Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

So Here We Go Under The Mistletoe

Three couples test out the strength of the mistletoe in the Saint Paul area in That Mistletoe Moment.

So Here We Go Under The Mistletoe

Welcome to our Holiday Romance series! Try as I might to resist, every December I find myself picking up a book or two (or three) that combines two things I love most: Christmas and romance. Over the next month we’re going to check out some of the cheesiest books published, and it will be glorious. As there is a severe shortage of YA-focused holiday books, these will all be of the adult variety. So grab yourself a glass of spiked eggnog (or two) and turn the fire up to “crackling.”

BOOK REPORT for That Mistletoe Moment edited by Cat Johnson

Deck The Halls: Clipart Amalgamation
Most Festive: “A Boyfriend For Christmas”
Sort-Of Festive: “All I Want For Christmas Is…”
Least Festive: “Her Favorite Present”
Melt My Marshmallows: Scorched
On A Scale from The Grinch to Buddy The Elf: No Sex In The Champagne Room Santa’s Sleigh

Deck The Halls: Clipart Amalgamation

I’m pretty sure this dreck of a cover is what kept me from this book for so long. I have so many questions. What is happening here? Where is the rest of that man’s body? Why does it look like she just caught him trying to steal her present? Who decorates a tree with just one red ball?

What’s Going On In Santa’s Workshop:

This collection of three short stories is tied together by the Build-A-Boyfriend app (just go with it) and how it effects the Christmases of three single women.

In the first story, Noelle’s sister persuades her to use the app to invent a boyfriend in time for their family’s Christmas Eve party after she dumps her non-committal SO after Thanksgiving—and little does she realize, she’s texting the wrong “Nathan”.

For Riley, she finds the app to be a convenient way to land herself a job with intense and restrained CEO, Daniel, since one of his job requirements is that his personal shopper be in a relationship (let’s just say his last one shouldn’t be around scissors for the foreseeable future).

Rachel also found Build-A-Boyfriend useful for her job as an editor at a family-focused magazine, since of course a single woman without a family of her own would never have good article ideas. She's about to find out that the app may end up bringing her a real boyfriend in the form of the app’s founder and CEO, Gabe Harrison, who bets his Christmas bonus on the fact that all the people who use his app are “losers”.

Most Festive: “A Boyfriend For Christmas”

Noelle’s story brings home the fact that the holidays may be fun, but they can also be a stressful time when you have to go up in front of your relatives and feel the weight of their judge-y eyes. It also reminds me that people should cool it with the holiday engagements, because who wants all that additional pressure while you’re already in a tizzy about the décor and the cooking? This one takes the Christmas cookie by featuring two characters who repeatedly discuss how much they love Christmas—so much so that one of them reveals a fantasy about doing it by the glow of the tree lights. Let’s hope the Elf-On-A-Shelf isn’t watching.

Sort-of Festive: “All I Want For Christmas Is…”

Daniel chooses his new personal shopper based on who gets him the best Christmas present—that’s some ingenuity right there. His is less of a cold heart than a neglected one, and it stands no chance against Riley’s office Christmas decorating contest, especially when she sticks mistletoe in every door of his apartment. The writing in this one got a little…experimental at times, like the author was going through a beat poetry phase. Exhibit A:

“Sensation filled her. Warmth, closeness, love.
In sync, they soared. She was close to coming and so was he.
Sharp pants of pleasure escaped her lips.
His breathing was ragged and rose from his gut.
She surrendered.
And his control broke.”

I don’t know if the author meant for me to giggle my way through this treasure-trove of sex synonyms, but, oh, Reader, how I did.

Least Festive: “Her Favorite Present”

If anyone deserves lumps of coal in their stockings, it’s Gabe at the start of this story. He was just a little too big for his candy-cane britches, if you ask me. Aside from being set around Christmas and having the denouement take place during a Christmas party, this easily could have happened at any other time of the year. When your Salvation Army bell-ringer is the most festive part of your story, you should probably deck the paragraphs with a few more boughs of holly. Still, Gabe did have to give away his Christmas bonus, so I guess Santa did read my wish-list.

Melt My Marshmallows: Scorched

Chaste kisses under the mistletoe, who? These couples are getting into situations that would leave Frosty on the floor as nothing but a carrot in a puddle (dirty!). Despite my annoyance with Gabe, he and Rachel had the steamiest moments of them all.

The only thing that bothered me about the whole Build-A-Boyfriend situation is that it relies on the faker to prove their boyfriend is real through texts and voicemails. Who out there is regularly showing their friends and coworkers their texting exchanges with their significant others? I’m pretty sure putting your phone on speaker so I can hear the voicemail your “boyfriend” left will only prove to me that you’re someone I should be spending less time around…

Mistletropes:

Christmassy character names, annual Christmas Eve parties, annual office Christmas parties, office decorating contests, hot cocoa playing an intimate part of a couple’s evening, holiday shopping, stuck together because of a blizzard, mistletoe kisses.

On A Scale from The Grinch to Buddy The Elf: No Sex In The Champagne Room Santa’s Sleigh

Despite my ribbing, this was actually a fairly decent grouping of holiday romances. It had the right amount of festive without beating me over the head with a stocking full of glitter, and the characters were amusing and a little cheesy; a must-have for any holiday book. This anthology will definitely be for those who need a bit more rum in their eggnog. *waggles eyebrows*

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. That Mistletoe Moment is available now.

Stephanie Johnston's photo About the Author: Stephanie is an avid reader who moonlights as a college Educational Advisor. Though she now calls Orlando home, she grew up all over the U.S. Aside from her obsession with YA books and book-related activities, Stephanie loves watching way too much television, reading organizational/DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.