I struggled a bit but eventually this festive romance won me over
Mr. Jingle Bells by Leta Blake
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Not going to lie, I struggled with this book and wasn’t sure I was going to finish it.
I’m usually a massive fan of Leta’s Christmas stories because she never turns out a cookie cutter cutsie romance, there’s always an edge which stops them going overly sweet.
Unfortunately, this one seemed determined to go too far down that path and at times, it was borderline depressing to read about all the traumas Ashton had gone through.
Both him and Walker were at times unlikeable too imho. I couldn’t understand how they were possibly going to get together in a way that would be convincing.
Then again, Leta is also a wordsmith extraordinaire, and she slowly started to work her magic both on Ashton and Walker, but also on me.
I found myself thawing towards them both, helped along by Walker’s wonderful sister Evelyn and her fiance Tom, and actively championing the move from fake boyfriend plot to actual relationship.
The sex, as ever with Leta, is blow your head off hot, but I really appreciated the tenderness between them.
***Sort of spoilery bit***
Then we hit the ‘Third Act’ where something has to go wrong if you (generic) follow the great “Writing Gods” and so there was conflict, confusion and the potential for breaking up and once more I felt like quitting.
I totally understood why Ashton reacted as he did, but it was also incredibly frustrating for him to not see the difference in the situation (and that’s as far as I’ll go along the plotline) and I wanted to chuck my Kindle away.
It’s taken me a week to read this book, I’d normally have done it in a few hours.
All’s well at the end though and there is a lovely Epilogue set a year later, I’d have personally just preferred a bit less angsting to reach it.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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