Hate Me Under the Mistletoe
Grade : C+

Look, I'm all in for a good time. Who doesn't adore a fun holiday romance? But this one, while sporadically amusing and occasionally sizzling, dissipates into the realm of insubstantiality the moment you close its pages. It's the kind of read that evaporates from memory almost as swiftly as snowflakes on a warm palm.

This narrative is as gossamer-thin as they come, offering a concoction of humor here and steaminess there, but lacking the substance to leave an enduring mark. The leads, Amy and Ryder, feel plucked straight from the pages of a formulaic novel, Ryder especially embodies a level of perfection that seems at best unlikely. Frankly, I've yet to encounter such an impeccably idealized man in real life ever. And Amy, well, she's is way to mopey for me although I suspect her whining is supposed to read as empowered. And, though she's portrayed with sympathy, she's pretty damned self-absorbed. Practically perfect in every way Ryder could do a lot better!

Sure, there are moments of chuckles and some steamy encounters to keep the pages turning. Yet, the overarching tale feels akin to a glittering facade—enticing at first glance but devoid of the depth and resonance one seeks in a memorable romance. Once the final chapter draws to a close, what lingers is a hazy recollection, a fleeting impression of something seen but not truly felt.

Love stories often toe the line between the extraordinary and the plausible, and Hate Me Under the Mistletoe ventures far into the realm of too-good-to-be-true. It's a jaunt into a world where romances sparkle with an artificial sheen, and it left this reader yearning for more authenticity.

In the end, this holiday escapade offers a transient diversion but fails to carve a lasting niche in the hearts of its readers. It's a whirlwind of festive cheer and romantic dalliance, charming in its moments, yet ultimately dissipating into the ether of forgetfulness. If you're seeking a brief fling with a holiday romance, this might suffice. But for those craving substance and characters that resonate beyond the pages, Hate Me Under the Mistletoe will leave you wishing for something more tangible and real.

(I've not read the other Heller books, but this wafer thin story stands on its own tiny feet. I suspect, if you love those books, you'll love this one. I did not.)


Reviewed by Dabney Grinnan
Grade : C+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 1, 2024

Publication Date: 10/2021

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Dabney Grinnan

Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day. Publisher at AAR.
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