I am trying to be better about posting reviews even if I am just not in the mood. I sometimes will read a book that’s not that great, and I just don’t have the energy to post a review or rate it. So this year I am going to be better about posting reviews for everything I review even when not in the mood.
Okay back to this book. I did not enjoy it. The only reason why I gave this 2 stars (grudgingly she says) was that the plot with Louise saved the rest of this book. I haven’t read a Carole Matthews book since I think 2007/2008. I was in Iraq and found “With or Without You” at the library we had on base. I thought it be a fun read and I was just annoyed throughout that whole book. Since Kindle Unlimited has a ton of Matthews’s books free to download, I figured I just get one to see how it was. FYI, I am canceling my Kindle Unlimited subscription because it’s not worth it. I rarely find stuff that I like via Unlimited and $9.99 a month is way too much if you only find a book a month to read. Apologies, I keep going off into random asides. The rest of the characters were just awful (?) can I say that? Yes they were awful. It was like a slow moving train of terribleness that kept happening as I was reading. It also didn’t help that Matthews did not really wrap things up with the remaining characters outside of Louise. Calling this a Christmas romance was a stretch.
“The Christmas Party” follows Louise, who is a single mom and new hire at an international oil company. Louise’s boss keeps sexually harassing her and she worries about attending the firm’s Christmas party since she wants to keep her job, but also keep her distance from him. Louise’s boss, Tyler sucks. He wants to sleep with Louise, but also keep his wife Kristen happy since he sees her as the perfect trophy wife and doesn’t want to lose her. Kristen keeps trying to deal with Tyler’s affairs, but doesn’t want to leave the marriage and hopes they can get back to where they were when they were first married. Lance is Tyler’s boss and has an unpleasant announcement to make to the rest of the firm. And Lance’s wife Melissa, is panicked about having to leave Britain behind to follow Lance to his new assignment with the company in Washington D.C.
Yes, that’s a lot of people. FYI, the rest of the people in this story are not sympathetic to read about at all. I even ended up disliking Kristen after a while because her whole storyline was so dumb I lost brain cells. Melissa trying to flip the script and call herself a victim was laughable. Tyler was truly terrible. Lance was just sad..I don’t even know what else to say. The only real romance to me was Louise’s storyline.
The writing was not great. Just too many POVs I think. I got tired of following so many characters and then having to keep reading to figure out past actions on so many things. And honestly I hated Tyler, but Matthews needed to figure out that character. He either really loved Kristen or he didn’t. But going into what he did (past actions) doesn’t really work out to how much he wanted to be with her. Even a little bit. Tyler calling her a trophy wife didn’t even make sense.
The flow was awful. We follow events through Christmas Eve, the office party, and Christmas Day.
The main setting of the book was at the Christmas party. And way too many things were going on to keep straight.
The ending was a mess. The only real resolution you get is to Louise’s story. I am stunned (in a bad way) about Melissa’s plotline. Tyler and Kristen’s didn’t even make sense. And Lance (shaking my head). I felt like there could have been an additional 5-10 pages to wrap things up.