Title: Cold Feet at Christmas
Author: Debbie Johnson
Release Date: November 6
Source: HarperImpulse/HarperCollins UK on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
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Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun!
A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony!
Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!
And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas… (Source: Goodreads)
Leah Harvey runs away from her own wedding after she catches her husband-to-be cheating. She comes across Rob in his secluded cottage. They spend the holidays having lots of sex. For some reason he takes her home to America and then they ruin each other lives by pretending to not want each other. Does that sound at all like the book you were promised in the description from Goodreads? Because it’s not.
I did not enjoy this book at all, to be honest I enjoyed maybe the first chapter. There are so so so many reasons I couldn’t even enjoy this book at all. I think they might be a little hard to put into words because there’s so much to say and I am still, even after finishing this book, just beyond exasperated, frustrated, and confused. I am basically at my wits end with this one, because I just…cannot comprehend how or why this book exists. I’m sorry, that’s mean, but I am just beyond words here.
Characters? Not a single character stands out. All of the characters are basically the same. Perfect, wealthy, amazing bodies, fantastic sex, they all talk and act the same way. There isn’t any properly developed voice in this book. Every voice is identical. Leah and Rob have identical backstories, which is meant to bring them together but only serves to make them seem even more annoying identical. I found them annoying, and paired with an equally drawn out, repetitive, and annoying plot I was just struggling every moment of this book.
The plot, as I’ve said, was drawn out, repetitive, and annoying. The plot description I read before requesting this book sounded sweet, and festive. I was excited to read it. I thought this will be a lovely holiday read. Not at all. After one chapter of cute, sweet, holiday reading there is cliched and obnoxious sexually writing. Not good stuff either, just bad, bad, cheesy porn writing. It was unnecessary and really halted plot and character development. Then the plot takes a series of confusing turns. They run off to America, a bunch of random unnecessary stuff happens. Through most of the book I shook my head with disbelief and confusion. The lack of character development means the plot doesn’t make sense. no one has any motivation to do anything.
Then the writing. As I’ve said its very cliched. Every line is just an overused “romance” line that you would predict should be in a romance novel. I don’t mean good romance novels, but the stuff that’s used as fuel for jokes about romance writing. It was bad. It was cheesy and dumb largely. I mean, people make fun of fanfiction (smut and non-smut) and romance novels pretty equally I’d say. Both are credited as poorly written fantasy. I can say that fanfiction and romance novels can be well-written. This book was like poorly written fanfiction, the kind that shouldn’t be published. There is a lot of thinly veiled sexism against women, relying on the kind of awful stereotypes that pop up a lot in cheesy and harmful pornography. Then there’s a sex scene so on the edge of unconsenting the author has to explicitly state, after the fact, that it was consented. Which is just uncomfortable for everyone and awful. On top of that it was poorly researched. American characters use British slang, that American readers wouldn’t recognize or would easily confuse. Then, a major plot point hinges on Thanksgiving, it’s an important date in the book. One the author clearly didn’t know. SPOILER: The main character winds up pregnant for something like 11 months because the author clearly doesn’t realize that Thanksgiving is in late November in America.
I am just beyond frustrated with this book, in case that didn’t show in my very angry, very rude review. I have probably missed a kind of other important stuff, but I think what I’ve said is already enough for you to know why I do not recommend this book at all. In fact I recommend that you avoid this book at all costs.