Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family’s construction business. That might explain why she doesn’t have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn’t quite explain why she’s crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or – crazier still – why she’s dying to unwrap him like a present . . .
With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone, including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn’t stop. As Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he’s not an escort. He’s her family’s fiercest business rival. But all he wants for Christmas is her . . .
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I love a good frienemies story, especially one that takes place over Christmas and ends with a happily ever after. I was super excited for this book, and unfortunately it didn’t live up to the hype I gave it.
Cassie is working for the family business, but stuck in a job that she hates, not able to do the one thing in the company that would make her beyond happy. Instead, she is stuck behind a desk, running the company while her father is out after surgery. To make matters worse, a new man in town is undercutting their business and threatening their bottom line. To say the least, it doesn’t make Cassie a happy camper.
James loves the company he has built from the ground up, and when he meets Cassie in the most unconventional way, he is absolutely smitten with her. He falls – hard and fast for her, but is scared to tell her the truth about who he really is. Because he knows, once Cassie realizes he is her business rival, he is going to lose her, and despite his business being his baby, he realizes that someone to share it worth, is so much more than he ever expected.
I wanted to love this book. I thought it had a great premise, and would be the basis for a super cute story, but there was just something about the execution that didn’t work for me. The story was so “same ole-same ole” and didn’t really have anything new or special about it that stood out for me. Also, given the fact that the book spans about three days, the romance came across as very unrealistic and too fairytale like for me.
I will admit that I liked the characters overall. Both Cassie and James were characters that I could enjoy. Cassie was headstrong and a real shark when it came to the business she loved, and at the same time she was a family girl. She adored her brothers, her overbearing father, and her quirky aunt. She loved working in the family business and was a sexy sweet vixen. But, on the other hand, she was annoying perfect most of the time and I wanted her to have some real flaws, instead of just superficial fears.
Likewise, James walked onto the pages of the book as a single-minded businessman who would do anything and everything for his company. But as the story progressed, he became practically obsessed with Cassie, and after just a few short days was ready to profess his undying love for her. For someone who came across as so crafty and intelligent in the boardroom, his willingness to jump feet first into a relationship didn’t really seem to fit his character. But you know me, and I do respect a hero who knows what he wants and is willing to chase after it with everything he has.
Unfortunately, their romance was just too quick, and seemed to progress too rapidly for the developing feelings. With the secondary plot of Cassie’s assistant and brother finally getting together after years of dancing around each other, and the amount of page time spent on Cassie and her family, it seemed as if the romance really didn’t get as much page time as it should have – given the extent of their feelings for each other. I had a hard time believing in their romance, and for me, that really ruined the whole reading experience.
All in all I really wanted to enjoy this book – and while there were certainly some great aspects of it – I had a hard time getting into and liking this one overall. The rushed romance and too-perfect hero and heroine were too much for the quirky and loveable supporting cast to overcome. While I thought this book had some great potential, it really just didn’t live up to my expectations.
I give Hunk for the Holidays a C-