Review by Veronica

I feel his breath in warm puffs on my cheeks. I really do need to take Jamilah up on her offer to set me up with one of her hot, single, civic-minded social worker friends when I get back to Columbus. Because this is ridiculous. I can’t be filled with lust when some random man grabs me by the shoulders in a snowstorm like he’s the lead in a romance-action thriller or something.

Get ready for some fabulous festive fun! 

Laurel Grant works as the social media manager for Buckeye State of Mind, an Ohio tourism magazine and website. She is most definitely not an owner of a farm…but one tiny misunderstanding leads her boss, Gilbert, to think she owns her twin sister Holly’s farm just outside of Columbus. Laurel only handles the social media for the farm, but she’s happy to keep her little white lie going if it means not getting fired.

And keep it going she must when Gilbert, recently dumped by his wife, invites himself over for the farm’s big holiday dinner (as advertised on Meadow Rise Farm’s Instagram, thanks to Laurel herself). Laurel immediately goes into panic mode to figure out how she can trick Gilbert into thinking she’s basically the Martha Stewart of rural Ohio and keep her job in the process.

Laurel and Holly come up with a plan–all Laurel has to do is pretend to own the farm for one dinner. But when Laurel shows up at the farm, an unwelcome guest is there: Max Beckett, her nemesis since Holly’s wedding. The annoyingly attractive man she hates will be posing as Laurel’s husband just for the evening, but when a snowstorm traps them all for the entire weekend, Laurel is going to have to figure out how to survive with her job and dignity intact. Whatever the case, this promises to be the most eventful Christmas in ages… 

Faking Christmas had me smiling right from the first chapter, and I didn’t stop smiling until I was done with the last page. I started this book right before bed, which was a big mistake because I stayed up way too late reading—sitting back and enjoying this story unfolding before my eyes was so easy. As you can see, I really loved this book. It’s not too surprising because I adore Kerry’s other books. What I love so much about this book is its fun, charming, romantic, and a bit wacky. It’s light and fluffy with just the right amount of depth. Now, I have to say that this is one of those rom-coms where you have to suspend your disbelief. There are many things in this book that just wouldn’t work or wouldn’t make sense in our ordinary, everyday world. If you like rom-coms to be more realistic, this book might not be for you. But if you are like me and love a story that is a bit quirky and filled with wild, wack-a-doodle characters, then you will love this book. 

Laurel is a hoot. She has this wonderful, chaotic, bright energy that I could not help but fall in love with. I love a character that just loves life and is, well… chaotic. This is because I know there will never be a dull moment with them. I never can guess what they will say or do, which makes for such an entertaining reading experience. In this book, Laurel’s ex-boyfriends described her as this “hot mess” or “too much.” This pushes Laurel to try and be a more responsible adult and to contain her chaotic energy. As you can imagine, this doesn’t go smoothly for Laurel. I have to applaud Kerry because she created this ecosystem of people around Laurel who love her for who she is. Her family and close friends embrace and adore Laurel and never push her to change. Laurel’s growth in this book is accepting who she is and that she doesn’t need to be a boring adult to be deemed a success in life. 

Max is adorably broody. His character really surprised me. He has some pretty fabulous layers going on, and I enjoyed peeling back those layers to learn more about this man. He isn’t a typical broody, grumpy male MC. He is so shy and a bit of a nerd. You can also clearly see that he is smitten with Laurel but has difficulty communicating his feelings for her. 

This is an enemies to lovers, fake marriage, one bed, and snowed-in love story. To say that Laurel and Max don’t get along would be a bit of an understatement. These two bicker a lot in this book. Laurel thinks Max doesn’t like her or her family, and she overheard him saying something awful about her sister, which made him public enemy number one in her eyes. I don’t say this too often about a female MC, but Laurel was a bit of a bitch to Max throughout this book. She didn’t give this poor guy a chance and often just jumped to the worst conclusion about anything he did. I wish her dislike for Max was toned down a bit. Max is overwhelmed by Laurel at first. When they first met (years before this book takes place), he wasn’t in the greatest headspace, which caused him to be a bit of an asshole to Laurel. There is a Pride and Prejudice vibe between these two, which I loved. There are a lot of miscommunications and misassumptions between Laurel and Max, which creates a lot of conflict between these two. This is a clean rom-com; there is no sex in this book, which I prefer when it comes to my Christmas romances. 

Faking Christmas is a laugh-out-loud Christmas rom-com I will read every holiday season.  

Thank you, Berkeley Publishing, for the arc in exchange for an honest review.