RELEASES: OCTOBER 1ST, 2021
***I received a copy of this ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***
When I saw the summary of this book I was instantly drawn in. Best friends brother, secret pining, marriage pact, waking up married in Vegas, and Christmas…all those tropes generally speak to me. Sadly, within a few chapters, I wasn’t a fan of either character and considered DNF-ing the book. I decided to push through though hoping overall I was going to enjoy the book by the time I got to the end. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
This story takes us back and forth between the current time and past occasions that all show us how much both Evie and Dan like each other. We see so many occasions where the sparks were flying but there was always a reason, to them, for not pursuing each other.
When the summary mentioned Ross and Rachel it should have been a red flag. I mean how many years of back and forth of Ross and Rachel did we all watch? Honestly, I was so irritated with both Evie and Dan throughout this book.
Evie, who grew up not knowing her dad, raised by a young mom who continued to pursue men that couldn’t commit made Evie desperately want to find someone who would just be stable and committed to her. I found Evie to be not only a hypocrite but very selfish. She said she wanted commitment and stability yet each time a man had those qualities she found him boring or quirky and never attempted to fully invest herself in the relationship. It really just felt like she was biding her time with other men in hopes that Dan would someday be hers. She judged her mother for pursuing uncommitted/detached men and yet was an uncommitted/detached person in most of her relationships.
Then we have Dan who’s never wanted anything serious because he saw the devastation his mom went through as his father cheated on her countless times and then left her for a younger woman. Dan also has blamed himself, for years, for something that wasn’t his fault. Essentially Dan has a lot of unresolved pain/trauma that he’s avoided facing for years.
I understood the hesitation to pursue a relationship between these two due to their families being so close for so many years. Even their negative views around relationships I could understand but this book threw so many ridiculous hurdles and reasons for them not to be together. Honestly, by the end all the negative reasons they shouldn’t be together seemed bigger than the reasons they should be together.
Overall, I really wanted to like this book I was hoping to get a Christmas love story like a Hallmark film but instead, it was really a downer, and though technically an HEA I didn’t really feel either character deserved it.