“Absolute Christmas magic. If Hallmark doesn’t make this movie I may go on Christmas movie strike!” #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
Holidate, an all-new standalone contemporary holiday romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is LIVE!
Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area.
Charlie Sullivan despises Christmas. Though it keeps his family afloat, considering they own Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm, the main provider for Christmas trees on the Monterey peninsula. He’d much rather work among the trees versus have to deal with people.
But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater.
When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist?
Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
A stand-alone, contemporary romance.
Well, folks, this is my first-holiday book to review this season. And it was a good one to read. Ask anyone and I’m not big on Christmas anymore except for my son. It’s a long story and I don’t really want to get into right now. I used to love the holiday season, just like Candice, just not anymore. What really set this apart for me is that it was centered around a Christmas tree farm. While most people would find this funny, I don’t typically read holiday-themed books. I’m not a Grinch, just don’t get into it at all. I admit that I don’t watch the Hallmark Channel either.
Candice has been popping up in the other books so I was excited to finally get her story. I just love her. Period. She could have come off as a spoiled little rich girl but she is the complete opposite of that. She has a heart of gold and will do anything for anybody. Christmas is her favorite holiday but she kinda hides behind it because of a loss that happened to her when she was young. I understand why she does it but what I don’t understand is why her family didn’t pick up on it. And don’t say that Jared should of because he didn’t spend too much time around the family anyway.
Charlie was actually hilarious to me. Lumberjack cool, semi socially awkward but underneath all of that, he really is a good person. He just likes to be alone. Coming from a big, noisy family and having a lot of responsibility for the family business, it made sense that he would come off as a Grinch. I never saw him like that. I saw him as a man that didn’t like getting pushed into situations that he found uncomfortable. His mother had good intentions but in the end, she really messed up and it almost cost Candice and Charlie their relationship.
I loved the slow burn of their romance. In fact, this book is kisses only and that’s the way it should be. Candice and Charlie have a bunch of relationship baggage to deal with before they can admit that they actually like each other. Their romance is built on friendship first and kisses later. At times, I thought it would never happen. Ms. Murphy lets you know that it is coming but I can be impatient, as usual. The payoff, in the end, is perfect.
The secondary character that stood out for me was Stella. Oh my, she’s a feisty one. I can’t wait to see if Ms. Murphy has a book up her sleeve for her. It would be a hoot and a half for me. And I’m dying for a Gingerbread Latte. I fell out of favor years ago with Pumpkin Spice but Gingerbread…yes, please. I can’t wait until its on the menu at Starbucks.
Of all of the books to date in the series, this is my favorite. Candice and Charlie had from the start. I loved watching them dance around each other, pushing each other out of their own comfort zone and then finding that middle ground. If I had one complaint, I wish there had been an epilogue. The ending was too abrupt for me and I felt it was unfinished. Otherwise, I can’t wait to see them in the other books.
This is such a great series from Ms. Murphy. One of my all-time favorites and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
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Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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