R. Holms & Veronica Eden
November 10, 2020
Two inns, one town, and there’s not enough room for the both of them. Add in a reindeer-ish donkey, a Christmas competition, and a rivalry to end all rivalries and you’re bound to end up in disaster, right?
Finn Mayberry has enough on his plate trying to keep his Grandparents inn afloat. The last thing he needed was some California state of mind starlet bulldozing into his town and throwing up a five-star resort right next to his family’s inn. But, now she’s here and he can’t get her out of his town or his head.
Freya Anderson took one look at the snowcapped mountains of Hollyridge and fell in love. She’s finally here and ready to take on the task of proving to her father that she can handle running Alpine. She never expected to make enemies with the sinfully delicious lumberjack of a man who runs the inn next door. He’s moody, impossible and completely off limits.
There can only be one winner, but you know what they say. All is fair in love and… Jingle Wars?
Just FYI, if you’re not a fan of dirty sex talk, probably stop reading now.
This book was all over bookstagram, and given how many great reviews I saw for it, I was excited to give it a try. It seemed like a light and fun, quick and steamy read, a perfect distraction from life. At first, I was smitten. The Jingle Wars competition is a cute foil for the two main characters, and I always love a good enemies to lovers story.
But I started getting annoyed around the halfway mark, about when the relationship between Freya and Finn gets sexual. The descriptions of these characters are straight from a lazy porno, which isn’t the end of the world, but still—not impressive. Finn is 6′ plus, a gorgeous and charming man-whore who shuts down at the hint of conflict. Freya is five foot nothing with huge boobs, a tiny waist, a big butt, and pouty lips. She wears fake eyelashes and four-inch heels in snow.
I was okay with all of it…until the sex. Because now the book starts hitting some bigger issues but stays just as lazy. It bugged me how Finn describes Freya as perfect—like over and over and over again. Her “perfect tits,” her “perfect ass,” her “perfect tight pussy.” Nobody is perfect, and it’s not hot to think you’re having sex with perfection. It’s sad. And a little juvenile.
Moreover, the characters only seem to see the good in each other once the physical relationship starts. He’s the lumberjack with a hard exterior but a heart of gold. She’s the ditzy princess who, despite her perfectly manicured and gorgeous bod, has *sniff* suffered so deeply from her father’s rejection. Now she enjoys baking in the kitchen and spreading her unending warmth to all—that is, when she’s not kicking ass in the board room and taking charge of a hotel empire. I noticed myself audibly sighing and rolling my eyes every other paragraph by this point.
I’ll also mention how irritated it made me that Finn and Freya were totally okay having unprotected sex. The first half of the book talks about how Finn has sex with anything that walks, and yet when the time comes for the two of them to bone and neither one of them has a condom, Freya insists that she’s clean and has an IUD. Oh, so it’s okay then, cool. Wtf?
So, yeah. Definitely not impressed with this book. I don’t mind a little steam, but good grief, at least give your female characters the power they deserve, you know? And stop reinforcing sad stereotypes and expectations for who and what women are supposed to be. I’m over it.