Faking Christmas is a delightful, heartwarming, entertaining, and fluffy Christmas romance with hate-to-love and fake marriage tropes.
Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey
Publication Date :
September 26, 2023
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date : October 9, 2023
Genre : Romcom / Holiday Romance
Pages : 286
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links.
Other Books I read by the Same Author –
Laurel Grant is playing house for the holidays–complete with a fake husband and kids–in this delightful, cozy rom-com by Kerry Winfrey.
Laurel Grant works as the social media manager for Buckeye State of Mind, an Ohio tourism magazine and website. She is most definitely not an owner of a farm…but one tiny misunderstanding leads her boss, Gilbert, to think she owns her twin sister Holly’s farm just outside of Columbus. Laurel only handles the social media for the farm, but she’s happy to keep her little white lie going if it means not getting fired.
And keep it going she must when Gilbert, recently dumped by his wife, invites himself over for the farm’s big holiday dinner (as advertised on Meadow Rise Farm’s Instagram, thanks to Laurel herself). Laurel immediately goes into panic mode to figure out how she can trick Gilbert into thinking she’s basically the Martha Stewart of rural Ohio and keep her job in the process.
Laurel and Holly come up with a plan–all Laurel has to do is pretend to own the farm for one dinner. But when Laurel shows up at the farm, an unwelcome guest is there: Max Beckett, her nemesis since Holly’s wedding. The annoyingly attractive man she hates will be posing as Laurel’s husband just for the evening, but when a snowstorm traps them all for the entire weekend, Laurel is going to have to figure out how to survive with her job and dignity intact. Whatever the case, this promises to be the most eventful Christmas in ages…
Review of Faking Christmas
Faking Christmas is a delightful and feel-good holiday romance that follows Laurel who works as the social media manager for the magazine ‘Buckeye State of Mind’. She loves her new job and her boss, Gilbert is kind and appreciates her that never happened before to her. But she unintentionally misled him when she landed the job.
Gilbert thinks she owns the farm ‘Meadow Rise Farm’, knows how to care for goats, and cook delicious food but in reality that is all her twin sister, Holly. Laurel thinks this little lie wouldn’t hurt anyone but when Gilbert’s wife dumps him and he invites himself to celebrate Christmas eve eve (she wrote about in the column) at Meadow Rise Farm.
Laurel and Holly come up with a plan that would work as long as Laurel can pretend to be married to Max Beckett whom she hates since Holly’s wedding. But Laurel isn’t called ‘Hot Mess Express’ for nothing. It was interesting to see where all pretending and deception will lead her mess train this Christmas.
I have read other books by the author and like all those books, the plot and writing of Faking Christmas is entertaining, fast-paced, and heartwarming. It makes you want to snuggle under the warm blanket and dive right into the Christmas spirit.
Laurel’s voice is lovely and refreshing. She is fun, lively, full of spirit, and adventurous. It felt so wrong when everyone thought she is too much, can’t do anything right or perfect, messes things to the point you can’t rely on her. Between sisters, it’s Holly who is perfect, responsible, and one can be relied on for anything.
It was both amusing and sad that she started reading and following advice in nonfiction/self-help books that made her feel like ‘a new Laurel’, ‘a changed and more organized Laurel’. Of course, that didn’t work in the end as expected and things got a lot messed up near the end but I don’t think it’s her nature or personality, it was more her luck or situation thing.
I loved how she realized she is not a mess, not everyone sees her that way, no one can be all perfect, even Holly has her imperfections, and could see the positive side like Max did. Her love for everything Christmas is infectious.
Max is fun-hating and joy-hating grumpy guy who said something wrong at Holly’s wedding that made him Laurel’s nemesis. She calls him “Can’t relax Max” as he didn’t like participating in any activities organized by Laurel in Holly and Darius’ bachelorette and bachelor party and he doesn’t like Christmas which makes him even more unlikable to Laurel.
As the story progresses, we and Laurel see he isn’t the same guy he was at Holly’s wedding. He loves Holly and her kids, helps her on farm, he is more fun and caring, and is ready to be Laurel’s pretend husband and help her make their fake marriage believable.
When the reason behind what he said at the wedding was revealed, I wanted to hug him. It was sad his childhood was bad and how lonely he was. I loved how this pretend marriage at Holly’s house made him feel he belonged with the Grant family.
I loved Holly, Darius and their kids. I always enjoy a good sisterly bond between twins and Holly and Laurel’s relationship is just the way I like. It was great to see how Holly supported Laurel and even was a good sport when things went awry. Their love for each other was just fabulous. Gilbert is amusing.
Romance is cute and lovely with all my favorite tropes – fake marriage, enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine. The chemistry between Max and Laurel is good. I wouldn’t say this was a pure romance book. It was on the light side as the story mainly focused on family, tradition, Christmas, and Laurel. If you’re fine with that you will love the book but if you want a romance-focused book you will be slightly disappointed.
There are many fun, hilarious, and lovely moments. I absolutely loved Laurel’s Christmas songs and movies list. That Vocab lesson and goat milking moment is my favorite and also the burnt Christmas tree part.
Climax is fun and as expected Laurel is caught in her lie. I felt bad for her but loved the way Max made her feel better. The end is uplifting and joyful. It was amazing to see how Laurel’s fake Christmas turned into a real and genuine Christmas. I enjoyed the epilogue with a glimpse of another Christmas together.
Overall, Faking Christmas is a delightful, heartwarming, entertaining, and fluffy Christmas romance with hate-to-love and fake marriage tropes.
I recommend this book if you like,
He hates Christmas/She loves Christmas
One Bed/forced proximity
Strong Twin bond
More focus on family and Christmas tradition
Theme of belongingness and seeing the positive aspects
Get Faking Christmas Here
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Just in case you missed,,,,
- Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert
- Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green – delightful chick-lit
- Mad Sisters of Esi by Tashan Mehta – complicated and confusing sci-fi
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