The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews
What I drank prior: bunch of white wine. It was a super busy week so I took the time to decompress with some pinot gris.
All Suzanne St. Michelle wants is an over-the-top, eggnog-induced holiday with her best friend in Credence, Colorado. But when her hoity-toity parents insist she come home for Christmas in New York, she blurts out that her sexy landlord is actually her boyfriend and she can’t leave him—Joshy loves Christmas. The more twinkle lights the better.
Rancher Joshua Grady does not love Christmas. Or company, or chatty women. Unfortunately for him, the chattiest woman ever has rented the cottage on his ranch, invited her rich, art-scene parents, and now insists he play “fake rancher boyfriend” in a production of the Hokiest Christmas Ever. And somehow…she gets him to agree.
Apparently, he’ll do anything to get his quiet life back. At least there’s mistletoe every two feet—and kissing Suzy is surprisingly easy. But in the midst of acres of tinsel, far too many tacky Christmas sweaters, and a tree that can be seen from space, he’s starting to want what he lost when he was a kid—a family. Too bad it’s with a woman heading back to New York before the ball drops…
Drunk Overview: oof Suzanne St. Michelle decides to avoid her parents over christmas by going to the middle of nowhere where she meeys rancher Jake? Josh? Jason? (I just checked, its Josh, but the important part is the generic white boy name). Shes and Artist with a capital A and as mentioned before hes a rancher. Her “muse” decides to focus on painting his face in otherwise famous images ( her job is professionally creating copies of those paintings). Her parents decide to visit because something something marital problems and so Suzanne decides to fake a relationship with Josh
Spoiler-free Thoughts: there were a number of things to like and a number of things not too
- THAT IS NOT HOW MUSES WORK. I write. I write a lot. This book has a very cliched view of how a muse works and that bugs me.
- If she doesnt just want to recreate famous works of art why isnt she bothered with her “muse” doing exactly that with a minor change?
- Why do these two people like each other. Theres no reason…
- And thats when I realized their one on one interactions when they arent trying too hard are actually pretty cute
- This is a book where I foind the b plots to be far more interesting (i.e. I want the story for the best loval friend and the small town cop)
- The parents issues were fixed too easily (but at the same point. I would read a book about the parents).
Characters: the main characters were develty fleshed out but their inner monologues made it harder to root for them. Seeing everyone from an outside perspective makes it seem like everyone is completely fleshed out but something about the inner thoughts was either cloying or irritating. I found the non-main characters to be really well fleshed out and really wanted more information about them.
Plot: this was a hallmark movie in book form (though with hallmark you dont usually get the whole thoight process). This book did fall into a few traps i.e. a plot that could have been splved with two characters having an honest discussion. Suzannes refusal to be honesy with her parents in endlessly frustrating. The paintings (of Joshs face inserted into famous images) hanging betwene Josh and Suzanne didnt feel particularly natural. This book did try to fit diversity into the typical small town mold which was appreciated. I enjohed a lot of the minor plot points more than the overarching plot (the ice sculpture stuff was fun).
World building: this is, I believe, the second book in a series, and ita coear this si being set up like a Susan Mallery small town where characters will show up for a few pages in other books. If it isnt already clear, I liked the world building. I found the background characters to be (relatively) filled out and the town made its own kind of sense.
What to pair it with: hot chocolate with a shot of whiskey. Seasonal.
Rating: 3/5 Shots (for the “muse” talk it would be lower, but I liked a lot of what went into this)