Desert Isle Keeper
My Christmas Charade
My Christmas Charade, an-enemies-to-lovers trope story, is the final installment in Melanie Ting’s Holiday Hat Trick series and it’s my favourite of the bunch! Em works as an economic forecaster and she wants her love life to be as smooth and well-planned as her day job. She’s recently met Thomas, who fulfills all her checklist items for a perfect boyfriend. But she’s got a problem. Em is tired of her parents rejecting the men she dates, so she think if she brings home someone truly horrible as a fake boyfriend, they’ll be more likely to accept Thomas when she’s ready to introduce him to her parents.
Enter Ian. Annoying, irritating, attractive Ian, who always seems to do and say things to put her on edge. They’re in the same circle of friends so she can’t avoid him (and he’s one of the best hockey players on the beer league team the men play in). Ian doesn’t have any close family to spend the holidays with so when she gets the brilliant idea to bring him home as her fake boyfriend for a three day Christmas weekend, Ian, to her grudging delight, accepts the role. Well, she does have to bribe him with some Toronto Maple Leaf hockey tickets for a game they can attend while they are there, but she’s grateful nonetheless.
Of course Ian turns out to be a thoughtful, smart, and handy man to have around, a man who fixes up some of the mechanical problems in her parent’s house and one her parents decidedly like, which makes Em feel guilty about her ruse. She also finds herself attracted to Ian and soon they indulge in a sexy affair. Ian’s always been a no commitment kind of guy and Em is the kind of gal who wants a marriage and kids, so the only way she can get him to sleep with her is by promising that she won’t develop any real feelings for him. Of course, that turns out not to be the case and when Em admits the truth, Ian gets cold feet. He has to decide whether it’s time for him to swap his bachelorhood for a committed relationship.
Like the others in the series, the secondary character friendships are very important, with friends Abby and Sophia giving Em their advice and Mason and Henry likewise helping Ian come to his senses. There are some hockey scenes though they aren’t the main focus of the story. Ian and Em’s happy ending is well deserved and this one is going on my keeper shelf! The whole series is definitely worth the read.