The Mistletoe Pact by: Jo Lovett


Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…

On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerized by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother.

But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realize too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.

Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends.

Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?

***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.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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