Holidate by Monica Murphy
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Holidate, an all-new standalone contemporary holiday romance by New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.
Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area.
But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater.
When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist?
Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
A stand-alone, contemporary romance.
A cute from start to finish holiday romance with two "couldn't be more opposite" characters who are somehow perfect for each other. Candice is the type who throws her entire self into her charity and philanthropic work, but I couldn't figure if she did it because she truly loves it, or because she's trying to emulate her late mother. Either way, she thrives in that element and it's clear to see how well she does during the holiday events she's a part of. But she's also insecure when it comes to relationships; she's only had two and the last one seemed to have broken her spirit a bit, but she does strive to not let that deter her happiness.
Charlie seems to be a grumpy young man who only wants to work the family business, he has no patience nor desire to network with other business owners. Except his mom has decided he needs to be the new face of the family business. He reluctantly agrees, and the more time he's with Candice the more we see a slight change in Charlie's outlook. They really are cute together, Candice is able to get Charlie to smile more and be a bit more open when it comes to dealing with changes in routine.
The one thing I absolutely did not care for was the stunt Charlie's mom executed to get her way; her behavior was sketchy AF, although I did like how Candice pretty much put her in check once the truth was revealed. Overall though, I enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading more about the circle of friends we've met so far.
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He’s just so stinkin’ tall.
And he smells good.
Have I mentioned that? He smells like a pine tree, of course, and his scent is mouth-wateringly delicious.
I hate myself sometimes.
He pushes open the door of the building almost violently, sending it swinging wide, and I sneak in behind him, causing him to turn and practically snarl at me when he realizes I’m standing in front of him. But I forget all about his snarl when I see how enchanting this room is. It’s not an office, but an actual store, filled to the brim with holiday decorations and knickknacks for sale. Candles are burning—I can smell cinnamon and spice wafting in the air. The scent of the real pine trees laden with ornaments standing in the room also lingers, and I breathe deep, closing my eyes for a moment so I can take it all in.
When I open my eyes, it’s to find Charlie standing there, his hands on his hips, his brow lowered. “Are you okay? That head injury still flaring up and giving you trouble?”
I roll my eyes. “No, you idiot. I’m enjoying the festive atmosphere.”
Oh, that was mean. I shouldn’t have said that. But I don’t think he even noticed. I slowly turn in a circle, pure delight flowing through my veins. I don’t know what to look at first, it’s all so beautiful. And there are layers upon layers of decorations. On the walls, cluttering shelves and tabletops, overflowing giant baskets. And of course there are the trees. They almost sag with their bounty of sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights. It would probably take me hours to explore it all, and I’m dying to start my exploration right at this very moment.
“This store is so adorable!”
“My sister Victoria runs it.” He glances over at the counter where the register sits, but no one’s there. “I don’t know where she’s at, though. Maybe you could talk to her about—whatever it is you want to talk about.” No way is he pushing this agenda onto his sister.
Isabel wants Charlie to do this, and no one else. “We’ve wasted the past five minutes with you huffing and puffing and refusing to speak to me.” I reach into my large bag and pull the folder out I wanted to show him. “Give me ten minutes. That’s all I need to talk about what we’re going to do over the next few weeks.”
He grimaces. Sighs. Tugs the cap off his head, all that gorgeous hair spilling across his forehead, and my fingers literally itch at the chance to push it out of his eyes.
But I restrain myself.
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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