Review by Kayleigh

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God, the beautiful, horrible irony. My dirty dream girl showing up in Christmas Notch, Vermont, of all places, ready to spend the next two weeks wearing corsets in front of me (!!!), and instead of taking her out for drinks and then proposing marriage, I had to keep everything zipped up tight. And not even zipped up in a sexy Let’s pretend we’re in high school and do it over the pants kind of way, but in a My manager will fire me and I’ll have no money to take care of my family kind of way.

So I had to keep things professional and chaste.  

This is a spicy holiday read that is bold and entertaining. 

Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. With a huge following and two supportive moms, Bee couldn’t ask for more. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her to star in a Christmas movie he’s making for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction.

Forced to keep her work as Bianca under wraps, Bee quickly learns this is a task a lot easier said than done. Though it all becomes worthwhile when she discovers her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Nolan’s promised his bulldog manager to keep it zipped up on set, and he will if it means he’ll be able to provide a more stable living situation for his sister and mom.

But things heat up quickly in Christmas Notch, Vermont, when Nolan recognizes his new co-star from her ClosedDoors account (oh yeah, he’s a member). Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set, keeping their new relationship a secret from the Hope Channel’s execs. Things only get trickier when the reporter who torpedoed Nolan’s singing career comes snooping around—and takes an instant interest in mysterious newcomer Bee.

And if Bee and Nolan can’t keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor. 

This was a fun romp of a christmas movie about a porn star and a washed up boy band singer trying to relaunch careers as actors. There was a lot to like about this book written by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone. The plot premise was as absurd as I like my Christmas and holiday movies and books to be. You have to just kind of let go of reality and dive into this story. It won’t all make sense. That’s ok. 

Nolan is an ex boy band member who’s manager stole his money. He’s now back in his hometown working as a theatre tech to keep a roof over his head and support his mom and teenage sister. Nolan was the bad boy every girl loved but is ready to have a revamped image to match his real life and personality. Bee is a woman in control of her life: she’s a porn star and also has a very strong career on an “only fans” type account. She does not hide her porn star life but longs to also have an established career she can share with her gramma. Nolan and Bee are thrown together when her producer, who’s also trying to revamp his own career, needs a leading lady fast for a Hallmark channel type Christmas movie. But no one can know Bee is a porn star because it may affect the film shoot. Of course the minute Bee and Nolan meet there are sparks. It turns out Bee has had a thing for Nolan since she was a teenager thanks to his band, and Nolan is a super fan of Bee’s online, and recognizes her immediately because he’s seen A LOT of her from every angle for years. Their insta love is cute and gets very steamy very quickly (as I would expect a Sierra Simone book to be) but what I liked about their relationship besides the very hot scenes, was that Nolan and Bee had to admit to their previous lust of each other and work to ensure that they were actually having feelings for each other and not for the images they had built up about each other. It was very sexy and mature in my opinion for each of them to recognize this. 

Now, this book is long. My copy clocks in at 412 pages. There’s a lot of characters and a lot of plot points going on. I will admit I was confused frequently with all of the side stores and plots. There were some really interesting conversations regarding fatness, fatphobia and sex work with Bee and her group of friends, as well as mental health and family support with Nolan’s mother, as well as a varied representation of different sexuality and sexual relationships plus a side plot about grief that never really was resolved. I loved that there was some oomph and depth to the story line but it felt like there was too much. There were so many secondary plot points and characters, that I don’t feel like any one of them got a really great resolution. It felt like one or two of them could have been more thoughtfully discussed if there was less going on. 

How many side stories were going on, do you ask? I feel like the epilogue is setting up the story line for a sequel nicely, but who’s exactly I’m not sure. There were two or three secondary characters that could easily see their own story based on the ending of A Merry Little Meet Cute. My favourite character in the whole story, who helps wrap up the book, is Teddy: Bree’s porn producer, the producer of the new Hallmark-type movie, and parent to two delightful young adults. He was charming and sweet and quirky and I adored every moment he was on the page.

All in all A Merry Little Meet Cute is a delightful and spicy holiday read if you want to change up your Christmas books this season.