Happy Christmas Eve! I wanted to get at least one holiday read review up before Christmas so here it is. This review is for The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese which came out Dec 1 exclusively on Kobo, and if you haven’t already I would highly suggest going to check it out! It’s a perfect holiday read as well as the cutest lighthearted romance that’s great for reading in one sitting. I have to admit I wanted to read it just based on how cute the cover is and I’m so glad I did because it turned out to be one of my favourite holiday books this season!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! It was such a cute holiday read and perfect for reading in one sitting. Johnathan Frost, who coincidental to his name hate the holidays, and Gabriella Di Natale, who loves them, work together at Bailey’s bookshop. They have nothing in common except their disdain for one another. When they find out the bookshop’s financial state is less than ideal and one of them might have to leave after the holiday’s the two decide to make a bargain. Whoever has more sales in December will be the one to stay after the New Year. Gabby seems determined she can easily make more sales but it seems like every move Johnathan makes is intended to throw Gabby off her game. To add on to Gabby’s stress, her deceptive ex won’t stop pursuing her.
Of course, to top it all off, as the month goes on Gabby starts to see a different side of Johnathan that makes him seem less of a grinch. She seems sceptical of this softer side to Johnathan and thinks he might have ulterior motives, yet she can’t seem to get him out of her head. This causes conflicting emotions for Gabby as she’s supposed to meet up with the mystery man, her friends call Mr. Reddit, she’s been talking to online after Christmas and that’s who should be taking up space in her mind, right? But Mr. Reddit suggested taking a break from talking before they meet up and that seems to give her more time to think about Johnathan. Johnathan remains stuck in Gabby’s mind and she begins thinking maybe the original image she had of him, seeming like Jack Frost, isn’t who he really is. It gets more confusing when she starts having some sexual dreams about Johnathan, which isn’t normal for Gabby as she’s demisexual and only feels sexual attraction to people she has a strong emotional connection with. I loved how Gabby’s sexuality played into the story and I thought it was quite well written. Seeing the thought process About the dreams Gabby was having about Johnathan and her thinking about what they could mean was a great aspect and added into the romance trope perfectly.
I loved this slow burn enemies to lovers romance they had throughout the book. The two slowly getting to see another side and understand each other bit by bit. Despite the initial appearance of Mr. Frost, he was honestly such a sweet character who noticed so many little things about Gabby and tries to make her life just a bit easier even if she’s skeptical about his motives. They’re thought on each other slowly changed in a positive way throughout the book and it was really nice to see that they didn’t just go from hating to loving each other. It took time and communication to get to the end result and I thought that made it seem more real.
This is also an #ownvoices read with Gabby being autistic written by an autistic author. I thought it was a exceptional aspect of the story and made it easy to understand why Gabby was so skeptical of Johnathan . Gabby needs straightforwardness and that wasn’t what was happening with Johnathan most of the time. She was afraid to share that part of herself with him which lead to some miscommunication since Johnathan wasn’t aware that being straightforward is the best way to communicate with Gabby. This is the one book with miscommunication where I didn’t hate it for once?! Surprising, since it’s never a good trope in my opinion but it wasn’t overdone and worked into the story quite well.
As for this being a holiday read, I’d say it was pretty good. The holidays aren’t the main aspect of the story, it’s definitely focused more around the relationship between Gabby and Johnathan but the holiday theme did play into the storyline a fair bit. It’s definitely more festive than some of the other holiday books I’ve read this year and even though it’s sole focus isn’t about the holidays I thought it all tied together really nicely.
I had such a wonderful time reading this book, and if you haven’t already I would definitely suggest checking it out! It’s exclusively on kobo, but if you’re anything like me I just have the app downloaded to my phone to read books through there. I know…. I don’t have an ereader, kind of a shock for how much I read. Either way I’m glad this was one of my holiday reads this year!
I’ll see you soon for another review,