This is a bit of a delayed Christmas romcom review, both due to the large hold list for it through the Twin Cities-area Libby library and because I utterly fell down on actually reviewing books for CBR 14.
Ellie Oliver is a failed animation artist turned webcomic writer and barista. She’s stuck in life and hung up on a one-day snowstorm fling she had over Christmas the year before so when Andrew Kim-Prescott, the landlord of the coffee shop she works at, asks him to marry him so he can gain access to his $2M inheritance in exchange for 10% of it, she agrees. Off they go to his family’s annual Christmas cabin getaway, only for her to fall in love with her fiancé’s sister instead.
This book reminds me of The Family Stone, only a lot more queer with a red herring fake relationship and a second chance romance thrown in for good measure. Main character goes home with her fiancé to his multi-day family Christmas gathering tradition and when it all shakes out, they’re both in relationships with other people.
Ellie can be a little bit frustrating, as someone who was laid off from their big dream job and decides to remain stagnant instead of pursuing a different path to her planned career or assessing if it’s really the path she should pursue at all can be. She’s also a bit empathetic because she grew up with an absentee father and a mother who might as well have been most of the time.
I mostly enjoyed this book but it did rely way too much on problems that could be solved if people actually talked to one another once in awhile which is often a frustration for me. We also got glimpses of the webcomic Ellie wrote documenting her one-day relationship from the year before, which I like as an idea but would have been better if an artist had actually been used to produce some of the webcomic. The extended Kim-Prescott family were complicated but mostly great characters that helped add to the enjoyability of reading this book.