Book Cover
Rate this book
5 stars
68 (18%)
4 stars
180 (49%)
3 stars
96 (26%)
2 stars
17 (4%)
1 star
6 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 97 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
December 16, 2021
3.5 stars

This was definitely a cute fake dating Christmas romance. I will say, right off the bat, I wasn't a fan of how judgmental the heroine was. She was so rude to the hero on their blind date and judged him for EVERYTHING. But, she went home and told her parents she was dating him and months go by before she asks him to come home as her boyfriend for the holidays. He agrees and the book definitely got better. I loved how they faked being in a relationship with her parents and I really loved his character. The ending was adorable and it a Christmas novella I would recommend if you can get over the heroine's behavior in the beginning.
Profile Image for Agla.
587 reviews29 followers
March 13, 2023
I liked this one less than the previous one mostly because of the very short time frame and didn't leave room for actual feelings to develop in a deep way. There is the fake boyfriend trope (not my favorite) and opposites attract. They really are opposites but the transition from fake to real was a it abrupt. It's still a short fun read.
Profile Image for Paige.
924 reviews83 followers
July 1, 2021
4 stars.

A solidly adorable fake dating, home for the holidays, opposites attract, novella.

The revelations at the end — by both our couple and her parents — just come a bit too quickly.

Steam: 3/5🔥
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,486 reviews247 followers
December 6, 2020
This is a novella length holiday themed opposites attract romance and a lovely addition to the Cider Bar Sisters series. Julie saw her sister Charlotte find love with an old childhood friend (in His Grumpy Childhood Friend) and she doesn't want to go home without a date for Christmas. She goes on a blind date with Tom, which is disastrous, but Tom is exactly the kind of guy her parents would like. As a result, she makes contact with Tom again and asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend over the holidays. Since Tom has no plans for Christmas he accepts.

Suddenly all the things that Julie had found irritating about Tom on their date become quite endearing. He's charming and funny underneath a facade that she'd initially viewed as fussy and conservative and he willingly goes along with all of her parent's holiday plans (like participating in a gingerbread house contest against her sister like they're on a reality cooking show). Plus, his kisses are swoonworthy! Their mutual sexual attraction and the forced proximity (sharing the same room) results in some passionate sexy times. At the end of the holiday, Julie realizes that maybe Tom is in fact her perfect match. It's a fun and sexy romantic comedy with likable characters and a delightful happy ending. As always, Jackie Lau showcases food, family and friendship in unique ways leaving the reader smiling.

A copy of this story was provided by the author.
Profile Image for Norah Gibbons.
834 reviews8 followers
December 7, 2020
I received an ARC of this book to read through a review crew. All opinions are my own. Her Pretend Christmas Date is a delightful novella by Jackie Lau and is book 2.5 in the charming Cider Bar Sisters series. When Julie Tam’s roommate fixes her up on a blind date with Tom Yeung, it ends up being a disaster, and she expects never to see him again. However, Tom is exactly the type of guy her parents would love for her to be dating, so she tells them that he’s her boyfriend so that they stop criticizing her life choices, which works just fine until they want to meet him. Tom is surprised when Julie calls him and invites him to spend Christmas with her family because he too thought their date was a one-time thing, but with his parents heading out of town to look after his uncle, he has nowhere else to go for Christmas, and so he agrees to help Julie out by pretending to be her fake boyfriend. Engaging and funny this low angst, but the perfect amount of steam, there’s only one bed, opposites attract romance is the perfect Christmas story to curl up with on a cold evening, and as always, Jackie Lau’s food porn is the best bar none. Another thing I enjoyed most about this book is the theme of being loved for who you are and not who others want you to be. Steam Level: Medium. Publishing Date: December 8, 2020. #HerPretendChristmasDate #JackieLau #ContemporaryRomance #ChristmasRomance #FakeBoyfriend #OppositesAttract #ThereIsOnlyOneBed #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,127 reviews981 followers
December 11, 2020
Joyous Julie is aghast her blind date wears a tie and white shirt to the taco place they meet at for their date, won't eat street corn with her, and is worried everything is just too messy. The date is a bust. But, Tom was super cute, and he makes the perfect "fake boyfriend" to get her parents off her back during their phone calls. Until they invite both Julie and Tom home for Christmas.

When Julie calls, Tom cannot believe it. The date was a disaster! But also, her request is intriguing, and Tom would otherwise be home alone for Christmas. So they go, and Tom and Julie realize that opposites really can attract.

Super fun, I love a fake dating story. Tom definitely has fire hidden under his ties, and it was really fun to see him unravel for Julie. I also loved the gingerbread "suger rush" inspired baking challenge Julie's parents force them to do. Oh, there's only one twin bed!

Thank you to the author for the ARC
Profile Image for Christine.
845 reviews16 followers
December 7, 2020
Jackie Lau has perfected the soft, fluffy holiday romance: two adorable leads, plenty of food porn, zany interfering parents, and of course, just the one bed. I loved her Holidays With the Wongs series from last year, but Julie and Tom may be my new favorite couple of hers. So relaxing and sweet to watch two completely mismatched people fall for each other without even knowing it.

Julie and Tom were set up by her well-meaning roommate Bridget but their date was an awkward disaster. Somehow, life and parents interfered and Julie found herself inviting Tom to be her completely fake date to Christmas with her family. Totally illogical, but it totally worked. Not just because I love a soft, gentle holiday romance but also I am a complete fool for the uptight hero. When Julie complained about Tom's paisley ties, Bridget dubbed our boy "deliciously stern" and I'm here for it.

See the full review on my blog Lucky Reads Romance.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
417 reviews22 followers
December 13, 2021
Having a big project to work on means I'm listening to a lot of holiday cheer and I am here for all of it.

Julie is the disappointing daughter of the family - she isn't a doctor, isn't dating or married to a doctor and seems can never catch a break with her parents. When her match-maker friend sets her up on yet another blind date, she goes in grumpy and unimpressed. Tom is the complete opposite of her-a pharmacist who likes to read and wears a tie on a first date. Ugh. They agree they have nothing in common and part ways until Julie, desperate to have a Christmas with her family that doesn't revolve around her failures, tells them she has a boyfriend. To her utter surprise, Tom agrees to play along and goes home with her for three days.

Julie's attitude on the first date was so incredibly rude that this was almost a dnf for me but if you are here looking for guidance on if you should finish-I can say, hold on. It works. The fake dating, opposites attract tropes are fun; Julie's family throws in some unexpected shenanigans; and the chemistry is a little spicy. This one was pretty cute and my introduction to Jackie Lau's writing.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
814 reviews10 followers
December 15, 2020
Aside from initially thinking the FMC was rather rude, and bordering on cruel, I very much enjoyed this short work. Luckily, she soon revealed herself to be much nicer than that original impression revealed.

This is an example of how to do a holiday novella right. It had the perfect amount of interaction and conversation between the leads to progress their relationship from (not hate but) dislike to love. There was exactly the right amount of cute holiday activities - a gingerbread house building competition, snow angel creations turning to makeout sessions - and they served to build the relationship between the leads. There was the perfect amount of internal monologue to develop character.

Take note, mediocre In a Holidaze!
Profile Image for Shannon (That's So Poe).
1,022 reviews108 followers
August 14, 2022
This is a super cute opposites-attract holiday romance novella! I'm a sucker for holiday romances, and I think Jackie Lau does a great job of filling this with all kinds of holiday food and family time, while also tackling a couple of issues of family dynamics. Definitely a good read with a fun dynamic between the hero (very strait-laced) and the heroine (beats to her own drum).
Profile Image for Weekend Reader_.
801 reviews53 followers
December 4, 2022

For a second I was going to say how many more books are we going to get about parents pressuring their kids to be in relationships. However the family part of this book was so precious and I love it was resolved. So I stand to be corrected 🤭

CN: family pressure, comparison between siblings, self doubt, and dating anxiety
Profile Image for Debbie Mitchell.
295 reviews3 followers
May 6, 2023
This book is a perfect hilarious holiday romance!

Julie & Tom go on a hilariously bad blind date but Julie keeps up the ruse that she has a boyfriend to her family.

When Christmas roles around Julie asks Tom to pretend to be her boyfriend when she visits family and he agrees.

Notes: takes place in Toronto, Canada. Tom and Julie are both East Asian Canadians.
Profile Image for Caro.
289 reviews17 followers
December 29, 2021
Disclaimer: I was gifted this copy by the author.

This was a delight. Jackie Lau's There's Only One Bed Christmas romances have officially become a holiday tradition for me - this is the third year on a row I've read one.
Profile Image for Katy O. .
2,326 reviews723 followers
December 10, 2020
Cute holiday novella and I loved the family! The writing (especially steamy scenes) just didn’t work perfectly for me in this one though.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.7k reviews448 followers
January 31, 2022
I was a bit surprised that I liked this one as much as I did. Tom and Julie's first date was a disaster, both of them judging the other very harshly. It didn't help when Julie started to lie to her family about Tom. I was very surprised that Tom agreed to go along with the lie and the trip home. The parents were cute, I loved how they pitted the 2 couple against each other for some fun holiday games and how the sisters turned that around on the parents. It was nice to see both Tom and Julie start to see the other one different. Better was when Tom stood up for Julie against the parents. Best was Tom and Julie deciding their feelings were real and they would explore a real relationship.
Profile Image for Malin.
1,447 reviews77 followers
December 8, 2020
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.

This novella works fine as a standalone, but is also the third part in Jackie Lau's ongoing Cider Bar Sisters series. Charlotte's book, His Grumpy Childhood Friend, (where she reunites with her childhood bestie Mike) is the second book and came out about a month and a half ago. So if you were to start with this story and get curious about how Charlotte and Mike became a couple, that's the place to look. This isn't the first time Ms. Lau has written a holiday novella involving fake dating either. The third story in her Holidays with the Wong series had the hero bringing home a fake girlfriend for Chinese New Years to avoid his parents' failed attempts at matchmaking. As these are romances, I'm sure it comes as no surprise at all both the novellas end with the fake relationship becoming something real.

Writing a romance that takes place over a short space of time is always tricky, and I am not a fan of insta-love, but since Julie and Tom first meet quite a while before they actually spend Christmas together (on a blind date set up by Julie's best friend, who claims Julie and Tom are perfect for one another) and Julie spends a lot of time thinking of Tom (even if she makes up a heavily fictionalised version of him over the phone to her parents), it didn't feel that strange that their feelings developed quickly - especially if you think how intense family holidays can be.

I really liked Julie as a supporting character in Charlotte's book and was so happy when I discovered she was getting a story of her own. She's very different from her sister and really suffers because she feels she can never live up to her parents' unrealistic expectations. During their first date, Julie's very strong reaction against Tom is in part specifically because he's so very much the sort of man her parents would want her to end up with, and she rebels against that and keeps reacting to thinks she assumes he thinks about her, rather than to things as they actually are. When she has more time with Tom, she sees that she was rather quick to draw conclusions and he's not at all the stuffy killjoy she initially imagined.

Tom is one of those deliciously buttoned up and proper heroes who become all the more fun once they let loose a little and allow themselves to give in to passion. While this is just a novella, there are still some really steamy scenes once Tom and Julie see past each other's differences and give into the attraction between them.

Pretty much my only complaint with this novella is that I wish it had been a bit longer. I enjoyed reading about Julie and Tom together and would have liked more time with them on the page. I suppose I shall just have to wait impatiently for the next full book in the series instead. Her Pretend Christmas Date is on sale now, and a quick and satisfying holiday read.

Judging a book by its cover: This may be my favourite Jackie Lau cover so far. In fact, if I were to do some sort of rating involving the covers of the books I read this year, this could very well take top spot. I just love the cover model's incredibly grouchy facial expression, and the way he's glowering out at the reader, seeming very resentful about having to even exist. The best part is that Tom, the novella's hero really isn't very grumpy and grouchy at all, just a bit slow to loosen up and very fond of having things tidy and predictable. So it's not really even representative of the contents of the story, but I still love it.
Profile Image for Lauren loves llamas.
826 reviews64 followers
December 7, 2020
I love Jackie Lau’s books, especially her Christmas ones. And it’d be hard to beat this one, with its hilarious first-date-gone-wrong, opposites attract, fake dating, just-one-bed tropes – plus a dash of zany family antics, including a surprise gingerbread house competition. I had a big smile on my face the whole time reading this.

“And now you’re faking a relationship and inviting him home for Christmas.” Bridget giggled. “It’s perfect. You’re so going to fall in love.”
“The man wears paisley ties to first dates at taco restaurants, Bridget. Paisley ties.”

In the last Cider Bar Sisters book, Charlotte got her second chance romance with her childhood friend, and for this novella, we switch to her sister Julie. Now that her sister’s happily paired off, Julie feels even more like the misfit of the family. Her parents don’t approve of her job, but Julie loves waitressing at the cider bar and making jewelry in her spare time. Fed up with her parents’ criticism and comparisons to her sister, she makes up a boyfriend, and just happens to base it on her last disastrous date. Tom’s a pharmacist and the kind of guy who wears ties to a taco restaurant. In other words, exactly the kind of guy her parents would like, and a complete mismatch with Julie. But when her parents insist on Julie bringing her new boyfriend home for Christmas, she’s forced to come clean to Tom, and to her surprise, he agrees to pretend to be her date. But can two people who barely got along on one dinner date hold up the charade for a whole Christmas of family fun?

“They were two puzzle pieces that hadn’t fit together at first, but if you rotated them…
Ugh. Did that metaphor make any sense? Sometimes her brain didn’t function properly when she was touching him, but that was okay.”

I have a thing for meet-disasters, especially ones with bad first impressions (but seriously, Julie, mayo on corn?). Tom’s responsible and serious, while Julie’s, well, not. But Julie’s happy with her life and who she is, and she certainly doesn’t need to be judged by yet another person in her life. But as the trip – and its forced proximity just-one-bed-ness – progresses, Julie realizes that there’s more to Tom than his stern exterior and paisley ties, and Tom realizes that, quirky food choices aside, there’s place for a little creativity and loosening up in his life. It certainly helps that even during their disastrous first date they had sizzling chemistry! I liked that even after they started falling for each other, it wasn’t an immediate thing; it took time for them to understand the potential for a relationship between them.

“She and Tom were making the best damn gingerbread house that two people who’d never made a gingerbread house before could construct.”

The Tams are hilarious, and the gingerbread competition (inspired by Julie’s mom binging on too many cooking competition episodes) was the highlight of the book for me. It was the perfect way to show both Julie and Tom how well they worked together. I also liked seeing Charlotte and Mike again, especially once they had to compete against Julie and Tom. As for cons, the only thing is that I didn’t quite buy Tom’s reasons for going along with Julie’s charade (he loves Christmas and didn’t want to spend it by himself).

Overall, this is another great Christmas novella by Jackie Lau, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

I received an advance review copy of this book from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Nicole.
486 reviews11 followers
December 5, 2020
Jackie Lau has done it again, thrilling readers with romance and fun in “Her Pretend Christmas Date” - book 2.5 in the Cider Bar Sisters series, bringing us the story of Julie Tam, sister of Charlotte who we met in book 2, “His Grumpy Childhood Friend.” Julie gets a lot of grief from her family: they don’t approve of her job or her lack of boyfriend; she is constantly compared to her older sister Charlotte. I think they mean well, they want the best for her or what they think is best for her, but to Julie the criticism is getting to be a bit much … which leads her lie about having a boyfriend, a boyfriend who her parents now insist come home to meet them for Christmas.

One date with Tom Yeung is enough for Julie to know that he isn’t the man for her. He wears a shirt and tie, doesn’t like tacos OR mayo. Really who is this guy? But he is her parent’s idea of the perfect man so Julie invents a relationship, with Tom in the starring role, just to get her parents off her back. But when Julie lets straightlaced Tom in on the secret and asks him to help her out by pretending to be her boyfriend over Christmas, well, how can Tom (who would otherwise spend the holiday alone) say no to that offer.

How in the world is Julie going to handle an entire holiday with the anthesis of what she wants in a man, especially when they have to same room! But spending all that time together, seeing a different side to Tom than Julie expected … sparks begin to fly and this relationship might become more fact than fiction.

This was a wonderful Christmas novella; it was funny and sweet, filled with classic holiday moments like making gingerbread houses, skating and snow angels. I had no idea snow angels could be that sexy!

I simply could not put this down. If you’re into Hallmark movies or simply want a fantastic book to curl up with next to the tree as you sip your mulled wine, you absolutely cannot go wrong with “Her Pretend Christmas Date.” It will definitely put you in the Christmas mood!
Profile Image for Becky.
3,060 reviews124 followers
December 15, 2020
Her Pretend Christmas Date was so much fun to read! I loved Julie and Tom's romance--from their disastrous first date to the epilogue, it was a crazy but somehow still romantic ride. At first glance, it seems that the two of them could not possibly work--he wears a tie to a first date at a taco place! She eats everything bagels with cheddar cheese and peanut butter!--but it turns out that together they help to fill in all the awkward spaces in each other. Who knew that Tom had a hidden craving for a little chaos in his life? Or that Julie would come to find his neckties endearing? (Not to mention fun to take off... ;))

Their story is a novella, the perfect length to squeeze into a busy weekend. Since the bulk of the story takes place at Julie's childhood home (there's only one bed! Or should I say there's only one sleeping bag? ;)) and both Julie and her sister are there for the holiday with their respective boyfriends (boyfriend, fake boyfriend...potayto, potahto) I really recommend reading this one after Charlotte's story ( His Grumpy Childhood Friend ) so that you fully understand the family dynamics on display here. You *could* read this as a standalone, but you'll enjoy it even more if you've seen things from both sisters' points of view.

(Is it wrong that one of my favorite parts of the whole story is that they actually ate and enjoyed their gingerbread houses? No slowly petrifying food sculptures for these characters, and I am here for it! And I'm also a little hungry now, honestly...)

I'm counting the days until the next Cider Bar Sisters book comes out!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Viper Spaulding.
2,932 reviews21 followers
December 7, 2020
I adored this sweet, sexy romance!

Julie and Tom have a perfectly disastrous first date, after which they both agree not to pursue a second. But then Julie is put on the spot by her inquisitive and slightly-pushy parents, so she claims Tom is her boyfriend, believing they'd never need to meet him.

I loved the way the author gently presented Julie's dilemma, how she was getting just enough positive response from her parents that it was difficult for her to "break up" with Tom to them, which (of course) results in her needing to convince him to participate in the pretense and join her family for the holidays. Tom is only interested in not spending the holidays alone as his own parents will be elsewhere this year, so with some trepidation, he agrees.

The beauty of this romance is in the way the author shows that even though Tom and Julie are exact opposites in temperament and interests, they have quite a lot of shared, common values which, along with a healthy dose of respect, establishes an unbreakable foundation for a legendary love story. Tom may not be who Julie was looking for, but he's exactly who she needs and I was enthralled with watching her growing realization of this.

One of the things I really enjoy about this author's characters is that they are very down-to-earth and relatable. All her characters feel like new best friends, people that you feel you've known for years and they must be real because they've taken up residence in your heart.

After getting to know Julie's sister, Charlotte, in the previous book, it was especially nice to get to know their entire family in this delightful, humorous story. In a perfect world, we'd all get to spend the holidays with the Tam family. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
627 reviews15 followers
December 24, 2020
Julie Tam had a disastrous first date with Tom Yeung, but he’s the exact type of man her parents would approve of as a boyfriend. Living in the shadow of her older sister Charlotte, she used him as a fake boyfriend during phone calls. Now that it’s Christmas, she needs him to pretend to be her boyfriend. At first, she was dreading the time together, but learns more and more about him, and really enjoys his company.

Fake dating tropes can be such fun to read about as long as the secondhand embarrassment factor is low. Julie is fairly judgmental on their first date, and Tom’s attention to detail and serious nature are a complete turnoff for her chaotic nature. Still, he doesn’t want to be alone for Christmas and doesn’t back out of promises, even when he feels awkward. Definite points in his favor before they even get to the Tam household. He’s methodical and schedule oriented, not as stuffy as Julie had assumed. She’s still a roiling ball of chaos, though he starts to appreciate some of that. The two notice each other while in close contact, especially with her mother’s holiday challenges, which is part of the fun with this trope.

The real beauty of the relationship as it develops is that they learn how to appreciate the differences in each other now that they have time to actually talk with each other and see those traits in action. A lot of the discomfort they had with each other is due to misconceptions and reacting based on those misconceptions, a good lesson to learn for Real Life. Once Julie and Tom have a more open mind, they’re able to see each other as who they really are, not as who they think the person is. That’s when they really form the connection that they build from. This is a cute addition to the Cider Bar Sisters series, and a fun book to read.
Profile Image for Isabeau Delaunay.
262 reviews4 followers
November 9, 2021
Somehow I missed reviewing this when I first read it, so this is a real test, isn't it, of what I remember? Maybe it's because I just reviewed it, but this one has real similarities to A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas, another Jackie Lau novella featuring another grumpy guy + free-spirited woman pair-up during Christmastime with a just-one-bed scene. This one adds the fake relationship element and instead of people who know each other, Julie and Tom are new.

This is an overall more difficult setup, but you can't say it isn't creative. Julie and Tom go on a terrible first blind date and that should be that, but Julie is so desperate to bring someone "suitable" home for the holidays and Tom fits the bill, she asks him to play along. Even more amazing, he agrees - which Lau has down to the fact that I guess Tom is just taken in by Julie's whimsical approach?

This story, like the Wong series of novellas, leans hard on Julie's family members and holiday activities to push the two together. Whether or not you believe this would work is down to how well you think Lau is selling Julie and Tom's innate attraction to each other. Which honestly, she does pretty well, imo.

On the whole, I think I prefer Lau's other Christmas novella, but I read this one first and I did like it. I would recommend it to readers looking for that "opposites attract" / "new relationship energy" vibe in a holiday romance.
Profile Image for Courtney.
2,604 reviews7 followers
December 6, 2020
I received an ARC from the author as part of a review crew in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Her Pretend Christmas Date is both a stand-alone novella addition to her current Cider Bar Sisters series and her third Christmas novella. And once again, on both counts and as a story in its own right, it’s a lovely treat. There’s the sweet, cozy feel of the season and a hot romance building in the midst of it.

The food porn is a staple of Lau’s work, and this one is no different. My mouth definitely watered at the descriptions of the delicious sounding fusion cuisine.

And fake relationships can be hit-or-miss for me, but I liked the development of Charlotte and Tom’s relationship, especially since they don’t start off by hitting it off like gangbusters when they’re set up. But her realizing he’s the type her parents would like and deciding she’s willing to put up with him to measure up to her perfect sister was so relatable, and I liked seeing that transition from the relationship being transactional to being something more.

This was a lot of fun, a sweet yet sexy holiday read that is a wonderful continuation to Lau’s annual tradition. If you love contemporary Christmas romances and are looking for something shorter to curl up with, you’ll enjoy this one.
Profile Image for Megan.
1,085 reviews66 followers
December 3, 2020
It's the third year of a joyous literary holiday tradition: Jackie Lau publishes a romance novella featuring Christmas and the only-one-bed trope!

This time, little sister, jewelry-maker, and cider bar waitress Julie Tam brings home a fake boyfriend for her family Christmas. She and uptight pharmacist Tom Yeung went on one very bad blind date together, and while they were both relieved to go their separate ways afterward, Julie ends up enlisting Tom into pretending to be her boyfriend on her Christmas trip home. After all, he has all the traits of the sort of person her parents want her to end up with: responsible, serious, utterly incompatible with who Julie is. But in spending more time together and getting to know each other beyond their initial judgmental perceptions, the two of them start falling for each other for real.

This was warm-hearted and enjoyable. There's some good fun going on--Julie's mother, having binged on Sugar Rush, decides to orchestrate a gingerbread-house competition--but what I liked best were the small steps Julie took toward knowing, accepting, and appreciating Tom, and how that went a long way for her to doing those same things for herself.

FTC Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book.
Profile Image for Smut Report.
1,129 reviews141 followers
September 15, 2021
Heat Factor: There’s only one (twin) bed!

Character Chemistry: I, like Julie, would very much like to be the one person who gets to see the uptight man with his tie off and his top button unbuttoned. Oh la la!

Plot: Younger sister with irregular job feels like a disappointment to her parents and lies to them about a man with whom she had a terrible date but whom they would love. So she ends up inviting him to Christmas, of course!

Overall: Well now I want to have a romantic ice skating date and a baking competition

Read our full review at The Smut Report

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Profile Image for Melisa.
489 reviews54 followers
December 8, 2020
This adorable novella from Jackie Lau features an opposites-attract couple, faking dating, delightful holiday antics and even a gingerbread house making contest! Julie and Tom are set up on a blind date where it is clear they are complete opposites. They go their separate ways but Julie realizes that Tom is the perfect boyfriend that her parents’ want for her. To get her parents off her back, she tells them about Tom and pretends he’s her boyfriend. To her surprise, he agrees to the charade and to spend Christmas with her family. I loved the contrast between Tom and Julie and how what initially put them off each other becomes adorable as they grow closer. It was interesting to read a story where the attraction isn’t a first sight but grows the more they get to know each other. I don’t read a lot of holiday romances but this one definitely put me in the Christmas spirit and I greatly enjoyed it!

*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 97 reviews