The Christmas Wager
by Holly Cassidy
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date Not set
PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons
One rivalry. Eight days until Christmas. Let the holiday games begin.
When L.A.-based real estate developer Bella Ross arrives in the sleepy mountain town of Maple Falls, she has one mission: to acquire the local failing Christmas shop, Always Noelle, securing the promotion of her dreams. Nothing can get in her way. Except the shop owner’s stubborn grandson, Jesse Harrison.
Both refuse to budge, until an unlikely wager is struck: Bella and Jesse will compete in the Maple Falls Holiday Games, an annual tradition of eccentric feats of strength and skills. Winner decides the selling price. They’ll give each other a run for their money, but as the competition heats up, Bella and Jesse’s icy feelings toward each other begin to thaw. It’ll take a Christmas miracle for them to admit there’s a spark, but what if it’s just another game?
Available on NetGalley
I think this was a cute story with decently developed characters! It was a fun, sweet read and I actually enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope, which is something I typically don't care for. The pacing was good for the story and the main thing for me that keeps this from being 5 stars was the miscommunication. While I feel like this is unfair to say, since miscommunication happens so frequently in real life, it seems like a cop out in a book for conflict. The epilogue was great and I highly recommend this to those interested in a holiday rom com with a HEA. I'll definitely be purchasing my own copy for my shelf.
Thank you to Netgalley and to the publisher for this copy in exchange for a review!
If you like Hallmark movies, you will love this book. It's basically a Hallmark movie in written form. That's my jam, and I adored this book. The characters are likeable, the town is so quirky it's practically another character, it's heart-warming, it's set at Christmas. 'Nuff said.
OTOH, if you had Hallmark, I'd recommend reading something else.
*Review based on ARC*
This was a fun, sweet read. I don’t always love enemies to lovers stories but I loved this one! To begin with I loved the small lovely town of Maple Falls, Bella and Jesse’s rivalry is so fun to read as they fight their way through the town Christmas games for the success in their jobs. I love to see the classic big city gal fall for the small town grump (kinda) as they see the special magic and love that small towns give to each other. As much as I don’t necessarily buy into that in real life, I love reading these stories of small town Christmas magic. Bella and Jesse have such a fun sweet journey to realizing their love for one another. I loved this story and cant wait to read again around the holidays.
Thank you for the ARC!!!
Small town romance- check! Just the right bit of spice- check! Set in a quaint winter wonderland-check! If you like Emily Henry books, then you will love this one. Bella loves her fast paced life, but when her boss asks her to travel the small town Maple Shadows for work she agrees, thinking it will be a great way to climb the corporate ladder.
Her boss has tasked her with buying a family store called Always Noelle, She almost succeeds in convincing the owner to sell, but there is a catch...
Before he will sell, she has to compete in some winter games with the owners grandson, Jesse.
Infuriating, maddening mesmerizing Jesse this book is told from their dual points of view. The fun and games and Christmasy theme is absolutely delightful. Great read.…. I gave it 4 1/2 stars. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a digital ARC.