Member Reviews

Super cute romance story with a prominent theme of grief and how people handle their acceptance in their own way. Initially I thought it was going to be a Christmas read, but it is not the normal Christmas romance where it is based only in December, it is based over a whole year and can be read at any point!

I truly enjoyed this story and definitely recommend reading it, and not just at Christmas time even though that is kind of what the title and cover imply!

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I admit, I love reading about Christmas when it's July. As the temperatures soared above 90 in real life, the world of A Winter's Wish was cozy and sparkly and invitingly cool.

The better part of the book actually spans a year, the year after Lexie's absentee father passed away and left her half of his travel company. The other half went to his employee Theo, whom Lexie finds stubborn and frustrating and...quite handsome. The premise is actually brilliant: a travel firm based in celebrating holidays around the world. We touch on some spring and summer holidays - all quirky - but always return to Christmas.

Christmas is complicated for Lexie - once her favorite holiday, she has shied away from celebrating properly ever since her father left her and her mother to start a family with someone else. As she is forced to stay in one place and navigate both the firm and sticky relationships, Lexie begins to understand not only her father, but herself.

There is romance, but the best part of this book is Lexie mending the relationship with her half-sister and strengthening her bonds with old friends and her mom. And as she travels from Iceland to Madrid to Austria, Lexie learns that here's no place like home, after all.

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This was such a sweet story. I really loved Lexie’s journey of diving into her feelings and allowing herself to go on quite the journey (literally and figuratively) through the emotions of her relationship with her dad and how his death made her feel.

I also really loved the couple chapters we got from Theo’s POV 🥰

Not to mention her reading her dads letter at the end had me ugly crying 🥲❤️‍🩹

While the book didn’t center around Christmas the whole time, it did start and end there, and a lot of the book focused on Christmas traditions

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Overall, it's a very lovely story... With some emotional turmoil. The main focus is probably running from our problems doesn't necessarily solve them...but in a fun light. The characters are very likeable (for the most part)... Some might hold on to the past a little bit too much. I love the idea of R&L travel and would definitely travel with a company like that. I do feel like a few phrases were a bit overused, but doesn't necessarily subtract from the story. The character growth was good with multiple characters and helps demonstrate we are all at different places in our lives. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll swoon and all the other things. Has a focus around the Christmas holiday, so could definitely be a part of your holiday reading list!

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Thank you Random House Publishing for my #gifted Netgalleu ebook.

When Lexie learns of the unexpected death of her estranged father she also receives the shock of her life when he leaves his company for her to run with one of his business partners, Theo.

They’re required to run the company together for a year before making any decisions on selling.

What I liked:
Enemies to lovers feel
Slow burn
Heartfelt issues to work through
Travel and experiences
Found family
Theo and Lexie’s journey

What I didn’t like:
The cover felt a little misleading to me. It gives the impression it’s a Christmas story, but it had very little “Christmas” in the story.

I’m not a fan of a 3rd act breakup with a complete miscommunication “I wont even hear you out” scenario. However, in this situation it fit with the characters past and although it’s not my favorite - it worked.

Romance Content: One open door scene (not explicit) easy to skip.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I enjoyed this book and think you will to.

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A fantastic story of self discovery and forgiveness. I felt everything that Lexie felt as it reminded me of my relationship with my own father. You won't be disappointed.

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I really enjoyed the concept of A Winter Wish - I enjoy books that center on travel, and enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes. Emily Stone also did a great job of navigating the concept of grief, and especially the complications of grieving an estranged parent. I really liked that this romance had more depth to it and centered on more than just the budding relationship between Lexie and Theo.

Unfortunately, I found Lexie to be really unlikeable and that ultimately brought down the rest of my reading experience. Her immaturity grated on my nerves, and while she did eventually grow in this area, it was very sudden and didn't feel authentic. I also found the pacing in general to be similarly choppy - I liked that novel was able to progress through the year at a good speed, but the timing between events felt very disjointed - it felt like the reader was missing big chunks of time in between chapters and that made the story a bit harder to connect to as well.

I think A Winter's Wish has the bones of a really great holiday read, but I think it could use more time in the editing process before publication. It still feels a bit rough around the edges to me. Thank you very much to NetGalley and to Random House for allowing me preview this book! It is always an honor!

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Lexie doesn’t stay in the same country or city for long. But when her estranged father passes away and names her co-owner of the travel agency that she never knew he owned, she’s forced back into a city that she’s worked for years to leave behind her. (Based throughout the UK and Europe.)

Lexie and Theo (a 5 year tenured employee that her dad took under his wing) are flung into running the company together, and are met with multiple contingencies around how and when they can sell the business. This is a very light enemies to lovers, so I don’t want to list that as a trope, as they move past enemies fairly quick.

TW: cancer, estranged families, off page death.
Grief is a big theme throughout this story, but it didn’t feel as heavy to me like in The Dead Romantics.

While a holiday themed cover, I wouldn’t say this is strictly a holiday themed book as it spans an entire year. (Aka: It can be read year round!)

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I still don't know if you can purchase an airline ticket that doesn't have a departure date, but oh, well.

It's good- I enjoyed the banter between Lexie and Theo. A lot of their interactions were cute or funny or both. I was a little confused with Lexie's seemingly sudden fear of commitment - the abandonment issues I cottoned onto right away, the fear of commitment, not so much - but the more I thought about her character, the more I understood her fear of commitment. Why should she commit to things when they were going to leave her? Commitment then isn't that important to Lexie when it comes to being left again.

Theo didn't have too much of a character, unfortunately. He read a little flat and there wasn't much growth at all when it came to him and his backstory. I wish we had seen him grow with Lexie. We already (for some reason) got one random chapter in his point of view, so Stone could have added a few more chapters here and there to really flesh him out.

For a Christmassy romcom, it didn't feel like there was much of a Christmas element. Every once in a while a Christmas trip would be mentioned or traveled, but the most "Christmassy" part of the book was Lexie's constant mention of her wish jar.

I felt like there were some things that should have been expanded on, though I did like other elements of the book.

thank you Netgalley for the arc

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I requested to read and review this book for free from Dell an Imprint of Random House Publishing Company. This story has many twists and turns and you'll want to keep reading until the end. Can an action prove to something that they are sorry and not forgot about someone. Lexie loves to travel and finds it hard to stay in spot. Can she commit when she needs to? Does her possible fear of commitment coming from something that happened to her or another reason? Theo has always been looking to fit in with a job and friends? He thinks he has found it but when that is threatened to be taken away, what will he do? Grief and loss are powerful emotions do they make us want to be better or no? Can someone you haven't seen in a long time or you haven't know very long know you better then yourself? This is for a mature reader and can be read anywhere!

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Lexie is a "live out of your suitcase" kind of woman. She loves to travel, and she never stays in one place for long. This all changes when her father, from whom she is estranged, dies and she goes back to England for his funeral. Much to her surprise, and her horror, her father has left her his travel agency. To make matters worse, she has to share ownership of the travel agency with her father's young "right hand man" Theo. In his will, Lexie's father has stipulated that the agency cannot be sold unless it makes a profit in one year of Lexie and Theo running it. Both Lexie and Theo are resentful of this and drama ensues.

There were at least three instances when I was close to "DNFing" this book. Lexie and Theo were both extremely stubborn and neither was willing to listen to the other's point of view. Lexie had a lot of issues concerning her father's abandonment, and rightfully so, but the way she dealt with it was just immature and irritating. She seemed to solve everything by either not dealing with it at all, or just running away. Nevertheless, this is a romance, so Lexie does indeed "figure it out" and all is well in the end.

The parts of the book I did enjoy were the descriptions of the research trips that Lexie and Theo took for the travel agency.

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an e-copy of this book.

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“I want to be sure you want it, just as much as I do."

Lexie is just minding her own business nannying for a rich family in Austria when she learns of her estranged father’s passing. she’s then told he left her half of his travel business. unfortunately, she can’t just sell it off like she hoped. instead, she must work with Theo — her dad’s grumpy colleague that seems to hate her — for a year before they can even consider other options.

as unhappy as she is about this situation, she finds herself being immersed in the company, traveling around Europe, and learning more about her father than she expected. Theo is by her side along the way, usually begrudgingly, and both of them begin to realize they have more in common than they thought.

as she takes on this temporary normal, perhaps she’ll find some magic in the unexpected and get the closure she didn’t know she needed.

A Winter Wish is a holiday novel filled with heartache, bravery, and adventure.

this and that:
♡ christmas
♡ closure
♡ found family
♡ getting caught in the rain
♡ loathe-to-love
♡ reconciliation
♡ she’s a runner
♡ traveling
♡ wanderlust
♡ will-they-won’t-they
♡ wishes
♡ workplace romance

☞ characters with anti-LGBTQ beliefs
☞ death of a parent
☞ infidelity
☞ parental abandonment

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If you are looking for a sweet holiday romance this is not the one, this one has so much more.
Enemies to lovers ✔️
Emotional baggage ✔️
Family drama ✔️

I went into this expecting a hallmark type Christmas book. I did not realize I would have tears in my eyes as much as I did. I really enjoyed the book though. The characters were really likeable and it was hard not to put yourself in their shoes.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for a honest review.

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I loved the traveling aspect of this book. I thought this was going to be a fun lighthearted Christmas book. It covered some heavier aspects and was still well done. I will definitely read more from this author.

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I enjoyed this book like I have her others.
I thought the fight causing Lexie to leave was silly but really liked the letter from her dad.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for an ARC of this book. This is a sweet love story that highlights family bonds (including found family), forgiveness, and moving on. After a complicated loss, the FMC’s life takes an unexpected turn that makes her question what really matters.

The author does a great job building the story and adding enough detail to keep things interesting. The MMC and romance fell a little flat - although there’s a solid foundation there, both seemed underdeveloped, especially for the second half of the book. Overall, this is a cute and easy read that gives enough sentiment to bring a smile to your face without trying your brain or heart into knots.

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A sweet holiday romance, perfect to get you in the holiday spirit!

Publishers Synopsis:
When Lexie learns of her father’s death, she doesn’t know how to feel; they’ve barely spoken in the last ten years. And she’s even more confused when she discovers he’s left her half of his holiday travel company, a successful niche business specializing in trips that explore the holiday traditions of cultures all over the world.

Meanwhile, the other half of the company has been left to her father’s handsome but bad-tempered young executive, Theo. And the will stipulates that the two of them must find a way to run the company together for a year before they decide its fate.

My review:
A Winter Wish is a fantastic romance with true heart and emotions. The conflict and vulnerability that Lexie feels after the death of her father gives her character great depth and a fantastic arc. The contrast between her and Theo's experiences - and the impact of those differences - makes for an excellent plot. And the chemistry between her and Theo is palpable. Easily ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!

Thank you to Emily Stone, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I love Emily stones Christmas novels. A great mix of grief along with romance. This one had a great story of grief of someone who already seemingly exited your life. The beginning was a bit slow for me but the way the story ended was lovely with her coming to terms and loving her father through her grief.

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I thought I would have trouble getting into a holiday book while it is steaming hot outside, but this story was sweet. It wasn’t only a romance but dealt with grief and dealt with it well.

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