Cover Image: Season of Love

Season of Love

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Member Reviews

Season of Love is a dual-pov sapphic romance that blends Jewish traditions w/ commercial xmas vibes. The book is billed as a romcom; I am here to tell you that it is not. It’s a romance––and there’s certainly a lot of comedy––but this story is intensely about abuse & trauma. This cover suggests (at least to me) that the book is a lighthearted romp. Again, it isn’t––the MCs deal with heavy stuff & I was crying 1/3 of the way in 😭

That said, this is a beautiful book. It’s a meditation on belonging & community & learning to trust again. Greer crafts a tender enemies-to-friends-to-lovers arc––an “enemies” dynamic is hard to nail, but it works particularly well here because MCs Miriam & Noelle are both acting out of grief. They communicate thru the conflict inherent to an “enemies” section, which creates a strong foundation for their relationship. This is Greer’s strength: her characters develop an emotional maturity that’s lovely to read, especially in a genre where EA & CoHo-type characters are very popular.

SoL also sets up a spinoff; much like Delilah Green Doesn’t Care & In The Event of Love, this is a small-town romance with characters that I’m excited to spend more time with. Special s/o to the chaotic Cole––I know Hannah's story is next, but I'm obsessed with him. Even Miriam’s ex-fiancée is pretty fleshed-out, which is rare for the Mostly Absent Partner in a romance. I'd read a whole book about her, too!

A couple more things: Season of Love's third-act conflict doesn’t come “out of nowhere” (my pet peeve!), but it is quite intense. I had a hard time reading that part––big TW! Greer’s pacing also felt a bit uneven in the latter half of the narrative. I appreciate her tying loose ends post-HEA, but the final section's pacing dragged. And this romance is a ~fade-to-black~ (which has no bearing on my enjoyment––like Mitski says, “Give me one good movie kiss / And I'll be alright”) BUT those parts actually felt rushed, as if a few pages were missing. They read less like, “wink!” & more like, "nothing to see here!”

Thank you to @netgalley & @foreverpub for access to this book. It will mean so much to so many readers.
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This is an absolutely fantastic holiday book! 

Full of great characters, and a family you will want to join for every holiday season. Plus a wonderful romance. If this wasn't on display in your store/library for holiday of 2022 it HAS to be for holiday 2023. 

4.5 stars
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It's a cute holiday romance! I struggled a bit to get through the beginning, but by the end I was enjoying myself. The story is easy to follow, and definitely deserves a lot more hype than it's currently getting. Highly recommend!
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Such a sweet holiday read not surround and puking up Christmas. I loved it. Can’t recommend it enough
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Sweet holiday romance, but this was more of a found-family holiday novel than a romance. I loved the quirky characters and all the yummy food descriptions
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this is an incredible book. it was perfect for the holiday season, the romance between the two leads carried the book, and i was easily swept into the story. my favorite book of the holiday season by far, and cannot wait to reread it each year, and see more by Helena Greer!
thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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3.5/5 Stars

There was a lot that I loved about this book but also a lot that kept me back from rating it higher.

I loved that this dealt with family trauma, Jewish culture, and queerness. I loved the subtle (or not so subtle) comments about queer identities and how expansive they are. At the same time, I think one of my biggest issues was about the trauma. 

*Spoilers after this point*

There were several times that I was extremely upset that there was so much dislike sent towards Miriam for not being there, when the family also hadn't extended their invitation and abuse is something incredibly hard to get over. I also think it's ridiculous that they didn't tell her Cass was sick. Also, all of these people seemed to know exactly where their trauma came from and how that influenced their actions - to the point that I think they were too self-aware for the actions taken in this book.

Another thing that frustrates me that an abusive person has to be "all evil" when in actuality, they aren't. Miriam's dad is horrible, and he would have been horrible with just the abuse. We didn't need anything else to justify it and society shouldn't either. This one book on it's own wouldn't be an issue but I do think it plays into a larger narrative about what abusive people look and act like, when in actuality, they can be our loved ones who we think are kind, they can be friends, coworkers, family, and so on... and we have maybe just not seen that side of them. But we should still believe people even if we don't see that side.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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On Wednesdays in July we read pink books about the holidays while enjoying a frozen chocolate topped with vanilla ice cream. 

Thank you @readforeverpub for the eARC of SEASON OF LOVE by Helen Greer via @netgalley. 

If you are looking to start your TBR for holiday romances, I highly recommend that you put this sapphic romance on your list. (And if you have the ARC move it up your TBR). This book releases on October 11

I've lost any notes I've taken (though let's face it they may have been imaginary ones). All I remember is I can't wait for the next two books. Assuming that everyone gets an HEA. So here's the synopsis from the publisher's website:

Thanks to her thriving art career, Miriam Blum finally has her decoupaged glitter ducks in a row—until devastating news forces her to a very unwanted family reunion. Her beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left Miriam part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm.
 
But Miriam’s plans to sit shiva, avoid her parents, then put Carrigan’s in her rearview mirror are spoiled when she learns the business is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager—as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first.
 
Noelle Northwood wants Miriam Blum gone—even if her ingenious ideas and sensitive soul keep showing Noelle there’s more to Cass’s niece than meets the eye. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all—for the chance to make their wildest dreams come true
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A delightful holiday romance, containing all of the feels and — most importantly— queer joy. While this book sifts through some heavier topics at times, I felt that they were handled with care and a deft hand, adding depth to the characters and their lives, without overshadowing or boggling down the holiday romcom beats. I did feel that some story threads did come together a bit too loosely at some points — while other aspects seemed to get a bit repetitive — but given that this is a debut book, I think that is somewhat to be expected. I look forward to reading more by Helena Greer as she continues to build her craft and voice.
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When Miriam’s beloved great-aunt Cass leaves part of her Christmas tree farm and inn to her, she has to grapple with the life she left behind ten years earlier. Meanwhile, Noelle has been working at Carrigan’s for years and is convinced that Miriam will continue to do what she’s best at: leaving. After all, she’s been left behind so many times that Cass felt like her only family, and Miriam didn’t even come to visit. As they work to make the farm profitable together, more than just trees start growing between them.

This was such a sweet love story! I have been loving how many fantastic sapphic romances I’ve read lately, and this is certainly among them. The hesitance that each of them had for falling for the other was so deeply rooted in the trauma they experienced, and I was really happy they addressed that there was still lots they had to work through as individuals and a couple at the end of the book.

The trauma of their pasts and the joy and stress of their present and future at the farm made for an interesting juxtaposition.  I think it’s hard to see the difference between trauma and stress, but the stress of Carrigan’s is different - it’s worrying because they care about something, rather than because they dread it. It’s good to see both kinds of stress as a reminder for everyone!

I also loved the camaraderie that the core group has for one another. A mix of blood relatives and found family, it’s a group I hope we will be able to follow through multiple stories - the thought of spending more time in this world is such a comfort!

As someone who is not Jewish, I really liked learning some new terms and customs, like sitting shiva, that I hadn’t been aware of previously. Always great to pick up a book with representation I don’t know everything about!

Overall, this was a sweet read for any time of the year, but I’d imagine it would always pair best with snow and hot chocolate.
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A very sweet holiday romance. This was a new to me author and I would like to read more by them! 

The story was easy to read and I really loved the mc’s.
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This was such a cute winter read! The characters were very well developed and I loved watching their relationship grow. Simply heartwarming.
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Cute, Jewish sapphic holiday-time romcom with fat butch representation. A very easy read. For fans of books with no miscommunication tropes and Taylor Swift's "Christmas Tree Farm".
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Rep: Jewish bi femme + fat butch lesbian
Prodigal daughter comes home
Enemies to lovers
Favorite line: “Remodeling projects are how dykes say I love you.”
CW: past child abuse, past alcoholism, grief

The character arcs within the novel are fantastic! Miriam goes from an unsure of herself woman settling for a relationship of convenience to a confident woman 

Interesting careers! Miriam is a social media darling thanks to her art. She’s an artist staring up her own business when a death in the family calls her home. Thanks to her aunt’s will, she suddenly is part-owner of a Christmas tree farm. Noelle is a manager of the Christmas tree farm and also becomes part owner. Hannah, Miriam’s cousin and Noelle’s BFF is also an owner and learns to accept help and give up some of the control in regards to the business.

I loved the friendships in the book. Miriam’s friendship with Cole and the friendship between Noelle and Hannah were a delight to read. I got vibes that Season of Love is setting up a potential sequel about Cole and an exploration of his sexuality sometime in the future.

The relationship between Miriam and Noelle had a lot of ups and downs because of their insecurities and was very believable. The payoff when they finally officially get together at the end of the book was very satisfying.

At the beginning of the book, Miriam is engaged to another woman. While Miriam was starting to get feelings for Noelle while still engaged, I was happy that Miriam broke up with her fiancee before it could veer much into emotional infidelity.

Understandably, Miriam has a complicated relationship with her mother. Miriam’s father abused her growing up and her mother stood by and let it happen. By the end, Miriam’s mother finally leaves her husband and sides with Miriam. However, Miriam doesn’t let her off the hook. The book leaves room for them to repair their relationship in the future, but she doesn’t forgive her mother, which I was happy for.

Conclusion? Read it - you’ll be glad you did!
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I love the setting of this uniquely Jewish Christmas romance, although the trauma-dumping of all the characters felt a little heavy-handed.
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I go through phases where I think I’ll never enjoy another romance novel, and then something like Season of Love comes along. The world desperately needs more books with a hot, fat Christmas-tree-farmer butch who falls in love in a charming town full of misfits gathered by an extravagant, eccentric meddler whose influence carries far beyond the grave. The world also needs more books about a big-haired Jewish bisexual crafter who orchestrates a deeply satisfying fuck you to an abuser. Last, but not least, the world needs more books featuring Kringle the cat. I can’t wait to read some sequels about the rest of the Carrigan’s crew finding love.
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Season of Love is a sweet romance between Miriam, a bisexual Jewish woman and artist, and Noelle, fat butch lesbian who works at Miriam's childhood haven- her late aunt's Christmas tree farm. It takes place around the fall-winter holidays, starting before Halloween in October and ending at Tu B'Shevat in February. The story explores themes of chosen and found family, trauma and abuse from families of origin, learning how to be vulnerable and open oneself up to love. 

I really appreciated reading about the complicated parental relationships (to say the least) both Miriam and Noelle had/have, especially at this particular moment in my life- it's always a good reminder that family dynamics are. It had all the magic of the holiday season, while still not being a *Christmas* book, which I also really respect.

It felt like there was quite a bit of telling rather than showing for the first half of the book, which left me wanting more as it felt harder to connect with the characters for the first while. I also wish it'd built up more with outward chemistry rather than a switch from despising each other to openly lusting after each other in the first third or so of the story. Along with them admitting their feelings for each other quickly, the third act break-up also seemed kind of sudden and somewhat forced. It was understandable, but felt super dramatic. Then again, it's a romance and no one ever said sapphic feelings were small!

I wish it hadn't been fade to black, because the chemistry between the two left me wanting more more more. I get that not every romance can be spicy, but they talked about their lust for each other and orgasms and sex that it really wasn't a clean romance- my thirsty ass needs those sex scenes!

I absolutely loved the fact that Noelle is butch- of course I was swooning for the butch LI right alongside Miriam- and having a bi & lesbian pairing. While I can't personally speak to the Jewish rep, the setting of a Christmas tree farm with mostly Jewish characters, putting on a twist on the classic and all-too-common holiday" aka Christmas romance, was super clever. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it to those who want a feel-good holiday romance that also digs deeper and isn't centred around Christmas. So many warm fuzzies! 3.75 stars
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This was a cute, fun, GAY holiday romance! I really loved the characters chemistry and the overall vibe of the book. So different from the typical hallmark cis-het romance. I will definitely be re-reading next year!
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A perfect holiday book!!!!!!!!!!!! This is what I want to read: a queer book with diverse love interests (AND PLUS SIZED REP!!!) that isn't just Christmas themed but HOLIDAY themed! So good. We need more like this!
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Season of Love was not exactly what I expected it to be. From the premise I was expecting a hate-love Sapphic relationship between two characters who were still trying to figure themselves out individually. Unfortunately for me, there was just way too much telling involved with their relationship.  I was never allowed to actually feel for the two characters and be shown how they truly felt about each other because I was always being told how it was going to be. 

The characters of Miriam and Noelle did not seem fleshed out to me, especially Noelle. Like I understood that she was a grumpy person with trust issues but honestly, she was just flat out mean.  She created a pretty toxic dynamic between herself and Miriam before even meets her. Yes this probably is a trauma response for her being afraid of getting hurt but, to me there is never an attempt at growth from her. All incidents where she had been noticeably rude or confrontational are swept under the rug, usually with Mariam blaming herself. This just didn't sit well with me. 

Mariam had alot of explaining to do because of the way she had left and hadn't spoken to her great-aunt or family in years. From the beginning, she knew that this was not going to be an easy return. She finally had to deal with what had happened to her while also trying to understand the grief of losing a loved one. When she was younger, Mariam experienced mental abuse at the hands of her father. This abuse played a role on who she was to become as a person; and why she had elected to cut herself off from everything that she loved. 

Mariam was never fully about to explain what had happened and what had caused her to make the decisions that she made.  I mean, she did but it was always just told to me as a reader. I never actually felt involved in her storyline or growth. This was difficult for me as a reader as I usually am able to find some sort of empathy for the characters but in this case I really felt like I was left on the outside looking in.  Season of Love does have diversity throughout its story but overall I just couldn't delve into all of it as much as I would have liked to. From the way the characters were written to their actions and behaviors, something just felt really off for me. 

Rating: 2.5 Stars
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