Make You Mine This Christmas by Lizzie Huxley-Jones
Make You Mine This Christmas by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

Make You Mine This Christmas by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

A wonderfully silly romcom with great disability representation

It’s a classic in fake-romance novels: either the MC falls in love with the person they’re faking the romance with or they fall for their sister. Like in Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun (one of my favourite audiobooks), Haf meets the woman who will capture her heart in a bookstore but in this instance, nothing happens then beyond a little flirting over Carol. A few hours later, they meet again at Kit’s parents’ house in the Cotswolds for Christmas. Officially, Haf is Kit’s brother Christopher’s girlfriend of a few months. In reality, they’ve met only once before and shared the worst but funniest drunken kiss of their lives. Christopher’s ex assumed Haf is his new girlfriend and they both rolled with it, each for their own reasons. Which lands them, and Haf especially, in all sorts of conundrums.

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I hadn’t heard of this book until a reader emailed me about it (thank you!), mentioning that according to the author, Haf is dyspraxic, and probably autistic as well. As far as I know, there are very few stories with dyspraxic MCs, much less sapphic stories. Some parts really resonated with me, like when Haf has Christopher tie her shoes (there’s a whole reason for it) and it turns out to be “one of those moments where she realises that things that are hard for her are a lot easier for other people”. Shoelaces are one of the examples I use most often of apparently simple things that actually aren’t.

Haf gives us bi, fat, neurodivergent representation, but she’s far from the only character I liked. I actually liked them all. Christopher is so sweet, and Kit is the perfect wannabe ice queen who can’t help but fall for the chaotic bisexual cinnamon bun. Kit has hypermobile Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome and while it clearly impacts who she is, it’s not all she is. She’s sexy and smart and sarcastic in the best way. She’s also very cute at unexpected times.

Make You Mine This Christmas by Lizzie Huxley-JonesI also loved Ambrose, Haf’s non-binary roommate, who keeps calling her out with a lot of tenderness; Laurel, Kit’s best friend and Christopher’s ex; the parents, the Quiet Carriage man… There’s so much love and affection in this book that it could be all gooey but no, it’s just sweet and funny and heartwarming.

Why Kit and Haf feel the need to pretend they’ve never crossed paths before I’m not sure but it definitely adds tension so I’ll take it. To be fair, that’s only one of the things that don’t make sense. Why does Haf act like she’s cheating on Christopher? Why doesn’t she talk to him? The fake relationship thing is only supposed to last for a week or so, she wouldn’t be betraying him. A lot of the drama is Haf’s doing or thinking. However, I didn’t mind. I was having way too much fun to care and it fits the character anyway. Haf is unhinged and exhausting and wonderful.

I’d love to say my favourite scene is Haf and Kit’s first kiss, but to be honest, I remember the quest for the lost baby reindeer much better. I’ve read plenty of first kisses but not many reindeer escapees or fights with geese.

This may not be the best-written book ever but it made me laugh often and left me with a deliciously warm feeling in my heart. It was brought to my attention because of dyspraxia and that part was spot on but I loved everything else too. I felt happy the whole time I was reading. 4.5 stars.

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