I always love an Aussie Christmas romance, so I jumped on Katie Montinaro’s new book Holly Jolly Christmas as soon as I spotted it on social media.
What is Katie Montinaro’s A Holly Jolly Christmas about?
Holly has one thing and one thing only to prove to her family – that she is a capable and organised adult, who can host the perfect Christmas day. The only problem is, Holly is neither of those two things. Disaster seems to follow Holly wherever she goes and this time, it’s in the shape of The Christmas Ruiner; a smug stranger who appears at the worst of times, taking the last of everything Holly needs to impress her family. Cue her best-friend Shawn; knight in shining amour and all-round Good Guy. Even though he’s made it perfectly clear that they are just friends, the lines between friends and something more are becoming blurred. The more time they spend together, the more Holly can’t ignore her feelings. Can Holly pull off the impossible to put on the perfect Christmas, and capture the heart of the man of her dreams?
My review of A Holly Jolly Christmas by Katie Montinaro
The back cover of Holly Jolly Christmas promises a feel-good Christmas romcom with friends to lovers and a happily ever after ending, and I think it hit on those so nicely! I loved the Aussie Christmas vibes – the weather, the shopping malls, the absurdity of the Northern Hemisphere traditions so many people her insist on persisting with (turkey and ugly sweaters anyone?).
The real star in this book for me was the cast, in particular (of course) Holly and her love interest Shawn, but also both their families and Holly’s nemesis The Christmas Ruiner. I thought everyone was fun and the mix of characters made for some really fun interactions. The development of the relationship as Holly and Shawn move from friends to more was really lovely.
I also really like the elements of the book about Holly’s mum and her social media empire and the exploration of some themes around this – like the fact that things in real life aren’t really the way that people present them on their social media, and that the most perfect looking situations are necessarily what makes people happiest.
Overall this is a really sweet and fun story – there were definitely bits that made me laugh and I was on Holly’s side from the start. It is a short one – 97 pages – but Montinaro fits a lot of feels into those pages, and I actually like a shorter Christmas story since we all tend to be busy this time of year – it’s nice to pick up something I know I’ll get through in just a couple of sittings.
Let me know if you’re planning to pick this up.
A Holly Jolly Christmas by Katie Montinaro
Source: I bought myself a copy of this one
Format: Paperback, 97 pages.
Category: Contemporary Aussie Christmas romcom