He gives me a disbelieving side-glance. “I told Siri to play a music station, Gabriella, not get on her knees.”
You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite rom coms and I adore Liese’s writing, so I feel like… maybe this book was meant for me? I don’t know, but it was certainly holiday goodness that hit all of the right notes! I can see myself reading this again next year, and perhaps in the years that follow. This feels very much like Liese’s Bergman Brothers series, with an original, authentic, slow burn romance and some great enemies to lovers vibes. Our mysterious hero is a bit of a grump, and our heroine is full of festive cheer. Together, their opposites attract romance was compelling and easy to devour in one sitting. Longer than the typical novella but not quite a full-length romance, this flies by and remains sassy and spirited the whole time. I laughed, I swooned, and had an all-around good time while reading.
The story follows Gabriella, a woman who loves her job co-managing the local bookstore. Living with Autism, Gabriella has struggled to find the right place for her – and this is it. The only problem? Her frustrating, sexy, and infuriating co-manager, Jonathan. Since he started working at the bookstore one year ago, Jonathan has been nothing but trouble. His grumpy attitude and disapproving glares have made working with him a struggle. So when the bookstore’s owners reveal that they’re struggling financially, Gabriella is all too happy to battle it out with Jonathan for the manager position. As the two feud during the day, Gabriella spends her nights chatting with her online friend, a man she has never met but feels a close bond to. But as the holidays approach and Gabriella sees a different side of Jonathan, she becomes torn between the two men in her life.
This is definitely reminiscent of You’ve Got Mail, but it feels fresh and distinct as well. Liese has such a unique voice in the crowded romance genre, and I love what she brings to the table. Each of these characters is complex, and – despite only getting Gabriella’s perspective – I felt like I got to know Jonathan well. As the enemies to lovers vibes transition into something softer and sweeter, I loved how they complemented each other perfectly. Jonathan’s grump pairs well with Gabriella’s sunshine, and their dynamic kept this feeling low angst and incredibly festive. It’s like a little dose of holiday cheer, and exactly what I look for in a seasonal romance.
From the author of THE BERGMAN BROTHERS series comes a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers holiday romance, perfect for fans of THE HATING GAME and YOU’VE GOT MAIL.
He loathes the holidays. She loves them. She’s full of festive cheer. He’s brimming with Bah, Humbugs. Besides unreasonably seasonable names, the only thing Jonathan Frost and Gabriella Di Natale have in common is a healthy dose of mutual contempt. Well, that and the same place of employment at the city’s most beloved independent bookstore, Bailey’s Bookshop. But when the store’s owners confess its dire financial state, Jonathan and Gabby discover another unfortunate commonality: the imminent threat of unemployment.
With the Baileys’ requests to minimize expenses, win new customers, and make record sales dancing in their heads, Jonathan and Gabby conclude–barring a financial Christmas miracle–one of them will soon be cut from the payroll. Neither are willing to step down from their position, so they strike a bargain: whoever has more sales in December gets to stay on in the new year; the loser will resign. With a lifetime’s worth of festive tricks up her sleeve, Gabby should easily outsell her nemesis, except the unreadable Mr. Frost’s every move seems purely designed to throw her off her game.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabby’s deceptive ex won’t quit pursuing her, and her anonymous online friend suggests they take a break. Worst of all, as the pressure mounts to save the bookshop and her job, Gabby meets a new, tender side of Jonathan. Is this the same man she’s called her cold-hearted enemy?
Maybe he’s got a motive she just can’t figure out–or maybe Jonathan Frost isn’t as chilly as she once thought. Maybe Jonathan and Gabby already know–and love–each other in ways they never thought possible.
This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.
The Mistletoe Motive is a Kobo Original, so you won’t find this one anywhere else!
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About the Author:
Chloe writes romances reflecting her belief that everyone deserves a love story. Her stories pack a punch of heat, heart, and humor, and often feature characters who are neurodivergent like herself. When not dreaming up her next book, Chloe spends her time wandering in nature, playing soccer, and most happily at home with her family and mischievous cats.
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