The magic of a New Mexico Christmas
Now is the time to get your Christmas-themed reading done, so Gerri Hill’s The Great Charade is right what we need.
51 Chapters of Holiday cheer await when Abby Carpenter needs a fake girlfriend to survive a 10-day family holiday gathering in the snowy mountains of Red River, New Mexico. Nic Bennett is not a fan of Christmas. For her, it is firmly linked to family trauma and very bad memories. And yet, when a total stranger proposes a getaway to the snow as her pretend girlfriend, she agrees. This is an opportunity to experience snow for the first time and to find out if Christmas is truly that magical. The promise of sex as a return favor with this pretty and desperate stranger seems like the star on top of the Christmas tree.
What could go possibly wrong, right? The premise is totally mad, but the fake girlfriend trope goes so well with a family holiday meeting the rents. To make it spicy, the ex-girlfriend, now dating Abby’s brother, still wants to fool around on the sly. Something Abby wasn’t able to refuse last Christmas and the reason why Nic comes along this year so she can be present as a buffer.
At first, I was afraid Nic would be too predatory, demanding sex as payment when Abby was clearly anxious about that. Luckily Nic changed her tune during the story because that would have been a hard no for me. The plot isn’t terribly exciting. A lot of the focus is Nic’s wide-eyed wonder of experiencing a perfect first Christmas. The food, the snow, the ambiance, the gifts, the time spent with family. But for the romantic Christmas read that it is, I’m totally fine with that.
Themes: Red River, how Nic learns about Christmas and to trust in love, I didn’t really get a good feel for the ex and her motivations.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review