Review by Gabrielle

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“Noel laughed, watching Nick head into the living room, admiring the wide shoulders of his back. Yeah, alright, she could admit it. Her best friend was a bona fide hottie, which unnerved her a bit.

Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.

But then they kiss. And it feels…so right.

If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple-as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.

This one sounded like a classic Hallmark-esque read to me. I am happy to report it had a little more depth than I was expecting and is actually a little different than the book jacket describes. Told from alternating viewpoints from both Noel and Nick, we do get more detail and backstory for both characters that really help bolster the story.

Noel’s character is feisty and not always nice. She’s not interested in marriage or kids or even having a boyfriend. As we get to know her, we find out why she is so shut-off from romantic relationships. Losing both her parents unexpectedly in an accident, she is now afraid to let anyone close to her for fear of losing them too. Major content warning here, there is a lot of discussion of her parents so if this might be a trigger for you, skip this book. We do see a lot of growth in Noel’s character throughout the book but without losing her spunk and I was glad to see that choice from the author. I will say that there was perhaps too much of a focus on Noel’s background which maybe impacts how much page time we get about Nick.

Nick is a lovely book boyfriend. Handsome, kind and caring and musically talented, he has a lot to offer. Sure, he may be a little naïve but his heart is in the right place. I did think he was a little less developed as a character than Noel and I would have liked a little more depth in Nick. 

I loved the chemistry between Nick and Noel – so steamy! They play off each other so well and their banter is just great. I tend to like the friends to lovers trope for this reason. When two people know each other so well and then discover their feelings for each other, it is so fun to read! 

One of my favourite aspects of this book was all the music. I loved the playlists Nick and Noel made for each other and there is even a playlist at the end of the book!

All in all, this is a steamy holiday read with big heart. If that is what you are in the mood for, consider giving this one a spin.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.