Author: Talia Hibbert
William Reid is nothing special, except for his billion-dollar acting career and his, you know, face. (Apparently, it’s a good one.) Winning ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ was nice, but this Christmas, he has more important goals in mind… like finally winning over his best friend’s little sister, the super-smart and kinda-scary Abbie Farrell.
When a blizzard leaves Will and Abbie alone at Grandma Farrell’s house (if bunking with 27 pets counts as ‘alone’), it’s the perfect opportunity to pull off a Christmas miracle. Convincing clever, frosty Abbie to give Will a chance will take more than mistletoe, but hiding his lifelong crush on her is no longer an option.
This novel reminded me of the heart-warming friends-to-lovers story who one or both think this love is unrequited that I read in the novel In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren earlier this year. It’s one of my top romance troupes that never get tiring. Talia Hibbert managed to give a classic story with a new twist with great characters that you get to know fairly well considering this is a novella and not a full-length novel. I wish this story could be expanded into the future as you end up invested in the story of our main characters and want to learn even more about their journey to becoming a couple (or honestly I wouldn’t mind just adding on an extra-long ever after, even though there is an epilogue in this novella).
Abbie Farrell works in admin and is coming home to small town Scotland to her grandmother’s house, where also multiple cats live, including one that happens to be pregnant. It’s tradition for Abbie and her family to stay at her grandmother’s house for the holidays. Another member of this tradition is Will Reid, who has been an honorary member of the Farrell family since childhood. As Will has been off in the U.S. being a famous actor, he is looking forward to coming home to the U.K.
Will confesses his feelings to Abbie early on and the rest of the story is the journey through seeing if Abbie and Will can make it work and become a couple. Due to Abbie’s past romantic relationship, she is hesitant as opening herself up to love again. She is a confident individual that experiences anxiety and moments of self-doubt. Will also experiences his own anxieties and moments of self-doubt in his acting life as well as his home life. I love how the author wrote these characters as relatable and compatible with each other. Not only do they each have their own self-doubts and fear that the other does not truly return their feelings, but they also worry what will happen to their friendship if things don’t work out.
Both characters and even all of the side characters, all communicate openly with each other. Even though our main characters still keep some pieces of their inner thoughts to themselves, they are open to communicate and work to try to figure out how to get through situations together. It’s very refreshing to read about characters who just talk things through and try to figure out how to realistically move forward with either becoming a couple or remaining friends. Granted, this is greatly aided by their forced proximity as the characters are stuck together in one house for the duration of the story which can move communication along more compared to other situations where the characters can go to other locations and avoid talking to each other.
Overall, I can’t believe it took me this long to read a story by Talia Hibbert as her Brown Sisters series has been sitting on my TBR list for what seems like forever. I will definitely be reading them in the near future if they are anything like this novella. It was an excellent short read between my other full-length novels that put me in the Christmas spirit. For being a shorter story, it managed to put in just enough details to keep me interested while also not becoming too detailed if it didn’t help move the story along. It was a great balance within the writing and flow. I would recommend this story to anyone who wants a nice holiday read that can be done in an hour or so and will put you in a nice contented mood.