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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 9 star ratings
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    Fun, fluffy, sweet holiday novella

    I’m a pretty big fan of Jackie Lau’s books. They’re funny, intrinsically Canadian, and usually feature lots of delicious food (Nanaimo bars are the standout here). This novella feels a little fluffier than usual, but I still loved it. Nick was glad to escape his small hometown of Mosquito Bay, and the only thing that keeps him coming back is holidays with his family. This (Canadian) Thanksgiving, however, they’ve taken meddling to a whole new level by inviting dates for Nick and his brothers. An awkward situation that’s made even worse when he discovers his brother’s “date” is the one night stand that he can’t quite get out of his head. In the wake of her dad’s death, Lily has been trying to be more spontaneous – she even made a list to help her! Part of that is having a one night stand, and when she meets Nick at a bar, she thinks he fits the bill perfectly. But seeing him again at Thanksgiving ends up with them falling into something that she’s not sure is a relationship – or if she even wants one with him. “No one had ever said her name the way he did. Like there were so many subtle flavors in it—in her—that she’d never been aware of before.” Despite it being a novella, the characters are thoughtfully written. I sympathized so much with Lily’s self-doubts about being boring and stuck in a rut. On the other hand, Nick’s the consummate rich playboy who compares being in a relationship to the suffocating feeling he felt growing up in a small town. Despite – because of? – their differences, their chemistry is amazing. Where this book really stands out is the side characters (especially Nick’s mom). Ms. Lau writes the most amazing families, loving and messy and pushy in equal measures. As for cons, the pacing is a bit uneven. Everything flows smoothly until after the actual Thanksgiving trip is complete. Most of the conflict afterwards consists of Lily’s worries about their relationship – or lack of one – but it’s all wrapped up quickly when she shares her feelings with Nick. I appreciated the great communication, but at the same time, it lacked the punch of the usual romance big final dark moment, so the story felt like it fizzled out. Overall, while I enjoyed the book, I wanted a bit more from it, and would rate it around 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 (because yummy food!). If you’re looking for a fun, light holiday read, this fits the bill! I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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    I loved everything about this book!

    This lovely romance checked all my boxes. From their first meeting to their holiday dinners, Nick and Lily are just absolutely adorable together. Lily is sweet but self-aware, willing to risk her heart and live life to its fullest. Nick is terrific, strong and independent, but with enough sense to know when to just roll with it. I loved how even when Nick thought they were moving too fast for his comfort, he still was the one pushing for more. The family scenes were priceless! After meeting Nick's family, I'm definitely looking forward to reading more in this series. Lily's family was refreshingly unpretentious and charming. This was a delightful story, full of humor and family values, with a solid HEA and a tempting lead-in for the next story. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
9

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