Book Review: Jingle Wars

Published November 10th 2020

Authors: R. Holmes & Veronica Eden

Two inns, one town, and there’s not enough room for the both of them.

Add in a reindeer-ish donkey, a Christmas competition, and a rivalry to end all rivalries and you’re bound to end up in disaster, right?

Finn Mayberry has enough on his plate trying to keep his Grandparents inn afloat. The last thing he needed was some California state of mind starlet bulldozing into his town and throwing up a five-star resort right next to his family’s inn.

But, now she’s here and he can’t get her out of his town or his head.

Freya Anderson took one look at the snowcapped mountains of Hollyridge and fell in love. She’s finally here and ready to take on the task of proving to her father that she can handle running Alpine.

She never expected to make enemies with the sinfully delicious lumberjack of a man who runs the inn next door. He’s moody, impossible and completely off limits.

There can only be one winner, but you know what they say. All is fair in love and… Jingle Wars?

Jingle Wars follows 27-years-old Finn Mayberry in his hometown in Hollyridge, Montana and newcomer 25-years-old Freya Anderson. Hollyridge is a sleepy, tourist town tucked away in the Montana Mountains. Finn’s grandparents own the local bed and breakfast, the Mayberry Inn, where Finn grew up and now manages. Freya graduated from college two years ago and has been working for her father trying to prove herself to him. Her father has an empire of hotels around the United States and the Alpine Mountain Resort is his latest addition. The story begins with a lot of tension as the Mayberry has been losing business due to the addition of the luxury resort, the Alpine, which is also right next door.

The story centers on the annual Jingle Wars competition where Finn and Freya will compete. The contest started as a small competition and has gained national attention in recent years inviting local businesses to compete for bigger prizes. This year’s competition’s prize is $100,000. While both Freya and Finn enter the competition for different reasons, they are both determined to win. The concept and challenges in this story were fun from cutting down a tree to decorate it to the scavenger hunt. Everything within this competition set in the snowy mountains is perfect for putting the reader in the Christmas spirit.

While the romance and setting are sweet, the story was steamier than I expected. For me, I did not mind it, but if this is not your type of read, than you should avoid this novel. The characters have an instant attraction, but their competitive circumstances mean that it is not a smooth transition to a relationship. The two characters share great chemistry and fun banter. With the huge variety of characters existing in these stories in recent years, it was disappointing to find that Finn was the perfect body 6-foot-plus guy with Freya who has the “Barbie” type figure and is 5-foot. While I did not fixate on this while reading, it was just disappointing to have too much perfection for each character.

Overall, this novel was a cute Holiday read. While it could use some alterations, for me, the community, secondary characters and, of course, the donkey, makes it a worthwhile read. Finn and Freya come from different backgrounds, but find a way to help each other out. In addition to the romance, Freya is working on her family issues while Finn is trying to work through finances and his own family issues. This story was an enjoyable Holiday read and I cannot wait to try more from these authors.

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