Books,  Christmas,  Holidays,  Review

Mini Reviews #23: Have Yourself a Gay Christmas!

What better way to have yourself a gay Christmas, than by being merry, joyful – and reading some holiday romance?

I was offered ARCs by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

Humbug

The story

Ellie Pearce adores Christmas so much she celebrates all year round, earning herself the nickname Christmas Girl. If only she liked her job as much as eggnog lattes and mistletoe. Stuck as a marketing analyst for London-based recruitment company Caldwell & Atkinson, Ellie is desperate for a career change but afraid to take a chance.

CEO Rosalind Caldwell needs a new personal assistant after the last one quit, putting the extremely important corporate Christmas party in jeopardy. Christmas Girl is just the holiday miracle Rosalind needs, and Ellie is quickly promoted to the top floor of the Canary Wharf skyscraper.

Ellie isn’t a PA, has never planned a party in her life, and is terrified of heights. If things weren’t bad enough, she then goes and develops a ridiculous crush on her totally intimidating new boss. With the festive season fast approaching, what could possibly go wrong?

The opinion

There’s something to be said for clichés at Christmas time, but they have to be done right. And luckily, that’s exactly what Amanda Radley did. And apart from having some (many) ethical concerns (inquiries?) concerning the set-up of the story, I have to admit I really enjoyed while reading this story. From the growing interaction between Rosalind (and her slow defrost) and Ellie (and her strengthening spine!) to Rosalind’s daughter being the exact level of sass this story required… Humbug made for the perfect holiday read! (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph)

The Christmas Proposal

The story

Grace Dawson is completely over her ex, Christina. But that doesn’t mean she wants to plan her wedding proposal to another woman.

Grace dreams of the day she’ll have a romantic proposal like those she plans for her clients at Tie the Knot. She’s spent the last year reading a boatload of self-help books. No way she’s going to fall back into old patterns and date someone afraid of commitment ever again. When it comes to everlasting love, Grace is all in.

Bridget Cartwright, Christina’s personal assistant, will do anything for Christina with the hopes of getting a promotion, even plan her proposal. So what if she knows zilch about romance and doesn’t even believe in happily-ever-after? There are companies for hire that do that sort of thing.

When Grace and Bridget end up stranded together on Mistletoe Mountain, Grace has no chance to escape. Not from her painful past, not from her attraction to Bridget, and definitely not from all the romance in the air. 

The opinion

You know how, every once in a while, you’ll just come across a story, and the very idea of it just strikes you as “yes. I must read this.”? That’s what I had with this book – from an actual Christmas village, that manages not to be too too much, to someone who “very strongly dislikes” the holidays, but actually has a reason to do so… Including two main characters who actually feel like real people, rather than just have things happen to them, because it’ll help the plot along at some point… And of course, the good old “exes meet again” and all the emotional turmoil that may carry along with it? I basically kind of read this book in one go. Like, sat down, and suddenly I was done, kind of one go. If that doesn’t say enough, well, I don’t know what will, frankly! (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph).

Look, I’m aware that sometimes I tend to go all out against Christmas clichés. However, that’s only because I know they can be done right. And, in my humble opinion? Both of these managed to do exactly that. So, honestly – what are you waiting for?

-Saar

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