To say that Candice Gaines loves Christmas would be an understatement. She lives it, she breathes it, and she helps bring it to life in her local area. She donates much of her time and money to the various charities. Charlie Sullivan on the other hand is not such a fan of Christmas. Sure, his family sells Christmas trees, and their Christmas tree farm is the main provider of trees in their area, but he just feels it’s all too much and commercialized. He prefers to stay behind the scenes running the tree farms. However, his mother has a different idea. She wants her oldest child to be the face of Sullivan Family Christmas Trees, and she seeks out Candice to help. As Candice and Charlie spend more time together, can Candice show Charlie that Christmas cheer is better than being the Grinch? Or will Charlie stay set in his ways?
This was a fun and quick book to read. Christmas is one of my all-time favorite seasons, so I loved getting to see that aspect throughout the book! I also really enjoyed watching Candice and Charlie interact, and how they really complimented each other. They are the true definition of opposites attract, and it worked for them. I didn’t feel like any parts of their interactions were forced, and I feel like Monica Murphy just made everything come together so nicely and organically. Sometimes when reading opposites attract books, I feel like certain situations are forced between the two characters, but not this time. Monica did a great job of giving us a feel-good holiday story!
“Absolute Christmas magic. If Hallmark doesn’t make this movie I may go on Christmas movie strike!” #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
Holidate, an all-new standalone contemporary holiday romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is LIVE!
Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area.
Charlie Sullivan despises Christmas. Though it keeps his family afloat, considering they own Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm, the main provider for Christmas trees on the Monterey peninsula. He’d much rather work among the trees versus have to deal with people.
But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater.
When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist?
Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
A stand-alone, contemporary romance.
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I go chasing after Charlie, thankful he hasn’t hopped back on that ATV and torn out of here. He’s headed straight for the giant red building, and I follow behind, having to pick up my step since one of his long strides equals about three of mine. He’s just so stinkin’ tall.
And he smells good. Have I mentioned that? He smells like a pine tree, of course, and his scent is mouth-wateringly delicious.
Ugh. I hate myself sometimes.
He pushes open the door of the building almost violently, sending it swinging wide, and I sneak in behind him, causing him to turn and practically snarl at me when he realizes I’m standing in front of him.
But I forget all about his snarl when I see how enchanting this room is. It’s not an office, but an actual store, filled to the brim with holiday decorations and knickknacks for sale. Candles are burning—I can smell cinnamon and spice wafting in the air. The scent of the real pine trees laden with ornaments standing in the room also lingers, and I breathe deep, closing my eyes for a moment so I can take it all in.
When I open my eyes, it’s to find Charlie standing there, his hands on his hips, his brow lowered. “Are you okay? That head injury still flaring up and giving you trouble?”
I roll my eyes. “No, you idiot. I’m enjoying the festive atmosphere.”
Oh, that was mean. I shouldn’t have said that.
But I don’t think he even noticed.
I slowly turn in a circle, pure delight flowing through my veins. I don’t know what to look at first, it’s all so beautiful. And there are layers upon layers of decorations. On the walls, cluttering shelves and tabletops, overflowing giant baskets. And of course there are the trees. They almost sag with their bounty of sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights. It would probably take me hours to explore it all, and I’m dying to start my exploration right at this very moment. “This store is so adorable!”
“My sister Victoria runs it.” He glances over at the counter where the register sits, but no one’s there. “I don’t know where she’s at, though. Maybe you could talk to her about—whatever it is you want to talk about.”
No way is he pushing this agenda onto his sister. Isabel wants Charlie to do this, and no one else.
“We’ve wasted the past five minutes with you huffing and puffing and refusing to speak to me.” I reach into my large bag and pull the folder out I wanted to show him. “Give me ten minutes. That’s all I need to talk about what we’re going to do over the next few weeks.”
He grimaces. Sighs. Tugs the cap off his head, all that gorgeous hair spilling across his forehead, and my fingers literally itch at the chance to push it out of his eyes.
But I restrain myself.
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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