Member Reviews

I have to be honest and say I struggled with this one. I’m a huge Tessa Bailey fan, but this one just didn’t cut it.

Everything happened too fast. I know this is a novella and only has 10 chapters, but based on the plot this could have been a full-length novel.

Things I wasn’t a fan of:
1. There were too many time jumps. It is supposed to be spread over a year, but jumping from December to March and at other times it was just a bit weird.
2. I did not feel any chemistry between Sum and Britta. He was super infatuated by her, but it all seemed physical. I wanted to know what about her personality he was attracted to. This is why I only believed this was lust and not love.
3. The whole Green Card plot took a back seat. There were interviews and Britta and Sum hung out to get to know each other but we rarely saw this.
4. The I Love You came too soon.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you, NetGalley and Amazon for the chance to read Tessa Bailey's spirited novella, Same Time Next Year.
Not to give anything away, but the two main squeezes get married. Only it's not a spoiler because it happens early on in an arranged marriage, so that Sumner a hockey buff can keep his green card status until he gets picked up for the NHL.
Do marriages like that actually happen? I'm genuinely curious. Because while at times this story felt a bit far-fetched, it also felt charming and romantic. The spice was strong. The characters were loveable. And overall, it made a fun read.

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What a crazy, short ride!

Let's start with the positives. If you take this book for what it is (a novella), then it's pretty decent. It's a short, decently paced novella with minimum stakes. This book reminded me of the movie "The Proposal" for some reason. Enjoyment wise, it was a fun little read. It didn't take too much out of me to read this, and it was a nice read after having being in a reading slump.

Now if I were to be picky and overly critical, one issue I have with Tessa Bailey novellas is that they tend to present these difficult topics (heavy/serious) that don't get handled or dealt with in the right fashion. This book was no exception. The main character had familial trauma that felt like it was thrown out there for the only purpose as serving as a personality trait instead of being the actual trauma it was. It was such a complex issue too, and I felt like it was never resolved or actually dealt with. And I, personally, feel that if you're writing a short and spicy novella, like this one, that maybe there should be more consideration for the topics covered, especially if they are not going to be elaborated on.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the book if I take a step back and remember that it's just a simple novella. This book was not meant to have complex themes and a revolutionary plot. It's a good read if you're looking for something short, sweet and not overly complicated.

Overall Rating: 4/5

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“Same Time Next Year” by Tessa Bailey is an Amazon Original novella that has much of the author’s signature qualities in a short, holiday format.

The picture is misleading, as is the book summary to a certain extent. American Britta does marry Canadian Sumner to ensure he is not deported while playing minor league hockey looking to make it pro.

The story is told over the course of a year – from 2023 New Year’s Eve to 2024. The marriage of convenience takes quite some time before it comes to fruition (if you know what I mean ... and I meant sex if you didn’t know what I meant). When the spice hits, it’s classic Bailey – lots of dirty talk and boinking against a wall.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is something I take issue with many romance novels – the “swearing off love / marriage” character. I find the need to pathologize characters strange; a reader needs more than superficial sketches, and motivations or actions need to be consistent with that person (or deliciously contradictory, when the grump/violent person is only nice to the love of his life).

However, sometimes I find the need to provide backstory and explanation a bit unnecessary and eye-rolling; like, how all remakes of the Grinch need to explain Grinch doesn’t like Christmas because he’s an abandoned orphan.

In this novella, Birtta’s family breakdown as a youngster fuels her inability to trust intimate partners. I mean, fine, I acknowledge seminal moments in our childhood shape us, but the author seemed to lean into this a bit too much for me (she won’t even get it on with her husband for months because she might catch the feels!). I was impatient for the heart-growing-three-sizes revelation everyone knows is going to happen.

Anyway, this was a cute romance read. Entertaining, light, short. Perfect if you’ve got commitment issues when it comes to what you want to read this month. 3.5/5

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I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I absolutely loved this fake marriage, hockey romance novella. It was so freaking cute. I loved the MMC and FMC, and their slow burn romance. I will listen to no criticism, thank you. 🤣

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This isn't my first Tessa Bailey book, but the ones I have read have been few and far between. So I can't really remember if this is her typical style. Whoo, was it spicy though! Choosing to read this in a crowded hospital waiting room was not my best decision.

I know that things have to move really fast in romance novellas, so I appreciated the fact that the plot for this one spanned a full year and didn't come off as insta-lust. The premise was interesting, with the male MC being the more romantic and family oriented partner in the relationship. It starts off very sweet...loved the soup scene! Then the smut hits, and it brings to mind dark mafia romance. It felt very incongruous and didn't really work for me. And seriously, why with all the spitting?😖

Which brings me to my dilemna. Did I hate it? No. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I'm going to round this one up to a 3⭐️.

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Big fat thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for setting this novella up for immediate reading in the platform for ARC readers 💕

My rating: 4⭐
Read this if you like:
- Fake marriage
- Sports romance
- Slow burn🔥
- Steamy!!
- He falls first

My review:
Okay, so this novella was everything I was hoping for: Big ice hockey player with a filthy mouth is head over heels about the hyper-independent FMC needs her to marry him so he doesn't get deported.

Was it borderline ridiculous? Yes.
But was it fun, light and spicy enough for me to enjoy every word? Yup, yup, yup.

I totally recommend this one if you're looking for a spicy, quick paced palate cleanser.

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If you ever were to read a novella, this is the one to get your hands on!

“Same Time Next Year” follows Sumner, a hockey player on the brink of breaking into the NHL. With Sumner’s work visa about to expire, his only chance to stay in America and achieve his dream of going pro is to get a green card. Enter Britta, an ambitious waitress looking to become a part owner of the bar she works at. In exchange for the money she needs, Britta reluctantly agrees to marry Sumner, but the closer they become in preparation for their green card interview, the harder it is for them to keep their relationship solely contractual.

Novellas can be challenging to write because they are shorter than novels, yet longer than short stories (typically being anywhere from 70 to 160 pages), but Tessa Bailey navigates the constraints beautifully. She tracks her characters’ fake marriage across the span of a year, cleverly homing in on specific moments in time that are sure to hold the attention of readers and further invest them in the development of Britta and Sumner’s relationship—like when Sumner insists on accompany Britta to a concert or when they went to their first family gathering as a “couple”. Bailey also perfectly balances steamier scenes with more wholesome moments.

By the time I got to the end, I wanted more, not because I was left unsatisfied (a feeling I often experience when reading novellas due to their brevity), but because I genuinely fell in love with the characters and their story. I thoroughly enjoyed this little taste of what is to come in Bailey’s sports series and cannot wait for them to hit shelves!

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Believe me when I say that I absolutely don't want to say this, but I hated this. If it weren't for the fact that it's just a novella and not a second longer I would have totally DNF'd this. I just absolutely could not stand our male main character. Almost everything he said was just a massive ick to me. He grossed me out so much. I also wasn't really that sold on the romance. The female main character just kind of felt forced into it, to me. So yeah, this really wasn't my thing.

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This was my first read by Tessa Bailey, and I really enjoyed it! I liked Sumner from the beginning! There were a few cringe moments that seemed cheesy to me, but I’m sure they won’t bother other readers! I love happily ever after books with a little spice, and this was perfect.

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It's a cute short story with a little bit of spice. It's fast-paced and it's definitely a good book that I wished was longer. It's about a golden retriever boy who falls first and a girl who has a fear of relationships. A marriage of convenience. Overall, it's a good book, but I would've loved a backstory of the Britta's and Sumner's life before they met and how they met!

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A cute romance that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling. Loved the chemistry between the two main characters and the spicy scenes did what that needed to do. Any win for Tessa Bailey.

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I've been a Tessa Bailey fan since "Fix Her Up", so it wasn't surprising at all that I got sucked in with her short novella about a marriage of convenience.

Britta was a very likable FMC. Despite her hang ups about romance and marriage, she almost immediately recognized Sumner, a.k.a. "Sum", to be a sweet, respectful, and overall wonderful human being.

Sumner was such a wholesome MMC. A firm believer in love that lasts, he wasn't about to let his "fake wife" deny what was stirring between them.

Despite being such a short story, this definitely packed a punch. I loved that we got to "meet" Sumner's family and get some insight into Britta's past. He grew up seeing unconditional love while Britta grew up seeing immeasurable loss. And as a result of this, somehow, they are exactly what the other needs.

Now, while all of this was incredibly positive, there were also some downsides to the story. A huge chunk of the "spice" felt forced and unnatural, and quite cringeworthy on several occasions. So many of Sum's lines seemed so repetitive and out of character for him. And unfortunately, they took away from the story during what should've been pivotal interactions or conversations. This was almost enough to make me DNF a few times. However, I wanted to see the story through, so I powered through those scenes and made my way to the end.

The ending was certainly sweet and rounded out the rough edges of the story. However, what would've made this story on par with the rest of Tessa's stories would've been more emotional intimacy infused into the storyline as well as stronger arcs for both characters.

3 ⭐️

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If you like: novellas, dual POV, marriage of convenience, he fell first. Overall it’s a fun and lighthearted, quick romance. An easy palate cleanser to just shut your brain off and giggle along.

Sumner is about to be deported, and his hockey teammates try to convince Britta (her half brother is on the team) to marry him before midnight on NYE. His career trajectory has him being called up into the NHL soon, if he can stay in the country.

They strike a deal, with the caveat that they break up in one year exactly. Chapters are broken out by month, as we follow the progression of their scheme.

Sumner has been smitten since he first saw Britta, but she’s anti marriage. This premise keeps the story from being insta-lovey, even though it’s a novella. He wants more than just the appearance of a relationship.

When she slyly throws out his magazine from the mail pile? I died laughing. Plus, she’s thinking about about mail fraud while actively being in a sham wedding? So funny.

Sumner is her best MMC yet. I’m low key sad this is an Amazon Original because I want to own a physical copy!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my digital ebook!

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5/5 stars! If Tessa Bailey writes it, I will read it. I thorough enjoyed reading it and couldn’t put it down. Thank you to Amazon Original Stories, Tessa Bailey and Netgalley for the opportunity to read a copy of this book.

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Britta is a bartender at the bar that the local hockey team goes to. She's single and not looking to change that. Sumner is part of that team and only has eyes for her. Sumner's visa is up and he needs to move back to Canada.... unless he gets married. So begins the predictable love story.

This novella is predictable, but also spicy and actually kinda cute. I loved that Sumner was Canadian, a hockey player, falls in love first, and had such an amazing family. Britta is the total opposite. You know what they say... opposites attract.

Thank you to Netgalley, Tessa Bailey, and the publisher for this free ebook. This review is 100% my own and honest review.

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Tessa Bailey’s New Years short story is more novella length, so we are able to see come character and relationship progression! This was my fear going in, I am a hard sell on short romances due to the lack of time to really develop the chemistry and relationship.

As is usual for Miss Bailey, some of the word choices and lines will make you pause and be like “really?” before moving on. Our hero is over the top obsessed with the heroine, but the heroine spends most of the book being a bit rude and icky towards him. She does come around and I felt it was believable enough as to why she was acting that way and how she was able to overcome her fears.

I have conflicting feelings, but this was easy to digest, binge-able, and good for a quick shot of spicy romance.

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*ARC Review*

Very cute, quick, and fun read about a marriage of convenience. Because it is a novella we meet our main characters quickly and are immediately smitten with them. We see their chemistry right off the bat and follow it nicely. While a short story, Bailey does a nice job of giving us details that only add to the plot. Love the characters, the families, and the sports influence. Really enjoyed it!

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This was a really quick read with some lovable characters and the classic but always good 'fake marriage' trope. I liked both main characters Sumner and Britta and their dynamic together. The shyness and overall way Sumner is was very sweet and not what you'd expect from a huge hockey player. It worked really well. This story gets super spicy, much spicier than I'm used to reading so I was a little shocked in parts, but overall liked the general story and characters.

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A fast-past romance novella.

Britta doesn’t believe in love and sure doesn’t want to be married. After what her father did to her mother, she could care less to give her heart away. She is a waitress at a bar called Sluggers with hopes to one day be a part owner. Her mom worked there and it hold memories for her. Her half brother is on the local hockey team and it’s a cool place for all the guys to hangout. Therefore, she has a strict no dating policy.

Sumner is a hockey player on the brink of making it into the NHL. The only problem is, his work visa is about to expire. The only way to stay in the US is to get married and get his green card. Enter Britta. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. There were some cringey moments (aka the smutt scenes) but the storyline was good. I would say this isn’t her best work but it wasn’t bad either. If you’re looking for a quick read, this would be it.

Thanks you to NetGalley for my advance reader copy. This is my honest and voluntary opinion.

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