual friendship with her desk share buddy, she finds a confidante and a new potential love interest. Problem is, they’ve never actually met…
It’s not often that I come across a book that truly grabs me from the first scene. Stuck On You, though, did exactly that – if anything, the opening scene was described so vividly, that I had the impression I was reading a movie. That feeling came back quite often, whether it be through the almost fairy-like description of Sadie’s home town or some of the quotes that were so sassy, or so relatable that I had to go back and reread them.
Sometimes Stuck On You went plain old meta – referring to itself exactly as that: almost a movie. Throughout all that, though, it’s the friendship between Sadie and her boss, Damian, that wouldn’t let me go. Both of these characters were so relatable, likeable, occasionally flawed… But ultimately: so good for each other.
The only downside? The ending felt a bit rushed, and honestly was weaker than the first 97% of the book. Although again: that might just be because I wasn’t ready to let go of the story and its characters. (Goodreads)
The Winter We Met: 3/5
When charming, mysterious Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.
As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen!
But time is running out with the closure looming and Jess becomes increasingly drawn to enigmatic Nik who joins forces with her and best friend Oliver to realise those plans.
Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?
Santa was never really a thing when I was little, but I’ve got to admit: sometimes it’s kind of nice to imagine he might actually exist. And if anything, The Winter We Met made me realise that, maybe, in some ways, he kind of does? Nik certainly seems to be well on the way to embodying many of his most important characteristics – and it’s been a while since I got to enjoy a male character being so unapologetically good.
It’s Oliver, though, Jesus’s best friend, who grabbed my attention from the get-go. What can I say, I’m just a sucker fir strong male-female friendships. Especially the ones that maybe have just a bit of an undercurrent to them – or, well, a lot of that. If nothing else, The Winter We Met certainly served me with a better love triangle than I’ve read in a while – and it never even really was one!
Now, I have to admit that I’m not generally that big of a fan of a first person narration – but for once, this story actually managed to make me ignore that. Must be the holiday atmosphere just dripping off the pages! (Goodreads)
Christmas Wishes: 3.5/5
Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.
But fate is keeping them apart…
As soon as Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after.
When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?
I have to admit, I mistakenly thought that this would be just another fluffy read – you know, it has Sweden (my ultimate dream-country, basically), old friends, new love… In this case, though? That mistake is actually what made this book.
Rather than just another anything, this book really hit me in the feels more than once. It tackles issues that are so often left out of stories, especially from the perspective of a man going through so many of them – sure, that comes with a whole slew of trigger warnings (from eating disorders, to dysfunctional relationships, single parenthood, and just generally: struggling mental health).
Because of those issues, though, the heart warming moments are even more so – it’s been a while since I found myself rooting so thoroughly for two people, both as a couple, and as individuals.
Add in Sue Moorcroft’s writing style, which is never a miss for me, both Swedish and English traditions and Christmas feels, and you’re left with a book that will grab you from the get-go, and results in a thoroughly enjoyable experience! (Goodreads)
Honestly, any book with a good friends-to-lover arch is a good thing for me, but the added Christmas-cosyness in these stories definitely made for even more enjoyable reads. So if you have any recs for me based on my appreciation of these books? Be sure to let me know below!