Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.
Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all.
So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes.
Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving.
And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final.
In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle.
She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing.
Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries.
Title: Faking Under the Mistletoe
Author: Ashley Shepherd
Published on November 8th 2019 (Independently published)
Format: Kindle, 327 pages
Oh my gosh! This was simply the CUTEST Christmas romance! Both a fake to real AND a hate to love romance story, Faking Under the Mistletoe just gives off all of those cozy and heartwarming vibes.
Olivia and Asher, our two main characters, could NOT be more opposite of one another. Olivia’s a strong and independent woman, full of Christmas joy and holiday spirit. I adored her optimism and cheerful personality, especially as she uses this energy to help those in need. Asher’s LITERALLY the Grinch of Christmas, making him and Olivia bump heads quite often. That banter though, oh my gosh! The comical banter between the two of them was ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! I’d recommend this on that alone.
The biggest shock for me was Shepherd’s exploration regarding more serious topics, especially one that’s rather vital to the plot. She addresses both grief and sexual assault in a mature manner, revealing the hardships both women and men go through with unwarranted sexual advances in the workplace.
Unfortunately, I found this took away from the romance. Though I’m glad authors are bringing these topics into their literature, it happens pretty early on in the book and takes up a large portion of the story. It started to not feel as much like a holiday book, which is what the book has been advertised as. Olivia and Asher are finally starting to grow closer to one another, removing one another’s walls, when all these events begin to unfold. I also got annoyed with the number of “trials” between Olivia and Asher. The first few flowed with the story, but then it got too much and just felt unnecessary.
With a juicy steam factor and two amazingly witty characters, Faking Under the Mistletoe is the PERFECT winter holiday novel for romance lovers to enjoy!
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: enemies-to-lovers trope; serious undertones; holiday romance; happy endings.