Disclaimer! I was given an ARC of this book by the author. That has in no way influenced my review.
Julie Tam’s sister Charlotte is an engineer and has an outgoing and charming boyfriend, the guy who lived next door when they were young. She is everything their parents could want. Meanwhile, Julie works as a waitress in a Cider Bar and designs her own jewelry. She goes on a blind date with Tom Yeung, which starts out badly and ends even worse. Tom is a pharmacist, wears a tie on a first date, doesn’t like eating tacos (because they’re messy) and is way too strait-laced and uptight for Julie. Nevertheless, the next time she talks to her mother on the phone, she tells a little white lie, which keeps getting bigger. Now her parents want her to invite her boyfriend Tom to come home with her at Christmas.
Tom is rather surprised when Julie contacts him again after their rather disastrous only date, and rather amused when she explains her dilemma. To her surprise, he accepts her proposal that he pose as her fake boyfriend over the holidays. Tom really likes Christmas and his parents are away, so he’d be spending it alone. Both of them are rather surprised when Julie’s parents announce that they can share a room (where there is not only the one bed but it’s a narrow twin at that).
While Tom and Julie didn’t exactly hit it off the first time they went out, they manage to pull off the fake dating charade rather well, making Julie’s parents very happy indeed. The couple even manages to combine Tom’s planning skills and precision and Julie’s artistic flair into sculpting an excellent gingerbread house, winning one of Julie’s parents’ strange Christmas competitions, fuelling the rivalry between Charlotte and Julie. After a few days in close confines, Julie no longer thinks Tom is all that annoying and is trying her very best to tease him until he loses his closely-held control. The results are rather spectacular, and soon Julie wishes that her fake arrangement was reality.
Full review here.