The Christmas Wager by Holly Cassidy

In Holly Cassidy’s The Christmas Wager, L.A. developer Bella is bound and determined to buy a struggling small-town Christmas shop, impress her boss, and get her long-awaited promotion. But the shop owner’s grandson, Jesse, isn’t letting it go without a fight (or at least a fair price).

With the town’s Christmas Olympics coming up, they strike a deal: If Bella wins, she gets the shop for a steal; If Jesse wins, she has to pay a huge premium. Game On!

I went back and forth on The Christmas Wager. On the plus side: fun game idea and plot, good writing, funny moments, lots of good characters, sweet family times, and of course a happily-ever-after. On the minus side: Bella took way too long to figure out her boss is a complete bi*** and continues pandering to her. Likewise, what the heck is Jesse doing with the Caroline thing? She sucks, he knows they shouldn’t be together, but keeps letting her in and stringing her along.

Still, this was a fun holiday book, nicely done with dual POV, and a great audio version.

Rating: 3.5
Steam: Closed door
Themes and Tropes: Holiday/Christmas, Enemies to Lovers, Small Town, City Girl/Rural Boy, Competition, Traditions, Belonging
Pair With: Colorado Wines, Warm Winter Wines